The Mariners won their first series since the end of June today beating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on an otherwise gloomy Sunday in August. On a day when traditionally the biggest sports event in the region is the Seafair Unlimited Hydro Races, the Mariners managed to get by the Royals behind the pitching of Jason Vargas who went six solid innings to get his 8th win. Vargas has been one of the few bright spots this season and he has proved that he belongs in the rotation next year leaving one less question mark for 2011. Kyle Davies pitched a nice game himself holding the Mariners scoreless till the bottom of the sixth when the Mariners scored two-runs on a clutch-hit by the much maligned Casey Kotchman.
A mostly subdued crowd of 24,078 sat through the first 5 innings of a dull game outside of the roar of the Blue Angels flying overhead on a day when Seattle fans could cheer for real Hydro Races on Lake Washington rather than just the big screen at Safeco. It is a testament to our loyalty as a fan base to still see a crowd this size coming out to the park to support our team. The top of the order once again provided the spark as Ichiro and Figgins scored all three runs and had a couple of hits each this afternoon. Figgins has gone 12-23 on this home stand and knocked in Ichiro in the eighth inning with a sharp single to left in what would prove to be the winning run in this contest. Figgins has moved his average up to .254 and with 50 games left could possibly finish-up with a respectable average of say .270 if he stays hot. This comes as rumors are swirling of a possible trade for the pesky switch-hitter. If you would have asked me a few weeks ago I would have agreed in trading him but after the past few days I believe he is another of the pieces of the future worth keeping around.
It looks like we have suffered another “Hotel Injury” as Jack Wilson apparently slipped in the shower and has a fracture in his right hand. This of course coupled with the Russell Branyan mishap a few weeks back where the big man smashed his toe in a hotel are just more “Footnotes” for a season where if anything could go wrong it has. In addition Shawn Kelley is out for the rest of the season with elbow issues and will require surgery. I’m hoping to see Mike Wilson get the call from AAA to fill Jack Wilson’s spot on the roster as Mike Wilson has 24 homers with Tacoma and deserves a shot before the September call-ups.
Brandon League was able to hold the Royals scoreless in the 8th inning by inducing the Royals into double-play to end a threat at a crucial moment in this game. League like Vargas has 8 wins and has proven to be mostly effective this year though the guy he was traded for Brandon Morrow pitched a great game today as well. Morrow was one out away from a no-hitter today but still went on to win 1-0 over the Rays in a game where Morrow struck-out 17!
The Mariners are actually in a stretch where they should be able to win some games to try to salvage some dignity this year as they have the A’s, Indians and Orioles up next before playing the Yankees one more time. The A’s are the closest thing we have to a rival and they are surprisingly still in the race after beating the Rangers today and now stand 7 ½ back of Texas. It would certainly be nice to play the spoiler role and take this next series from Oakland here at the Safe. One more note from the pits on Lake Washington; the “Oh Boy Oberto” has won the unlimited hydro races this year. Nice to hear the distinctive voice of Pat O’Day calling the race today as Seafair comes to a close.http://jeffsmariners.com