Blogless in Seattle

  Well I took the day off from sports today and tended to other parts of my life for a change. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the Mariners had won 2-1 over the Rangers and thus win their first series in a month. Ryan Langerhans apparently played a big role in today’s win, both at the plate and in the field. This is major news by itself as Ryan Langerhans has not been a particularly big part of any games this year one way or the other. On any other team a guy with a .188 average would probably be considered a weak-link, but on the 2010 Mariners he is just one of the crew. Hard to say what will become of Langerhans next year but he seems like a nice enough chap.

  Another one of our rather bland personalities this year Doug Fister, managed to get his sixth win of the year only giving-up the one run on a solo bomb to Nelson Cruz. Not much to say about Doug Fister as he always seems to have the same facial expression on his face no matter whether he is winning or losing. Come to think of it the only Mariner who seems to show any emotion at all is Felix Hernandez, hmm maybe it part of the new conditioning program the Mariners are using this year……

  As you may have noticed many of my posts as of late seem to be sort of rambling and off topic. I suppose that is not fair for those of you who eagerly await the moment when you read my posts hoping to catch a glimpse of my astute analysis of the previous game. And if indeed there are any of you left who are really following the Mariners this year, rest assured I intend to finish out my Rookie year as a Baseball– Blogger right up to the bitter end.

  However I have to confess that though this season has been a bust as far as the Mariners go, I have begun to break through years of writers block with these goofy posts. For that I am grateful and owe it all to the Mariners offseason hype that had me believing that this was the year, and that I better make my move in order to be part of history. Well as we all know now the only history I am chronicling (not sure if this is really a word) is perhaps the worst offensive output in modern baseball history.

   So now where do I go from here? I am used to writing every day now, which is a good thing. The Mariners do not look like they will be contenders next year barring a huge infusion of cash and passion from the aging absentee-owner Hiroshi Yamauchi, and yet I have managed to begin to break out of my writers-block through it all.

   So I am going to continue writing. Maybe not about the Seattle Mariners( can you believe that!) but perhaps about life, love, politics, travel, adventure etc. over the winter. Yes I may check in now and then to talk about  postseason play, or in the event that there is some big Mariners news, but this old sailor has other stories to tell and time is ticking away.

   Anyway I just though I would clear the air on this matter so that it does not come as a total surprise when you look up at the New York Times bestseller list someday and see my name there! Smooth sailing, Jeff Engels at http://jeffsmariners.com

Mariners kick-off Seafair weekend with 7-1 win

   The Seattle Mariners started the Seafair weekend out with a nice well-rounded effort tonight, beating the visiting Kansas City Royals 7-1 in front of 20,411 fans at Safeco Field. Tonight’s game showed a glimmer of hope for the rest of the way against the Royals who have faded out of the race as well. Last year’s Cy-Young winner Zach Greinke, got the start tonight for the Royals and has owned the Mariners for the last couple of years. However tonight the Mariners seemed to have finally figured out that Greinke throws first-pitch strikes and instead of watching them go by they actually took some cuts and were rewarded. Ryan Langerhans who started in left for the injured Saunders went 3-4 including a homer, and each of his hits were a result of anticipating a first-pitch fastball and swinging. I know this sounds like a routine thing and actually at the Major League level good hitters seem to have a knack for anticipating the next pitch and unloading on it when it comes. Unfortunately it seems guys like Gutierrez and Lopez have not only been lacking in recognizing pitches coming out of the pitchers hand, but more importantly not being able to look for patterns and out-smart opposing pitchers. It was nice to see the veteran Langerhans leading by example tonight as far as anticipating pitches and perhaps it will wear-off on some of the regulars.

   Luke French got the start tonight and went 8 innings giving-up only the one run and pitched what I thought was his best game since coming over from Detroit last year in the Jarrod Washburn deal. French did not walk a man, and though the Royals had 9 hits tonight French was composed and once he got the ever elusive run support from his team, settled into a nice groove. Chone Figgins has quietly moved his average up to .251 with a couple of hits tonight and 3 RBI’s. It is also fair to note that Casey Kotchman who has been disappointing at the plate, turned in another great performance defensively tonight and has yet to commit an error this season. Tonight’s game was a relief after watching the Mariners lose 9 of their last 10 games.

   It was interesting to read earlier in the week about Zach Greinke and his statement that the Royals will not be ready to compete till 2012 after his contract is up. Basically Greinke is signaling that he wants to be traded to play with a contender. While I don’t blame him, it is still inappropriate to say it to the press while the season is still alive. I give credit to guys like Felix Hernandez and Ichiro who are both capable of starting anywhere, but keep their mouths shut and play the game. Our team has been through a lot this year and the players and their manager deserve a few more games like tonight, not to mention us fans!

   I’m looking forward to heading down to the Safe this weekend and hopefully we can build on tonight’s game and win a series at home to celebrate Seafair……http://jeffsmariners

Another Positive game for Mariners winning 5-1

Tonight the Seattle Mariners beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on a wet and dreary night in front of 12,614 die-hard Birds fans. On display was exactly the sort of team Jack Z. promised us. Good Pitching, solid defense, and timely hitting, plus a home run by Ryan Langerhans. Mariners starter Cliff Lee picked up the win pitching into the 8th inning before Brandon League came in to finish this one out. Both pitchers were impressive facing an Orioles team that is struggling without their All-Star second baseman Brian Roberts. Orioles starter David Hernandez pitcher had another tough night and recorded his 11th loss in his last 11 decisions.

 Once again the trio from Tacoma Ryan  Langerhans, Josh Wilson, and Michael Saunders produced at the plate for the second game in a row. Langerhans playing 1st for Casey Kotchman and hit a solo homer in the 5th  Saunders also had 2 hits on the night including an RBI single in the 6th. It was a relief to see Rob Johnson pick up a couple of hits on the night including a clutch 2-out single in the 6th which scored 2 runners including Ken Griffey who hustled in when the ball was bobbled in left field. Even Chone Figgins picked up a hit tonight and had an RBI walk in the 5th.

Watching Cliff Lee pound the strike zone with first pitch strikes and his fast pace was fun to watch. But coming away from this game it was apparent to me that Brandon League is quickly becoming the go-to guy in the Bullpen. League came into the game in the top of the 8th with one out and runners on first and second, and with 4 pitches shut down the Orioles. League shut the Birds down in order in the 9th, and that was all she  wrote.

 The only way we are going to move beyond the drama from the last homestand is for this club to come together as a team like they did tonight and silence all the armchair GM’s. We looked like a team tonight and it feels good.http://jeffsmariners.com

Same news, Mariners Lose 5-2

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Mariners 5-2 tonight behind the brilliant pitching of James Shields and some help from a shoddy Mariners defense which committed 4 errors. Tampa Bay goes to an American League best of 10-1 on the road and sit on top of the tough AL East. The Mariners continued their slide into the cellar of the AL West in a division that is fortunately still wide open with both Texas and the Angels losing.

The Tampa Bay Rays who come from a smallish market and became a Major League Team in the late 90’s  have already had an appearance in the World Series and are quite a remarkable story this year. Was nice to see Rafael Soriano the ex-Mariner back in town, I always liked him and was never sure why we let him go in 2006. Aah but that was a different era, we are supposedly a team that was supposed to contend this year not pretend.

  It was nice to see Ryan Langerhans come in and get a single in the 9th following Gutierrez who lead off with a single himself  as part of a 3 hit night for Guti. Ichiro had a couple of hits as well giving us two starters batting over 300 along with a bunch hitting around 218. Ok well I have already hit my bottom emotionally on the Mariners after last weekend so I’m not going to rant anymore tonight. As Pink Floyd said in their song I think I’ve become “Comfortably Numb” http://jeffsmariners.com

Mariners release Byrnes send Tuiasosopo down

Well its a start. I just learned the Mariners have released Eric Byrnes, I wish him well. Also Matt Tuiasosopo has been sent down to AAA Tacoma. The Mariners are bringing up infielder Josh Wilson and Outfielder Ryan Langerhans. While neither of these two players bring with them the Long Ball threat, this is a move in the right direction.

  However more needs to be done to shake-up this team. I would like to see Figgins and Lopez go back to their natural positions, and while were switching lets switch Figgins to lead-off and bat Ichiro second. Sweeney is on a short-leash as well and if we can get Jermaine Dye for 2-3 million let’s do it, at least until Bedard comes back then trade one or two of our starters for a genuine home-run hitter.

  Hopefully the weather here in Seattle will warm up at the end of the week and with it our bats! I look for something else big to happen this week as the honeymoon for Jack Z. is over too.http://jeffsmariners.com

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