Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/18/13
The Seattle Mariners ended the first half of the season on a high point, earning their first series sweep of the season.  Overall, July has been a very good month for the Mariners going 8-5 against Texas, Cincinnati, Boston, and the Angels.  Texas, Cincinnati, and Boston would all be in the playoffs if the season ended today.  The schedule gets kinder starting the second half with a trip to last-place Houston followed by another home stand, this time against the Indians and Twins.  Are the Mariners going to have a second half surge? Offense.  Seattle went 8-5 because the young bats are finally producing to the level that Mariners’ fans thought they would be seeing all season.  Kyle Seager has gotten a hit in every Mariner game in July, riding 14 game hit streak into Houston tomorrow.  Seager is batting .293 on the season, a blistering .458 for July.  If you throw out the Reds series, Justin Smoak has been almost as hot as Seager, getting a hit in nine out of ten July games.  Smoak is now batting .272, forty-one points above his career average and fifty-five points above his 2012 average (.217).  Hitting must be contagious because Michael Saunders also got a hit in every game of the recent seven game home stand.  Saunders drove in seven in seven game, and he raised his average from .207 to .225.  Combined with the RBI prowess that has been shown from Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales, a surging offense has led to an 8-5 July and could mean a strong second half for Seattle. The Seattle Mariners ended the first half strong, and one of the contributors was Kyle Seager, who had a hit in every Mariner game in July. He rides a 14 game hitting streak into Houston. Starting Rotation.  Felix Hernandez has snuck into Cy Young talk, being mentioned as right behind the Tigers Max Scherzer.  He leads the Mariners in wins, ERA, and strikeouts, and Mariners fans know they can count on him for a strong second half.  The rest of the rotation has been streaky.  Joe Saunders has a hot hand winning his last three starts, including two road starts in Cincinnati and Texas, but finished the first half 8-8 with a 4.24 ERA.  Hisashi Iwakuma made the All-Star team, but he finished the first half icy going 1-3 in his last six starts.  The Mariners are hoping his first-half finisher, a win over the Angels, will mean a strong second half.  Aaron Harang showed some first-half highlights, throwing two complete game shut outs, but he went 4-8 with a 5.38 ERA.  And, the fifth spot has been a revolving door that looks to now be going to Erasmo Ramirez, who was hammered in his first start by Boston.  For a second half surge, there needs to be more stability behind Felix. Bullpen.  Tom Wilhelmsen is back in the closer’s role, having converted 19 saves in the first half for Seattle.  Oliver Perez, Yoervis Medina, and Charlie Furbush have all done great jobs setting-up or covering the closer’s role when Wedge went with a closer by committee.  Outside of those four, though, the Mariners’ bullpen hasn’t been reliable.  With the extra innings the starters usually go, maybe four will be enough.  But the rest of the relievers, Lucas Luetge, Blake Beavan, Carter Capps, and Danny Farquhar, have ERAs over 6.00.  From what we saw in the first half, you can only count on about two innings out of the bullpen.  For a second half surge, I would like to see more reliability out of the bullpen to pick up a starter who is having a down night.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adrian Peterson accused of fathering another child out of wedlock

Robert Griffin III liked fan’s Instagram post trashing Redskins

Report: Tom Brady may have been ‘open’ to one-game suspension

Fenway Park staff reportedly confiscating Don Orsillo signs

Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer betting on himself

Titans' Marcus Mariota: ‘Statistics don’t matter to me’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

FSU names Everett Golson starting QB for 2015

UCLA's Adams arrested for suspicion of felony robbery

AJ Green heading for contract stalemate with Bengals?

Report: NFL offered to cut Brady suspension to 3 games

Report: Tristan Thompson won’t take below max from Cavs

Most surprising developments from 2015 NFL preseason

Herschel Walker supports Trump’s candidacy for president

WATCH: Kevin Kiermaier robs Manny Machado home run shot

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Caroline Wozniacki smoking on cover of ‘Rhapsody’ magazine

Could Robert Griffin III be the NFL’s next Steve Young?

Spurrier: SEC fans right to be upset with Ohio State's schedule

Report: 'Deranged' fan shot outside WWE building

Report: Brady convinced Harbaugh to return to Michigan

Ronda Rousey gets Venice mural from artist Jonas Never

Redskins TE wants to know who's leaking stories to ESPN

WWE superstar's girlfriend fired over Nazi Instagram posts

Madison Bumgarner has once again put Giants on his back

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

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker