Wedge May Play “Musical Pitchers” In Final Homestand


Aug 16, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher

Hisashi Iwakuma

(18) throws to the Texas Rangers during the seventh inning of a baseball game at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Mariners won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge said his pitching rotation for the final six home games of the 2013 season would not be finalized until after this Sunday. One mention of note is that he may not pitch Hisashi Iwakuma again this year.

After the team gets a look at how Felix Hernandez fares on Sunday, returning from his oblique strain, they will decide on how to process in the final six games.

Let’s speculate, shall we?

If all goes well for Felix and the team truly wants to shut down Iwakuma after a career-high 211 2/3 innings pitched this season, then the rotation would look like this: Brandon Maurer, James Paxton and Erasmo Ramirez against the Royals. Joe Saunders, Hernandez and Maurer against Oakland.

That’s one, but what if Felix hurts himself again? Then Iwakuma could still be left out, with Maurer starting next Saturday against Oakland and Paxton starting the season-finale.

Hold the presses!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Erasmo Ramirez left Friday’s game with tightness in his right groin. He says he expects to be ready to make his final start of the season (presumably Wednesday against Kansas City) but that’s what they said about Felix at first as well.

So I guess we will have to wait and see. But I fully expect them to shut down Iwakuma, denying M’s fans one more chance at jumping on the hype-wagon. I expect Ramirez to be fine and that means, Brandon Maurer will be your starter to close out the 2013 season next Sunday.

Quick Notes:

-With their 87th loss of the season, the Mariners no longer have a chance at improving their record from 2102 (75-87). In fact, unless the Mariners win six of their final eight games, they stand to lose 90+ games for the 13th time in franchise history and 6th time in the past 10 years.

-The Mariners 10th inning loss Friday was their 14th extra innings loss of 2013 (6-14) extending their new franchise record for most extra-frame losses in a season. Only the Chicago White Sox have played in more extra inning games than the Mariners, among American League teams, also losing 14 of them (8-14). In the National League, the Cincinnati Reds (12-9) and Arizona Diamondbacks (16-7) have played more extra inning games than the M’s but with more success.