Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Half of an inning.  The Mariners scraped across a run in the bottom of the eighth, and they took a 1-0 lead into the ninth, half of an inning away from a sweep.  Instead, the Astros rally for six in the top of the ninth, salvaging the finale of the three-game set.  Seattle ends up with a 5-5 home stand, and two bizarre sweep-busting losses (they also lost a sweep on the 7-5 16 inning loss last Wednesday to the White Sox).  Seattle stands now at 29-38, good enough to be alone in third place in the A.L. West but eleven games back of the new division-leading A’s. Great Starting Pitching.  This series looked more like what Mariners’ fans would be getting when they faced with the Astros.  Houston owned a 4-2 record vs. Seattle coming into this series.  Iwakuma snapped a two-game losing streak on Monday throwing seven innings allowing only an unearned run in a 3-2 victory.  Hisashi dropped his ERA to 1.79, second behind Clay Buchholz, and he owns 0.92 ERA in six starts at Safeco with forty-six strike outs to three walks.  Aaron Harang took the baton from Iwakuma, throwing a complete game shut out in a 4-0 win on Tuesday.  He allowed two hits and struck out ten Astros, outdueling Astro ace Bud Norris.  He has rebounded from a slow start to throw quality starts in three of his last four games, allowing one earned run in twenty-four innings in those quality starts.  Harang (3-6) has two complete game shut outs this season.  Jeremy Bonderman didn’t disappoint in the series finale.  Following up a win over the New York Yankees, Bonderman went eight innings allowing three hits while striking out five. It was another rough night for Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen. Wilhelmsen, who blew his fourth save in his last nine tries Wednesday night, should keep the closer position despite recent struggles. Sweep Avoided.  Tom Wilhelmsen has struggled as of late.  He was unable to protect a 1-0 lead last night, as the Astros rallied for six runs.  Wilhelmsen was charged with five of those runs, allowing three hits and two walks retiring only one batter.  For the Mariner closer, he has blown four saves in his last nine tries.  His ERA has grown from 0.75 to 3.77 with a 19.29 ERA in six outings this month.  Will Eric Wedge make a change?  I think he will stick with Wilhelmsen to make his way out of this rough patch.  It was an ugly loss last night, but he has still been a dominate closer, June notwithstanding.  I think it would be an overreaction to shift the bullpen after some rough outings, and no other Mariner reliever stands out as being ready to take the role. Speaking of the A’s.  The A’s are now in first, and Seattle is going to visit the new division leaders for a three game set starting on Friday.  After a day off, the Mariners will throw Joe Saunders, Felix Hernandez, and Hisashi Iwakuma.  Saunders is 1-1 vs. the A’s this season, Hernandez is 1-0 having beat the A’s Opening Day, and Iwakuma is 2-0 vs. the A’s.  Overall, the three starters have combined to go 4-1 in five starts, a nice advantage to have.  The A’s have won ten in a row at home depending upon today’s result with the Yankees to help catapult the Rangers.  Seattle is 4-3 vs. Oakland; 2-2 in Oakland, but they haven’t played there since the Opening Series of the season.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pete Carroll empathizes with Belichick, Pats in Deflategate

Max Scherzer thanks Tigers with full page newspaper ad

Ray Lewis: Patriots should have asterisk for cheating

Report: Cavs players believed team lacked depth

Richard Sherman calls out Kraft, Goodell over their friendship

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Jennings to miss 6-9 months with Achilles injury

Report: Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: Yankees reject A-Rod's request for apology meeting

Jim Harbaugh has landed three recruits in 24 hours

Report: NFL tried to catch Patriots in the act

John Harbaugh: Bill Belichick is best coach of this century

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Opposing Packers celebrate Pro Bowl TD

WATCH: Sherman, Peterson hug it out at Pro Bowl

WATCH: Chris Berman is not happy at the Pro Bowl

PHOTO: Brock Lesnar's tramp stamp says ‘Kill ‘em All’

WATCH: Hassan Whiteside blocks five shots in 7 minutes

Duke unveils 'K' hats after Coach K's 1,000th victory

Irina Shayk dumped Ronaldo over cheating rumors?

Mike Napoli almost retired because of sleep apnea

WATCH: 'Saturday Night Live' takes on Deflategate

Should Tom Izzo be worried about his Spartans?

Five potentially fatal flaws for Seahawks in the Super Bowl

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Chris Berman isn't happy at the Pro Bowl

Brandon Jennings out 6-9 months

Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: A-Rod's apology meeting request gets rejected

Harbaugh rapidly landing recruits

WATCH: 'SNL' spoofs Deflategate

NFL tried to catch Pats in act?

Bill Nye: Belichick didn't make sense

Is it time for Tom Izzo to worry?

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Seahawks GM: I love Lynch's act

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.