Wednesday, April 20, 2011

MARINERS: M's lose series to Tigers, but show good signs

I'm baaaaack! But really, after a short break, I'm back writing about the Mariners.

Game 1:  As Nathan said in his season preview, the 2011 bullpen for the Mariners is well…horrendous.  The game was going along at a good pace for a while, Jason Vargas pitched 6 effective innings (2 ER, 4K), Milton Bradley added a 2 run jack, and the M’s were tied with Detroit heading into the top of the (not so lucky) 7th inning.  Unfortunately for us, Cliff Lee is no longer here to pitch complete games, so a bullpen is a necessity.

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To keep it short and simple:  the baseball was given to Josh Lueke (15.19 ERA), then to Chris Ray (16.88 ERA). Usually when these two men pitch in the same night, something bad happens. And that's just what hapened, as the Tigers scored 6 runs in the inning to take an 8-3 lead, capped by Johnny Peralta’s 3 run triple.  Ray had major problems finding the strike zone, Lueke was erratic, and the bullpen implosion was completed.  Justin Smoak added a solo shot to left in the 8th inning, but the damage was already done and the Mariners lost 8-3 in front of 12,774 fans.

Tigers, 8-3

Player of the Game- Milton Bradley: 1 run scored, 2 hits, 2 RBI, 2 walks

Game 2:  After losing the 1st series game, the Mariners poured 13 runs on the Motor City Kitties, walked a staggering 11 times, smacked 15 hits, and won 13-3.  The M’s thoroughly dismantled the Tigers pitching staff.  Starter Phil Coke lasted just 3.2 innings and allowed 6 runs (2 earned, but he committed the error), and the M’s destroyed the Tiger bullpen for 7 runs.

They scored 4 runs in the 1st inning off a bases loaded walk, an RBI groundout, and a 2 run single by superutilityman Chris Gimenez (who filled in with Smoak off the roster).  The good times continued in the 5th, where Chone Figgins smacked 1 of his 3 hits for an RBI single (he’s aliivvee!!!!), and Milton Bradley added an RBI groundout. The Mariners continued to tack on runs, finishing with 13.

Everybody in the batting lineup contributed with either an RBI or run, and the pitching was exemplary.  Doug Fister pitched 6.1 strong innings (5 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, career high 7 strikeouts), and Jamey Wright got out of a bases loaded jam in the 7th inning with one pitch; which resulted in an inning ending double play.  Wright has not yet allowed a run this year.

Aaron Laffey made for sure the game was won, striking out 3 batters in 2 innings to end the game.  Oh, one more tidbit.  With Justin Smoak on the bereavement list, the M’s called up prospect Carlos Peguero from Tacoma, who made his Major League debut relieving Ichiro in right field in the top of the 9th.  

Mariners, 13-3.

Players of the Game- Ichiro: 4 hits, 2 RBI, 3 runs scored, 1 walk, 2 stolen bases
​​​Fister:  6.1 innings pitched, 2 earned runs, 7 strikeouts

Game 3:  Alas, after scoring 13 runs the previous day, the Mariners could only score two runs today losing the rubber game to Detroit 3-2.  The first win of the year eluded Erik Bedard once again (5 innings pitched, 3 earned runs, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts), as Ryan Raburn gave the Kittens an early lead with a solo shot in the top of the 1st.  

David Pauley did an outstanding job in relief of Bedard (4 innings pitched, 1 hit, 1 strikeout), but it wasn’t enough and Detroit won this series 2 games to 1.  Adam Kennedy belted a solo shot, and Ichiro had an RBI single.  Carlos Peguero had a rough debut at the plate (0-4 3K).
Players of the Game- David Pauley: 4 innings pitched, 1 hit, 1 strikeout
​​​Adam Kennedy: 2 hits, solo homer

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