Originally written April 23, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
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The Seattle Mariners were all over ESPN SportsCenter this weekend. Unfortunately, for the baseball team from the Pacific Northwest, it was for all the wrong reasons. Phillip Humber threw a perfect game Saturday highlighting the White Sox’s three-game sweep of the Mariners. After a competitive series against the Indians, the Mariners did not have a lead on the White Sox until Sunday. Seattle was quickly down 6-0 in the second on Friday on route to a 7-3 defeat, and they placed no runners in a 4-0 defeat to Humber. The Mariners fell to a season low three games under .500 at 7-10, a half game ahead of the struggling Angels (6-10).
Good News: Maybe Brendan Ryan didn’t swing, and it’s a massive conspiracy against the Mariners that will spark a “We vs. the World” attitude that will spur Seattle the rest of the season? I know I’m far from impartial, but I don’t think Ryan swung on the 3-2 pitch Humber dealt in the bottom of the ninth. However, you’re not going to get that call on the last pitch of a perfect game. The Mariners rebounded from the perfect game, and they had 4-2 lead on White Sox ace John Danks on Sunday before the White Sox took the lead for good in the sixth inning. Blake Beavan, already having received a 1-0 loss this season, had the misfortune of facing Humber on Saturday. Beavan threw well going 6.0 IP allowing only 7 hits and 3 ER, but fell to 1-2. After not playing in the Cleveland series, Casper Wells showed some life at the plate going 3-for-7 in two starts with a run scored and a base on balls. With the strong series, he raised his season average to .286. Brendan Ryan dominated the Saturday highlights with his check swing on the final pitch of Saturday's game. It was called a strike and sealed a perfect game for Philip Humber in a 4-0 White Sox victory. Bad News: Getting swept by the White Sox was the first sweep that the Mariners have suffered this season. After starting the home stand by taking two of three against Oakland, Seattle went 1-5 against Cleveland and Chicago to end up 3-6 on a nine game home stand. The offense had put up a clunker in every series in the last two weeks, but being on the wrong side of a perfect game is a new low for the Seattle offense. After a hot start in his new spot in lead off, Chone Figgins has slid to .215 including a 1-for-11 series against the White Sox. I mentioned before the weekend about a good start and bad start for both Hector Noesi and Kevin Millwood. They now each have two bad starts. Noesi failed to escape the second on Friday night giving up 6 ER in the 7-3 loss. His ERA for the season ballooned to 9.49. Millwood was sharp against one of the best teams in baseball, the Rangers, but struggled for the second straight start. He lost a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning on Sunday, and his ERA went up to 7.04 on the year.
On the Horizon: Not having any luck in Safeco Field, the Mariners will hit the road. In their first eight road games, Seattle went 4-4. Starting tomorrow night, the Mariners head to Detroit for three games with the Tigers. The preseason favorite to win the A.L. Central, the Tigers hold a half-game lead over the White Sox going into tonight’s games. In the middle of a seven game home stand, the Tigers lost 3 of 4 to the Rangers. The Mariners have two things going for them in this series. One, the Mariners will not face the reigning A.L. Cy Young Justin Verlander. Two, the Mariners are back to the front of their rotation. Jason Vargas (2-1, 2.84) will pitch tomorrow followed by Felix Hernandez (1-1, 2.76) Wednesday night.
PLAYERS: Brendan Ryan
TEAMS: Seattle Mariners
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