Found August 18, 2012 on Sports Blog Net:
First and foremost enjoy this picture of Mariners mascot  SS Munenori Kawasaki #Felixing before Friday's contest. [caption id="attachment_113" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Munenori Kawasaki #Felixing before Friday's game vs Minnesota Munenori Kawasaki #Felixing before Friday's game vs Minnesota[/caption] No Perfecto today but there was some really good baseball throughout the different levels of the Mariners Universe today. To the tabs![tab:Mariners] Statistically I believe Seattle's game vs. Minnesota on Friday was the easiest game of the year to claim Mariners victory prior to the contest. Not only are the Twins the owner of the AL's worst record but Nick Blackburn has to be throwing one of the most awful MLB campaigns to round out an awful MLB career (let's hope).

Player (Career #’s)







Nick Blackburn







Nick Blackburn's 2012 line reads as follows: .340/.374/.584/.959 with a 7.39 ERA. For comparison, MVP Candidate, Mike Trout is hitting .339/.402/.594/.997. Every Major League player gets the chance to look like an MVP for at least one day when Blackburn takes the mound. John Jaso hit a line-drive HR in the 1st to put the Mariners up 2-0 scoring Saunders who singled earlier in the inning. Miguel Olivo, who is now 13-25 (.520) lifetime against Blackburn, added a solo HR of his own in the 2nd inning to make it 3-0. The Mariners never trailed in this outing taking the contest by the score of 5-3. Matt Carson singled in Justin Morneau in the 5th inning as the Twins got their only run, un-earned, off starter Felix Hernandez  Hisashi Iwakuma.
  • Iwakuma's line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 6 K.
Iwakuma had big shoes to fill as King Felix took over King County following his perfect game on Wednesday. Iwakuma was up to the task with a simple explanation for the success. "I saw him pitch and it was very awesome," Iwakuma said through interpreter Daisuke Sekiba. "So today I tried to do like him when I pitched." I think Iwakuma should take up trying to pitch like Felix Hernandez more often, say every start. Eric Thames followed a Trayvon Robinson 2B with one of his own and a few batters later Ackley singled in Thames as each added an RBI a piece in the 6th inning to make it 5-1. Stephen Pryor allowed back-to-back HRs to Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham in the 8th in relief of Iwakuma. Luetge and Wilhelmsen, picking up his 17th save of 2012, shut the door on Minnesota. Pryor had not allowed a run since making his MLB debut on June 2 against the Chicago White Sox. Trayvon Robinson, Eric Thames, Miguel Olvio, and John Jaso posted multi-hit performances recording 2 hits. All 4 multi-hit games came against Minnesota punching bag Nick Blackburn. Tweet @Mariners to congratulate the team on their recent success. [tab:Rainiers] Andrew Carraway may have cemented my thoughts on DJ Mitchell being a September, or sooner, rotation addition for Seattle with his outing on Friday. Carraway, having a strong season between Jackson and Tacoma, allowed 5 runs lasting just 1 inning as the Rainiers fell to the Sounds; 2-7.
  • Carraway's line: 1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 2K and 2 HRs allowed.
Ex-Mariners big leaguer David Pauley threw 56 pitches in relief of Carraway allowing 1 run over 4 innings. Pauley struck out 3 but allowed 9 baserunners including 7 hits over his 4 innings. Steven Hensley and Chance Ruffin allowed 1 run over the final 3 innings as Tacoma's bullpen allowed just the 2 runs over 8 innings of work. Chance Ruffin, a favorite of the ball club to make the jump back to the Major Leagues this season, has been nothing short of a wreck in the Pacific Coast League this season. There has been a silver lining however these past few months:
  • Prior to June 23rd: 9.74 ERA with 26 BBs and 20 Ks. That is a K/BB ratio of 0.76.
  • Since June 23rd: 2.66 ERA with 5 BBs and 16 Ks (K/BB ratio of 3.2)
Rainiers manager Daren Brown did not signal towards any kind of mechanical fixtures for Ruffin's recent improvement: “The last couple of times out have been steps in the right direction,” Brown said. “He’s had some success and started to get some confidence. Right now, he expects good things to happen every time he goes on the mound, and that’s the kind of mindset you need to have.” Whatever it is let's hope he keeps doing it; if not for anything else but to try to take some Doug Fister sting away. Possibly more shocking than Ruffin's recent improvement is that the Rainiers turned two double plays and committed no errors in today's performance. The Rainiers lead the PCL at 127 errors on the season. Nick Franklin and Luis Antonio Jimenez each added an RBI for Tacoma in the 8th inning while Alex Liddi added the only multi-hit performance. Carlos Triunfel added a hit; hitting safely in 15 of his last 17 games with an 8 game hitting-streak. Tweet @RainiersLand to send Tacoma fielding tips. [tab:Generals] Rich Poythress put the Generals on his back and carried them to a 13 inning walk-off in a wild win over Mississippi on Friday; 7-6. Steve Garrison took the ball for Jackson and struggled from the beginning allowing two runs to score in the first inning on an Evan Gattis double.
  • Garrison's line: 5 IP, 5 H, 6 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, and 2 HRs allowed.
Jackson's bullpen was stellar in this outing allowing no runs over 8 innings of work striking out 9. Mariners trade-deadline addition, Logan Bawcom, threw 2 innings of 3 strikeout baseball. Poythress delivered the game winning single with two outs in the 13th scoring Nate Tenbrink who reached base earlier in the inning of a HBP. Denny Almonte, mired in a slump, added 2 hits as did Mariners call-up candidate Stefen Romero. Brad Miller with 4 hits in 7 at bats, would generally be the hero of the game, except on this night. Rich Poythress went 5-7 from the plate with a 2B, 3B, R, and 4 RBIs. The multi-hit performance for Poythress was his 5th in his last 12 games. Yesterday I pointed out that Poythress, out of current Mariner's prospects, must be considered for the Mariners 1B job in 2013 if among other things Smoak cannot iron his swing out as he makes his return to Seattle. Mike Zunino sat for Jackson after going 3-3 in yesterday's contest. I am closely watching what the Mariners plan to do with Sucre and Zunino being on the same roster after Sucre has recorded a solid season in Jackson and deserves to continue accruing playing time. Tweet @jacksongenerals to congratulate Rich Poythress and Brad Miller on a 9-14 performance from the two. [tab:Mavericks] The high-powered Cal League produced another slugfest on Friday as the Mavericks clipped the Bakersfield Blaze 11-10. Both teams put 17 men on base combining for 21 runs and 31 hits. The game only stayed close because the Mavericks allowed 6 unearned runs including 4 of those runs coming in the first inning. Cameron Hobson, starting for the Mavericks, picked up the win despite the early deficit moving to 8-3 on the season with High Desert. Carson Smith picked up his 15th save of the year with the Mavericks; ranking among the top-3 closers in the league in a handful of categories. 7 High Desert players recorded multi-hit games, which is something we are used to by now, as Mario Martinez and James Jones went yard in the 2nd and 3rd innings. Leon Landry picked up his 34th 2B of the season to lead the CAL league by 1 over Lake Elsinore's Tommy Medica and fellow farmhand Brad Miller. Mickey Wiswall went 2-3 from the dish raising his average in the past 15 games to .351 with 19 hits. Dennis Raben led the hit parade going 3-3 from the plate with 3 runs scored adding 2 2Bs. Raben, who is a former 2nd round pick from Miami University, has overcome some serious injuries to continue playing the game he loves. Carlton Tanabe and  Carlos Ramirez round out the multi-hit games from High Desert. Julio Morban, hitting .321 for High Desert, was the only Maverick not to record a base hit. Tweet @HDMavs to tell these kids to finish strong! [tab:Lumberkings] Clinton and Kane County have put on some good starting performances so far in 2012 and this was no different on Friday as the Lumberkings and Cougars waiting until extra innings to put any runs on the board in a 2-1 final score. On a night where the starter, Mayckol Guaipe, went 6.1 innings allowing no runs you would think that would be the pitcher I went digging for stats on post-game. But that was not the case for tonight's game. Guaipe has pitched his way to a 3.38 ERA on the season picking up the no decision in tonight's game. The win went to Matt Brazis, a 28th round selection in 2012 for the Seattle Mariners, has been as impressive as fellow 2012 draftee Tyler Pike: Splitting time between Pulaski and Clinton Brazis has put up a 0.86 ERA with 43 Ks to 2 BBs. That is an astounding 21.5 K/BB ratio. The most impressive of the peripheral numbers to me is that Brazis owns a 0.381 WHIP on the season with 18.4 K/9IP. I would love to see Brazis get the call to Jackson or High Desert and see what he can do in some unfriendly ballparks against more polished hitters. Brazis struck out 7 in 3.1 innings on Friday allowing the only run of the game on a 10th inning HR from Justin Trapp. Guillermo Pimentel and Anthony Phillips hit back-to-back RBI singles in the 10th inning with Phillips picking up the eventual game winner. Clinton only managed 4 hits on Friday Tweet @LumberKings to congratulate Pimentel and Phillips on their clutch singles. [tab:AquaSox] Not many positives to report from the AquaSox 14-3 loss to Vancouver on Friday. Scott DeCecco allowed 9 ERs over 3.1 innings to set the tone for Everett in the blowout defeat as six Canadians recorded an RBI with 5 players registering multiple RBIs. Mark Bordonaro and Brandon Plotz out of the bullpen were not able to stop the bleeding allowing 5 runs (4 ER) over 4.2 innings. Everett was able to record 10 base hits in the loss with McGruder, Ard, and Zamarripa getting 2 hits a piece. Morales, Marte, and McGruder picked up the RBIs for Everett. Tweet @EverettAquaSox to root Everett on in tomorrow's contest. [tab:Rookie] Pulaski started their 3-day 5 game series with Bristol on Friday winning both contests. Pulaski won the first game, started by Blake Holovach by the score of 4-3. Holovach's line: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K. Holovach has a 3.51 ERA on the season in his first year with the organization. Holovach was a 27th round draft pick from the University of Missouri at Columbia. Jordy Lara hit his 5th HR of the year in the 1st inning going 1-3 with a run scored and 2 RBIs. Bryan Brito and Jabari Henry added the only extra base hits of the game with two triples. Ivy Leaguer Dario Pizzano snapped his hitting streak at 15 games in the first contest of this double-header. Pulaski took the second contest by the score of 6-5. Min-Sih Chen took the start for Pulaski in the second game allowing 5 runs (3 ER) over 2.2 innings with 7 base runners. Nolan Diaz, former Venezuelan Summer League player, struck out 6 in 4 innings pitched allowing just 2 hits. Diaz, a career 4.61 pitcher in the minors, has posted a 3.18 ERA at Pulaski. 7 Pulaski hitters recorded a base knock in the game with Jabari Henry picking up his 2nd triple of the day. With his two triples Henry moves into a tie for third place in the Appy League with 3 on the season. Jordy Lara picked up his 2nd HR of the day; his 6th of the year. Lara moves into a tie for 7th place with his 6th HR today. The names in front of him (Bubba Starling, Felix Marte, Max Kepler-Rozycki) are impressive. Pizzano, whose hit streak ended in the first contest, picked up an RBI in the second game going 1-3 with a run scored. The AZL Mariners had the day off for traveling. Tweet @PulaskiMariners to wish Pulaski luck in their 2nd straight day of double headers on Saturday.

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