Mariners Pitching Gives Way After Great Spring Training Start
By Adam Levi
On a day that many Mariners fans would have wished was a dominant showing from the former Kansas City Royals left fielder, Jarrod Dyson -it wasn’t, he went 1-3- the Royals bats stole the show from him and Jean Segura who had his first big day at the plate, pummeling the M’s for a spring most 14 runs in the14-3 loss.
The Mariners got a taste of their own medicine against the Royals this afternoon as they were on the wrong side of a 14-3 beating against the AL Central team.
It took only three innings but the Royals became the 4th team this spring training to score 10 or more runs. They piled up four in the 1st, one in the 2nd, six in the 3rd, and three in the 7th to crush the Mariners in a shortened seven-inning affair.
From the get go, the newly healthy, newly minted M’s starter, Yovani Gallardo, was throwing chaotically, serving up three hits, two walks, one hit by pitch, and one wild pitch. Unfortunately for the Mariners, Gallardo’s poor-pitching bug in his only inning of work was contagious. He would be replaced by Nick Vincent.
It’s not often you say that giving up a solo home run would be a good inning on the mound, but Vincent finished his lone second frame surrendering just one solo long bomb. He was then swapped out by another new Mariners pitcher, Marc Rzepczynski, who would slug through the most miserable inning (in terms of runs) compared to his counterparts.
Sandwiched in between to Eric Hosmer outs, Rzepczynski was battered for two home runs, two singles, and a triple, all of which brought six runs (five earned) across the plate.
Between the three Mariners hurlers, the trio allowed 11 runs (10 earned) on nine hits in three frames
A stark contrast from the two combined games against the San Diego Padres where the pitching staff allowed five runs and 15 hits in 18 innings pitched.
Even more concerning, the brunt of the offensive assault was against two important pieces to the Mariners staff this year.
Gallardo is dueling with another new pitching acquisition, Drew Smyly, for the fourth spot in the rotation, while Rzepczynski will likely play a big middle relief role for starters like Gallardo who aren’t on their A-game; maybe not so much if he continues to throw like he did today through the rest of spring.
This was the first outing for each of these men, and it is still spring ball, so there is more leeway for pitchers still dusting off their shoulders, but more of this type of ball, especially from guys that are expected to play a big part in the Mariners playoff run, puts their projected usage in a some jeopardy.
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It should be noted that there was one more new addition, another possible starting option but definite bullpen role player, Robert Whalen, that also had a rough day. He finished out the 6th and 7th innings giving up four singles and a double which lead to two earned Royals runs.
All of this poor pitching overshadowed Jean Segura’s phenomenal day which included his first home run of the spring, his second double, and a single to cap off a 3-3 afternoon while driving in all three Mariners runs. So far through three spring games, Segura is 4-5 with two doubles, a home run, three runs batted in and two runs scored.
Granted the majority of those numbers came during this duel against the Royals, but it’s exactly the kind of start M’s fans and the organization want to see out of their biggest offseason pickup.
Tomorrow the Mariners continue the spring grind as they will face the Chicago Whitesox at 12:05 PST. The hope will be that the bats (aside from Segura) wake up from their “day off” and the pitching goes back to its stellar self from the opening two games.