Sunday, April 26, 2009
The Mariner bats combined to go a paltry 5-for-31 in this game, drawing three walks and striking out nine times. Five Mariners went hitless, and only Jose Lopez had a multi-hit game. Seattle didn't manage to scratch out any extra-base hits. The Mariners were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position, which is bad because they were hitless with runners in scoring position, but also bad because there were only three such opportunities. Endy Chavez also grounded into a double play. There really isn't a lot to talk about when it comes to how the Mariner offense did in this final game of the series.
I'll cover the Mariners' starting pitching in one of the entries below. Roy Corcoran's two-thirds of an inning in the eighth put some more blemishes on the bullpen's sparkling ERA. Corcoran gave up two runs on four hits, facing six batters to get two outs, and he left two runners aboard before Mark Lowe came in and got the final Angel out of the eighth. In other words, Corcoran is lucky he wasn't tagged with giving up four runs in this game. Nonetheless, Corcoran's ERA sits at 7.04. Divide that by nine and you get 0.78 runs per inning that Corcoran on average gives up. If he appears one inning at a time, he's giving up a run at least every other outing. Thanks to the Ian Furness show on KJR, I know Corcoran recently bought a vintage John Deere 3020, but unfortunately that isn't making any of his numbers look better so far. As for the rest of the bullpen, Lowe only had to throw one pitch, and Sean White got five outs and gave up two hits while walking one, but he did let one of Jarrod Washburn's runners touch the plate.
How do I scratch together three gameballs in a game where the Mariners failed to score? I'll try...
1) Jose Lopez
He gets the first gameball because of the two hits. Going 2-for-4, Lopez was the only Mariner with a multi-hit game, raising his average to .238. Though he went hitless on Saturday night, he was 3-for-4 in the series opener. He has only hit two homers so far, but since apparently people not named Branyan aren't going to be hitting home runs, only so much can be pinned on Lopez. However, he's only hit two doubles as well. That's four hits out of his 15 that have been for extra bases. Lopez has played in all 19 of the Mariners' games this season, and despite his subpar hitting, is still on pace for a 102-RBI season. After striking out in each of the first five games and six of the first seven, Lopez has not struck out in any of the last five games (or six of the last seven, or 10 of 12, or 11 of 14). He might be hitting light so far, but I can't say I've ever sat here and thought that Ronny Cedeno is worthy of stealing regular playing time from Lopez. You'd probably be able to make a better case for Cedeno stealing some of Betancourt's playing time based on defensive focus even though Betancourt's hitting .266, which is higher than anyone in today's lineup except for Ichiro, Chavez, and Branyan.
2) Sean White
I know he threw for this team last year, but there's still a lot I don't know about Sean White. He's only appeared in four games so far this season. He still hasn't been charged with an earned run. I know that when both he and Sean Green were on the team, the Mariners had Sean Green and Sean White, and it was too bad there wasn't a Sean Brown, Sean Redd, Sean Blue, or Sean Black somewhere in the system to bring up to the big club. If there was any year to do it, it would have been last year. If he keeps his numbers nice for a few more appearances, maybe my opinion will change, but so far all I can think about Sean White is that everything about him is completely unremarkable, whether it be his stuff, his appearance, or his name. If the Mariner bullpen had Sean White along with a John Smith, Dave Johnson, Dan Clark, and a Jim Ward, it would give me a bit less to write about. Okay, maybe it'd give me more about since the bullpen would have the most common names in America. It'd be one of those things where you could get an authentic jersey with their name on the back and you might actually share the dude's last name, so it's kind of your jersey too. That's kind of against hockey jersey etiquette, but my last name isn't Luongo, Kesler, or Burrows, so I don't have to worry.
3) Franklin Gutierrez
Should I be putting Gutierrez in this slot just because he got one hit even though he struck out twice and is still only hitting .204? If I'm really reaching for something to write about, then it's a yes. I've probably said this in one of my game pieces here this season -- since Gutierrez has awesome defensive skills, I'd say a passable season for him at the plate would be about .240. In other words, my idea of a successful season for Gutierrez equates to \Mike Cameron without the power at the plate. With the team's big offensive guns largely taking an IV drip full of fail, only so much can be pinned on Gutierrez. While it would be nice for someone to step up on offense while Beltre, Griffey, and Lopez aren't doing so well (Chavez is doing a respectable job of this), we can't expect Franklin Gutierrez to be carrying the mail for this team at the plate. It's years away from happening if it ever does happen. The Mariners just need him to be something other than a black hole when he's batting. Anything else should be a bonus considering his amazing defensive prowess.
Looks like Carlos Silva showed up in the series against the Angels after all, except he was a day late, less heavy, lefthanded, and white. His line looks like a vintage Silva line to which we've grown so accustomed. Washburn threw 58 strikes out of 99 pitches over 5 1/3 innings. He faced 27 batters to get 16 outs. He gave up six runs on eight hits and walked three. He gave up two homers and two doubles. Washburn got seven groundouts and nine flyouts. Apparently we've been hearing that Washburn has reinvented himself and started throwing more sinkers, helping him get to a 3-0 start. It's nice of him to get that advice in his contract year. Did it really take this long for someone to tell him that maybe trying to get hitters out with high fastballs that just break 90mph isn't a good idea? The fact that he's been able to get away with it this long just baffles me. Maybe some more good can come out of this though. Maybe Washburn will now just have to be 11-1 at the deadline before he's moved. Maybe Washburn shows Aardsma how to throw sinking stuff, or maybe he shows Morrow how to throw sinking stuff. If Guardado showed Putz the splitter before he left, maybe there's hope.
A chance for the Lithuanian Laser to redeem himself -- tomorrow. Too bad he'll be throwing in Chicago at a park I like to call Coors Light. Coors really isn't Coors anymore since the humidor, but I'll just stop now before it gets more weird...