Mariners Analysis: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

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Jul 12, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker (32) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Stock Down: The Rookie Pitchers

Taijuan Walker and Mike Montgomery both had been phenomenal over the past month or so, but they both caved under the pressure this past week. Regression was predictable, but none the less, it is still disappointing. Walker and Monty struggled this week in the biggest games of their professional lives. It would’ve been nice for them to solidify their recent tears by entering the break on a high note.

Mike Montgomery got the ball twice in the past week, and the southpaw was roughed up both times. In the past week he has pitched 10 2/3 innings, allowing 14 hits and 6 earned runs in the process. To be fair, he pitched against two of the hottest hitting teams in baseball recently, in the Detroit Tigers and L.A. Angels. However, I am afraid that teams around the league are starting to figure out the crafty southpaw. We saw this with Roenis Elias, and I am a little concerned that we might be seeing this with Mike Montgomery. Hopefully Monty can put these two subpar starts behind him, and turn it around once things pick back up.

Taijuan Walker toed the rubber twice as well, and his starts were even more disappointing. I am very surprised that Walker was so bad this week, as he had pitched like an All Star over the past couple months. But, this past week makes me reconsider. Superstars rise to the occasion when facing the best teams, but he didn’t do that. In his last two starts, he has pitched 11 innings allowing 11 earned runs, and 13 hits. What concerns me most is that he didn’t struggle with command, as he only had one walk to go with his ten strikeouts. This means that he was getting hit, and getting hit hard.

Ultimately, the M’s will be relying on these two rookies down the stretch, and they will need them to come on strong. If the Mariners can get these two to pitch like that have shown they are capable of, the rotation will be in great shape. If they slip up and fade, this season will be over before Seahawks’ Training Camp even opens. Hopefully, that won’t be the case.

Next: Franklin Gutierrez