What a terrible, terrible weekend to be a Mariners fan. I mean, seriously, it was hard to watch. After a favorable road trip where the M’s went and beat both the Rangers and the A’s, the team came home and were decisively swept by the inferior LA Angels. Don’t get me wrong, the Angels are a pretty decent team…on paper at least, but the Angels came to Seattle a full 16 games below .500, and shouldn’t have been able to dominate like they did.
The Mariners squandered another solid start from King Felix, and were able to muster only two runs for the whole weekend. As far as I’m concerned, that’s inexcusable. Poor Eric Wedge makes his return to the dugout and is treated to one of the worst Mariner performances of the season.
Did anything go right for the Mariners this weekend? Well, a little bit. Felix had another solid start on Friday, going 6 innings and allowing only two runs on three hits. This game should have been easily winnable for the Mariners, but they just couldn’t manage to get any kind of momentum going. The same thing happened on Saturday where Erasmo Ramirez tossed a good enough game to win, but got no support from the bats. I guess that we could say starting pitching is definitely not the problem for the M’s, but something needs to be done about scoring runs.
Dustin Ackley saw some work at second on Friday while Nick Franklin nursed a flesh wound he suffered in Oakland. While I don’t necessarily miss seeing Ackley at second, he held his own and didn’t make me second guess anything. Ackley was also responsible for half of the Mariner runs this weekend with a homer off of Jared Weaver.
On that positive note, onto the links:
Seager originally came up through the farm system as a middle infielder, but in order to get more playing time in he moved over to third, learned the position and excelled at it. Is he the greatest third baseman in Mariners history? Definitely not yet, but if he can keep it up for a few more years (I’m talking 5, minimum), then he’d make a hell of a case for himself.
It’s no secret that scoring runs has been a huge issue for the Mariners this season, after the embarrassment of this weekend’s series vs. the Angels it’s time to take a look back at June and July, where Raul was hitting homer after homer, and the M’s were tricking us all into thinking they might have a shot at a .500 season. August has been a completely different story for the Mariners, who are now 2-7 for the month at Safeco.
Even though he isn’t truly ready for the majors, Mike Zunino will be a welcome sight to frustrated Mariners fans. The highly touted prospect came up to Seattle earlier this year but was promptly sidelined with a fractured bone in his left hand. He’s reported to be at-or-ahead of schedule, and the M’s are saying we could see him back within a few weeks.
After taking a cleat to the knee in a game in Oakland last week, Nick Franklin has been off for a few days to heal up (he played a few innings Sunday). When he came up earlier in the season he was so fun to watch, he was hitting everything and his fielding ability was equally as promising. For a few weeks in June he was even mentioned in AL Rookie of the Year conversations. But for some reason the wheels fell off in August, Brian Elsner evaluates what might have happened to cause such a fall from grace.
Minor League Links
On the same day that we saw Jason Heyward get carted off the field with a broken jaw, Mariners prospect DJ Peterson was also hospitalized in an eerily similar incident. The Clinton Lumber Kings’ third baseman was hit in the face with an 0-1 fastball and was carted off of the field to a local hospital for X-rays. The Lumber Kings are already expecting him to miss the remainder of the season.
In slightly happier news, Mariners Prospect Eddie Campbell continued his domination this season with 12 strikeouts over six innings this weekend. The Virginia Tech alum has been hot all season with 66 strikeouts in 48 innings of work this season. While the team gave him a rather generous 15 run cushion, 12 strikeouts is still an impressive feat.