The Mariners head into the All-Star break after taking two of three from the division leading Athletics. This week seemed like a good way to gain some momentum for the second half but a stinker of a series against the Twins put a damper on any hope of a hot streak. In the two series against the White Sox and Twins, the Mariners scored a grand total of 9 runs in 7 games. We owe our two wins to excellent pitching performances by Felix, Iwakuma, and the bullpen. The two wins over the Athletics were pretty decisive. It definitely felt good to get two strong wins against the best team in baseball right before the break..
For this week’s recap, I’m going to go through each position group and give a mid-season report. The stats included will be to-date season performances instead of the normal two-week period.
That road trip felt worse than it actually was. Its probably recency bias because of the terrible time the Mariners had in Chicago.
Did you know that the Mariners are just 5-23 when playing the White Sox in Chicago since 2008. Woof.
All four runs scored by the Mariners in the series were scored in the ninth inning or later. Yikes.
The Mariners were shutout by Hector Noesi. Yes, the same Hector Noesi who ran a 6.13 ERA as a Seattle Mariner. Ugh.
But, hey, at least the Mariners outscored the Astros by twenty runs!
You’ve probably heard about the massive trade between the Cubs and the Athletics. The A’s gained two premier pitchers to bolster their run for the World Series. Of course this is bad news for the Mariners because the A’s are a division rival and we had been in the market for starting pitching depth. But its not as bad as it seems. The Mariners just got Taijuan Walker back from injury and he’s a certain upgrade over Erasmo Ramirez. James Paxton is about a month away from rejoining the team too and that’s another upgrade. Plus the teams who were really looking for starting pitching help are all in the AL East and if the Mariners are going to make it to the playoffs this year, we’re going to have to go through the Wild Card against those teams from the AL East.
The Mariners entered this week on a six game losing streak and extended it to eight before snapping it with a win on Wednesday. The wins this week were filled with drama with three late inning wins and a few bullpen meltdowns. Kyle Seager won AL Player of the Week for his heroics and he certainly deserved it. This week would have looked much different (1-5 vs 3-3) if Seager hadn’t taken it upon himself to right this sinking ship.
Welcome back to another season of Seattle Mariners baseball. I’ll be covering the team week by week again and in the coming weeks you’ll be seeing some new features to this recurring series. For now, enjoy this recap of the first two weeks of play.
That series sweep against the Angels to begin the year felt really good. A number of experts picked the Angels to have resurgent year, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton couldn’t this bad the thinking went. Well a thorough dismantling by the Mariners doesn’t prove much–its only three games after all–but it sure was fun.
I’ll be glad when the Mariners are playing any of the other 27 teams in the majors. We started the year with five games against the Angels and six games against the Athletics. While we were able to build a small lead against three of the AL West teams, it’ll be nice to see another opponent.
Spring Training is in full swing and there’s just two weeks until Opening Day! The Mariners enter the 2014 season after handing out the largest contract to the top free agent during the offseason. Personally, it feels like the Mariners have turned a corner from rebuilding mode to win-now mode. Whether it was the right time or not is up for debate but I’m excited to see where this takes us. Just like last year, I’ll be offering my thoughts on the projected roster, broken up by position group. I’ve simplified the amount of data I’m presenting–just a personally built 2014 projection. I trust that you’re able to look up historical data on your own.
First up, the 2014 Seattle Mariners infield. A bunch of young guys out to prove themselves surround a star who will be counted on to lead this team back to the promised land. The signing of Robinson Cano brought a lot of fanfare but three of the five positions in the infield will be held by players drafted and developed by the Mariners. This organization has been able to identify and develop strong talents across the infield and this position group is now one of the strengths of the team.
Well that was an interesting week. After dropping two of three to the Astros, the Mariners returned home to face the Angels and won three out of four. We’re now sitting in sole possession of third place in the AL West despite losing four of six against the Astros. If we had just gone 4-2 against them, we would be just one game behind Oakland and four behind Texas.
The Mariners had some tough pitching matchups this week, facing Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Yu Darvish all in the span of four days. But they didn’t do any better against the likes of Nick Tepesch, Derek Lowe, and Justin Grimm. Mariner hitters were flailing at pitches this week with a combined total of seventy-two strikeouts. Their swing happy ways are reflected in their record this week. We we’re lucky to escape with a single win (against Justin Verlander!).