The Mariners offense was bad. They finished dead last in the AL in runs scored, hits and OPS. They finished first in strikeouts but were last in walks with just 435. They finished seventh in stolen bases with 125 but negated a lot of that with 40 times caught stealing. Bad, bad bad.
The Mariners had just two hitters with OPS+ above 100. Dustin Ackley led the regulars with a 117 mark and that was mostly because of his .273 batting average. Miguel Olivo of all people led the team with 19 home runs and Ichiro looked like he aged five years since 2010 with his worst season in the USA. The team leader in RBIs was 62 and the team leader in doubles was Justin Smoake with 24.
On the bad end, Chone Figgins, when he was the Mariners had an OPS+ of just 39. Franklin Gutierrez had a 53 and while Olivo led the team in home runs, he had just a .253 OBP with 20 walks versus 140 strikeouts.
I could go on and on. I know the Mariners had a good defensive team, but you have to score some runs. And if the Mariners ever expect to compete again, they need to start picking up some bats.
The Mariners took care of the first place Rangers behind a really nice outing by Blake Beaven. He improved to 5-5 on the season with a nice win and he gave up just four hits and he struck out three in eight shutout innings. Brandon League pitched a shutout ninth and he struck out the side.
Casper Wells hit his eleventh home run of the season in the loss. He went one for two with a walk and two runs. Wily Mo Pena went one for three and he drew a walk. The Mariners scored three of their runs early against C.J. Wilson and they cost him a chance at his 17th win.
The Mariners are now guaranteed to not lose 100 games. They sit with 63 wins and while there’s little to play for (it’s unlikely they’ll even catch the third place A’s), it’s still sad that the season is winding down. Should be an interesting playoffs and it’s looking like a race or two might come out of this final month after all.
Felix Hernandez is only 13-11 but the guy should still be getting some Cy Young votes. I think Verlander should win it and Jered Weaver is second but even though there’s no award for third, Hernandez should be in the conversation. He picked up his 13th win today with a nice start against the contending Angels.
Mike Carp had a nice day at the plate. He went two for four and he drove in a pair of runs. Kyle Seager also had a nice day with two hits. It was another rough day for Ichiro and he went 0 for 4. He’d need to have a monster month if he was going to pull off another 200 hit season.
The finale is tonight. Charles Furbush throws for the Mariners and the Angels have Ervin Santana on the mound.
The Mariners made some deals at the trade deadline after they fell out of the race pretty quickly here the past month or so. The big move was with the Tigers. They traded Doug Fister and David Pauley for Charles Furbush, Casper Wells and Francisco Martinez. Furbush has had some success for the Tigers already and Casper Wells is a very solid fourth outfielder with some future potential. Martinez is both the wild card and the potential jewel because he’s had some really nice numbers at the Double A level this year.
The other move they made was sending Erik Bedard to the Red Sox. In a three way deal with the Dodgers, the Mariners got Trayvon Robinson from the Dodgers and Chih-Hsien Chiang from the Red Sox. Not a bad move because Bedard just came off the disabled list and he’s potentially gone after the the end of the year. Still, it’s going to be a rough couple of months with two rotation hands getting shipped out of town.
The Mariners are two games below .500 but in the AL West, .500 is good enough to stay in the mix. They’re still in third place, but they’re just three and a half games back of the Rangers and two and a half back of the Angels. One good series against a division opponent could be huge in the early goings here.
Unfortunately, three straight losses to the Braves didn’t help. Felix Hernandez looked mortal and he gave up five runs on ten hits in 7 2/3 innings. They rode him for 129 pitches. Brandon League pitched a shutout ninth to finish things up.
Dustin Ackley hit a two run home run. Josh Bard went two for four with an RBI.
Next up are the Padres. Jason Vargas gets the nod tonight.
It’s hard to expect much from this Mariner team although that doesn’t mean they can’t play spoiler now and then. They took three games in Detroit and they followed that up with a win in their opener against the Red Sox. 12-15 isn’t great, but in 2011, that puts the Mariners just 3 1/2 games back of the Rangers and Angels.
Justin Smoak has been rock solid this year despite missing a little time. He’s hitting .300 with four home runs and seventeen RBIs. Ichiro is his usual self with a .319 average, sixteen runs and eight stolen bases. He has yet to get his a triple or a home run so his OPS is down but at this pace, he could come close to the 56 steals he picked up in his rookie year.
Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda have a made a nice one two punch and at least so far, Pineda has been the better pitcher. Hernandez has a few more strikeouts, but Pineda has a better ERA and more wins. Doug Fister also has some nice numbers even though his record is only 1-3.
Two more against the Red Sox this weekend. Maybe these Mariners aren’t as bad as we thought.
The Mariners lost to the Rangers 5-4 and Scott Patterson gave up the losing run in the ninth inning. Luke French got the start and he had a subpar outing. He gave up three runs on nine hits and a walk without a strikeout in five innings. Jamey Wright struck out two in a shutout inning of relief.
Chone Figgins and Kyle Seager both went deep for the Mariners. Figgins was a two run shot and for both of them, it was their first home run of the spring. Ichiro went two for three with a run.
Friday is the day. The Mariners open their season against the Athletics.
There have been a lot of rumors surrounding Chone Figgins and whether he’ll be with the Mariners in 2011. Still, Figgins appears to want to stick with the Mariners and at least for the time being, the team appears to want to keep him. The Mariners were a huge disappointment in 2010 after their breakout season in 2009 but at this point, it looks like Mariners don’t want to unload all of their talent too quickly.
Figgins talks about his transition to second base being a more difficult one then he anticipated. Hopefully with this past season under his belt, he’ll be able to get back on track because he’s likely moving back to third base. Still Figgins wouldn’t the first big signing the Mariners have scooped up that has flopped.
One of Greg Johns more recent pieces is on the Mariners prospects and how they’re doing during the Winter Leagues. Dan Cortes gets a lot of play in the piece and he’s been very solid in the Venezuelan League. He still needs to work on his control but he’s 10 for 10 in save opportunities.
Dustin Ackley gets a mention for his Arizona Fall League MVP accolades. Johermyn Chavez is off to a decent start in the Venezuelan League. Carlos Peguero hasn’t been nearly effective in the Dominican League but he had a good enough season at Double-A to where we shouldn’t be too concerned.
Anyway, Johns talks about just about everyone so read the whole piece so you can get the rundown.
There’s little argument that 2011 was a train wreck for the Mariners. After a solid 2009 campaign and some nifty offseason moves, the Mariners tanked out of the gate and there’s little to indicate that it won’t be more of the same next year. Still, the Mariners have some pieces moving up the pipeline and Kevin Goldstein put out his top Mariners Top Eleven Prospects list today.
It’s nice to see a couple of five star prospects at the top of the list. Coming in at number one is Michael Pineda. This pitcher is getting really close and the only thing that’s probably stopped him from a big league appearance is that injury that cost him in 2009. Still, he’s just about ready and Goldstein thinks he’ll be pitching for the Mariners some time this year.
Number two is the Mariners first round pick in 2009, Dustin Ackley. The second baseman has also had some time at Triple A and while he could start the season there, it’s pretty likely we’ll see him in a Mariners uniform as well. Shortstop Nick Franklin is third with four stars and he’s still at least two years away. Outfielder Guilermo Pimental and Taijuan Walker round out the top five.
In short, the Mariners have both some guys who are ready now and some guys who are a year or two away. If these guys are nurtured right, we could a contending Mariners team in the next few years.
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