21-24, Game Notes
It’s amazing how quickly things can change in baseball. On May 6th, the Mariners beat the White Sox in exciting walk-off fashion, fresh off of three consecutive series wins. On May 7th, they started a demoralizing six game losing streak, which featured three blown save, walk-off losses. It’s now May 21st, and the Mariners have won four games in a row, and five of their last six. A week ago it was tough to feel too good about this team. Now it’s kind of tough not to. Don’t get me wrong – this is a team with it’s flaws, and there’s still plenty of time left for this whole thing to fall apart. I’m just saying, these guys are making it easy to be optimistic.
Facing a team as listless looking as the Padres will do that for you, though. As good as Erik Bedard and Michael Pineda have looked in these first two games of the series, it’s important to consider the opponent before you get too optimistic. The Padres have been absolutely atrocious on offense with Adrian Gonzalez gone this year, and they could probably make pretty much any opposing pitcher look good. That being said, our pitching staff has now held them to 8 hits and just 1 run over 18 innings. Everyone we’ve thrown out there has absolutely dominated the San Diego offense, and as a result the Mariners have quickly guaranteed a series win in incredibly comfortable fashion. When the Mariners aren’t causing me to squirm in my seat with anxiousness and frustration, it’s almost like I don’t know what to do with myself. Not that I’m complaining.
- For the second time in a week, Michael Pineda took the mound, and tore through a weak lineup. He fanned nine, walked one, and allowed only two hits through seven innings of work. He continues to look fantastic in just about every outing. What we’re seeing is the development of an ace, right before our eyes, and it’s a whole lot of fun to watch.
- Franklin Gutierrez checked in with his first hit of the season – a stinging line drive up the middle – and it had to feel pretty damn good. Clearly he hasn’t fully readjusted to actually playing baseball, and that’s understandably going to take some time. Getting that first knock out of the way must help though, and it’s a nice mood-booster just seeing his name in the lineup anyway.
- David Pauley came into today with a 3.40 xFIP. In his one inning of work in this game, he struck out the side in order. This bullpen of misfits is having some of the most unexpected success I can recall. It probably won’t keep up like this throughout the year, but even with David Aardsma on the shelf indefinitely, we still have Shawn Kelley on his way back. He’s a good reliever, and having him around will definitely help to pick up some of the slack when the inevitable regression hits.
Felix day tomorrow, as we go for the sweep against our hated rivals!