Mariners Escape Eighth Inning, Take Win
The Headline: despite an up and down game, the Seattle Mariners keep it together and start the week on the right foot.
Seattle Mariners 8, LA Angels 6
When: 10:05 ET, Monday, June 4, 2012
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, LA
Umpires: Home — Tony Randazzo, 1B — Brian Gorman, 2B — Todd Tichenor, 3B — Larry Vanover
1. Young Bats Gelling in New Lineup
The new lineup has looked really strong, with the Mariners scoring 24 runs over their last four of those games.
In the middle of all that run scoring has been Kyle Seager and Justin Smoak, while Michael Saunders has quietly solidified the bottom.
All three of those players had strong games Monday night. Seager and Smoak were a combined 2-7 in the middle, but they had 3 walks and 2 runs scored while Seager had a home run.
Saunders, batting eighth, was 1-3 with 2 walks, 1 run and 1 RBI.
2. Brandon League
Demoted from the closer role after an abysmal ninth, Brandon League has been putting his horrible month behind him. Since his last blown save, League’s sporting a 2.09 ERA and 5.00 K/BB ratio.
The reliever kept the good appearances rolling with 1.1 innings of scoreless ball last night.
3a. Guti Rehabbing
Right now Michael Saunders is playing center field for the Seattle Mariners. Not a great position for the kid. Never fear, Franklin Gutierrez is here.
The fleet footed center fielder has been on the DL since the start of the season, first dealing with a torn pectoral muscle and then plantar fasciitis.
Guti started his AAA rehab over the weekend.
Looking healthy, it should be just a matter of time until the Mariner’s defense get some much needed relief.
3b. Mike Zunino
The Mariners made a great pick in the draft last night, taking Mike Zunino (No. 3 overall) in the 2012 amateur draft. Zunino, a catcher from Florida, has amazing offensive tools and a strong defensive foundation.
With their first pick, there stood a myriad of pitchers knocking on Seattle’s door.
However, with such a great crop of pitchers already in the farm Seattle made the right pick with Zunino.
1. Scary Eighth
Shawn Kelley and the Mariner defense survived a frightening eighth that almost cost Seattle the win.
Munenori Kawasaki hit a HUGE three-run double in the fifth to pad the M's lead.
Kelley kicked the inning off with a Howie Kendrick strikeout. However, the pitch came in wild and Kendrick was able to advance to first. Erick Aybar then took a walk with John Hester loading the bases on an infield single.
One sac fly and double later and the score was suddenly a lot closer at 8-6.
Heading to his closer, Eric Wedge put in Tom Wilhelmsen. The damage was controlled and Seattle closed the inning still holding their lead.
2. Unsettled Vargas
After three quality starts in a row, Jason Vargas finally cracked.
The Mariners starter was lackluster, needing 106 pitches to get through 5.2 innings. Vargas finished the game with 8 Ks, but he was touched up for 4 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks.
3. Top of the Order Lagging
With the way the leadoff hitters played, the Mariners were lucky to score 8 runs. They had no table setting with the lineup tonight.
While Seager and Smoak were holding together the three and four spots, Ichiro Suzuki and Dustin Ackley were messy in the one-two spots.
The two of them were a combined 0-9 at the plate with 1 walk and 1 strikeout a piece, leaving 5 total men on base.
Here’s the BOXSCORE | and Our Editor “Q” has his RECAP
Seattle has scored 55 runs in its last six games, a streak that began with a 21-run splurge against the Texas Rangers. Scioscia is just the eighth person to manage 2,000 games with one team.
Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak was named American League Player of the Week after having three homers and eight RBIs in six games.
Angels catcher Bobby Wilson left in the second inning after taking a foul tip in the mask.
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© Jonathan Irwin for North West Sports Beat, 2012. |
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