Posted on June 1, 2010 by Jeff
Since 1977 there has only been one month that the Seattle Mariners have played above .500, that month is JUNE! And tonight behind the strong pitching of Jason Vargas the Mariners started off the month of June with a 7-1 win over the Twins. And since it is June the Mariners bats right woke-up right on que and delivered 13 hits, including 3 by Ichiro who leads the AL All-Star balloting for outfielders. But unlike so many other games this year, Chone Figgins was right behind him with two hits of his own. Figgins is slowly bringing up his average and no longer looks like he is just trying to draw a walk.
Jose Lopez has been coming around as well lately and tonight had a couple of hits including a 2-run homer off a 3-2 fastball in the 4th inning. The Mariners were to explode for 4 runs in the 4th and gave Vargas the support he has been lacking most of the year. Vargas only gave up the one run on a solo blast to Justin Morneau, who is having a career year thus far and may find his way to the All-Star game if he keeps up his torrid pace, batting .374 after tonight.
Eliezer Alfonso got the start tonight behind the plate and picked-up a couple hits, and seemed to work well with Vargas. At the risk of repeating myself from earlier posts I have to say the Rob Johnson experiment has run its course. The only Mariner to not get on base tonight was Michael Saunders and I look to see Milton Bradley back in left tomorrow. tonight’s victory over the AL Central leading Twins was one of the better games on the year for the Mariners. We got to see great pitching, good defense, and a well-balanced offense.
Shawn Kelley continues to be the most consistent pitcher in the pen, and tonight was no different as he came into the game in the 8th and retired the dangerous middle of the order of the Twins. Garrett Olson got the ball in the 9th and put the Twins down in order to close the gate. Time will tell if Olson has improved enough to stick around the big club, but tonight he looked sharp in relief.
So June is here and the gloomy, painful month of May is behind us. We are 7 games back in the AL West with Cliff Lee then Felix Hernandez in line to take the ball and hopefully help get another little roll going. They say summer doesn’t start in Seattle till July 5th and this may be true, however June is the month that the Mariners traditionally warm-up and I don’t see any reason this year won’t be the same. http://jeffsmariners.com
Filed under: Barometer Rising? | Tagged: Ichiro, Jason Vargas, Jose Lopez, Justin Morneau | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 31, 2010 by Jeff
Doug Fister came into this game tonight with the best ERA in the AL, but tonight he got tagged for 3 homers by the Minnesota Twins and the Mariners couldn’t quite catch up and lost this one 5-4. The sun came out this afternoon and it was actually pleasant at the Safe when I joined 19,795 other fans on this Memorial day. A color guard from the various branches of the service were on hand to commemorate the veterans from previous conflicts and to honor those still in active duty. The Twins fans were out in full force as well, cheering on their club complete with signs, jerseys and ya-sure ya-betcha midwest accents.
Justin Morneau picked up 3-hits including a couple doubles to move his average to .377, but it was the long-balls by Cuddyer, Kubel, and Young that killed us tonight. Fister gave up all three dingers with 2-outs including back-to-back homers in the 4th which provided all the runs the Twins would need. This could prove to be a rough series for the Mariners as the Twins are hot and focused on getting back in the play-offs after getting knocked out by the Yankees last year.
On the positive side of things Figgins and Lopez each picked up a couple of hits and scored three of the four Mariners runs. Josh Wilson continued to deliver and boosted his average to .300, going 3-4 with a RBI. It looked as if our boys might pull it off in the ninth when Lopez opened the frame with a double and the Paper Boy delivered a single up the middle to pull us within one run. Wakamatsu brought in Griffey to pinch-hit which got the crowd on its feet, only to be let-down when he grounded out. Casey Kotchman also got into the game and hit a hard grounder to first which turned into a double-play that killed the rally and sent us all home.
For some reason Rob Johnson got the start tonight behind the plate and went 0-3, which was disturbing in light of Eliezer Alfonso’s 3-4 debut yesterday. It appears that the Mariners want Rob Johnson to be the everyday catcher no matter how bad he plays or how well the other catchers perform. Ryan Rowland-Smith came in to relieve Fister and looked out-of-place and shaky before being pulled for Brandon League, League got the Mariners out of a first and third no outs jam in the 8th to keep this one close.
Both Oakland and LA won today so we lost ground in the AL West. Fister and Vargas have pitched way over their heads thus far and reality began to set-in tonight. It does appear that Figgins and Lopez are waking-up, but Bradley and Sweeney were both cold as May in Seattle tonight. Anyway we will be playing the Twins three more games this week so we will have plenty of chances to make-up for this loss.
I was just informed that the Mariners have called up Garrett Olson and Sean White to replace Jesus Colome and Kanekoa Texeira in the pen. Not sure if this move will solve all the problems but at least it will be a start. I look for more moves this week.http://jeffsmariners.com
Filed under: Holding the Lifering | Tagged: Doug Fister, Josh Wilson, Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins | Leave a comment »