Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Those Pesky Orioles

May 30:  Mariners vs. Orioles  (Fister v. Arrieta)

So, I don't know what it is about the Orioles but they always seem to come back late in the game.  That has been the story so far this season and they won...except for this game.  The M's jumped out to an early lead against the orange birds and held a 4-1 lead until the 8th inning when the Orioles scored 2 runs.  This put me on the edge of my seat for the rest of the game and with Brandon League coming in to close the game became a nail biter.  Luckily League's outing this time wasn't like the last series against the Orioles...he actually saved the game!  Something interesting to note was that Brendan Ryan was moved up in the lineup from 9th to 2nd.  In exchange the slumping Chone Figgins was placed at the bottom of the lineup.  So, my wish for there to be more production at the top of the lineup came true but the production stopped at the bottom of the lineup.  Jack Cust was able to leg out an RBI triple and Brendan Ryan continued his hot streak and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.  There are many good things going for the M's right now and I hope that they can keep it going.  And that is why I am Sleepless Over Seattle.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Unexpected and Expected Circumstances

May 28-29:  Mariners vs. Yankees (Hernandez v. Nova) (Vargas v. Sabathia)

So let's start with the unexpected circumstance.  A 12 inning game that results in a Mariner win against one of the best hitting teams in baseball.  It was sickening to see the homeruns given up by King Felix to Mark Texeira and Robinson Cano.  What was amazing was that the Mariners were able to come back from a 3-1 deficit and take the lead 4-3 on hits from Olivo and Ryan.  What really sucks is that the Yankees can comeback at any moment.  Take the seventh inning for example.  After Justin Smoak booted a grounder to let Jeter on base Curtis Granderson hits a game tying triple. Those damn Yankees!  So the game went on for five more innings until the M's loaded the bases in the bottom of the 12th and scored on a bloop single by Adam Kennedy to win the game. 

Now for the expected circumstance.  I can honestly say that with the M's sending Jason Vargas to the mound against CC Sabathia that I didn't expect the M's to win.  I can remember a game last year when the M's were at Yankee stadium in the same situation.  Jason Vargas loaded the bases for Robinson Cano who then hit a grandslam.  Needless to say I stopped watching at that point.  It was kind of the same story with Sunday's game.  Vargas didn't load the bases but he threw a fastball down the middle of the plate to Nick Swisher who then hit a homer to left field.  What was amazing about the whole series is that the M's were able to take 2 out 3 to win the series against the Bronx Bombers.  There was tons of hitting and run support from the bottom of the lineup which is unusual because the top of the lineup was on fire last week.  It seems things have changed.  Ichiro went 1-14 in the series, the number 2 spot combined for 0-11, and Justin Smoak went 2-12.  The M's need hitting and run support from everyone in the lineup.  It's good to see that Ryan, Olivo and Kennedy are on fire but in order for the M's to contend this year they need hits from everyong in the lineup.  And that is why I am Sleepless Over Seattle.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

0-8 With Runners in Scoring Position

May 27th:  Mariners vs. Yankees  (Pineda v. Burnett)

So how can a team go 0-8 with runners in scoring position and still wind up winning the game?  Ask the Mariners because they certainly know how to do it.  All four of the M's runs verse the Yankees came from ground outs.  Not only that but they were still able to pull out a win.  How crazy is that?  Ichiro had the only extra base hit for the M's with a double off AJ Burnett, other than that 5 singles were scattered by the Seattle hitters.  Micheal Pineda had his first outting against the Bronx Bombers and he learned the hard way that you don't pitch in to Mark Texeira.  The Yankee first baseman officially welcomed Pineda to the big leagues with a monster blast in the first inning to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.  They later scored 2 more runs to have a 3-0 lead.  But the M's would prevail scoring 2 runs bottom of the 6th inning with an RBI groundout by Luis Rodriguez and Brendan Ryan.  They scored two more the same way in the bottom of the seventh inning and from there the fabulous Mariner pitching staff took over.  Pauley, Wright and League combined for 4 scoreless innings giving up just 2 hits.  Brandon League had a 1-2-3 ninth to give him his 13th save on the season.  I was so pumped that the M's were able to pull this out and this game made me Sleepless Over Seattle.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guti and the beast

May 25th:  Mariners @ Twins  (Bedard v. Duensing)

There's a drive to deep left-center field and it's gone!  A homerun by Franklin Gutierrez!  His first homer of the season was a monster of a shot.  The rest of the M's hitting wasn't all that great but Brendan Ryan continued his hot streak going 2-3 with a triple and an RBI.  Adam Kennedy also had an RBI double and that is what won for the M's were those 3 runs.  By-the-way, those were the only Mariner's batters to get hits yesterday.  Erik Bedard threw 6 stellar innings scattering 6 singles and giving up no runs to give him a 14 inning scoreless streak.  He struck out 4 in the process of obtaining his third win on the season and walked only one batter.  The Mariner bullpen continued to dominate opposing batters.  David Pauley went 2 scoreless innings giving up just one hit and dropping his ERA under 1 at .95.  Brandon League was able to close it out in the 9th to give the Mariners their 24th win of the season.  They are just one win shy of .500, so hopefull they can ride this momentum back to Seattle where they will welcome the Bronx Bombers to town.  And that is why I am Sleepless Over Seattle.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The M's get Blackburned

May 24th:  Mariners @ Twins  (Fister v. Blackburn)

Well, this goes to show that you can't win'em all.  The Mariners were one game shy of .500 before they came up against Mr. Blackburn and the Twins.  Brendan Ryan went 3-3 ultimately increasing my confidence in his plate appearances.  Miguel Olivo sparkled again for the M's going 2-4 with a double and a homerun off Blackburn.  His homer provided the only 2 Mariner runs against Blackburn who apparently has been having an excellent month.  Brendan Ryan went 3-3 ultimately increasing my confidence in his plate appearances.  He was able to keep the M's to only 2 runs over 9 innings of work striking out six.  I think the big disappointment of the game came when Doug Fister balked in a run and gave up an RBI single to Denard Span.  Doug Fister has never really been my favorite strater of the Mariners although he has had a pretty good run recently.  Him and Erik Bedard are the two pitchers on the M's pitching staff that have more losses than wins.  I hope that Bedard can come to form against the Twins in today's game since he is going up against Francisco Liriano.  Hopefully, this rubber match will turn the way of the M's this time since last time it went to the Twins.  And that is why I am Sleepless Over Seattle.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Nail Biter

Holy cow, what a game!  When I stopped watching the game in the bottom of the sixth inning the Twins were ahead 5-4.  I wake up the next day to find out that the M's won 8-7.  Amazing!!!  Jason Vargas had a kind of hard outing against the Twinkies giving up 5 runs over 4 2/3 innings of work.  2 of the runs came off the batt of Jim Thome who launched a monster homerun over the right field wall.  He went on to hit another laser beam shot later in the game.  It seemed all but hopeless but the Mariners were able to scratch by on Luis Rodriguez's sac fly in the top of the 10th.  These types of games always have me on the edge of my seat and leave me with no finger nails.  It's good to see that the M's are hitting the ball well against good pitching.  They were able to score 4 runs including a homer from Mr. Cust.  That was Jack's first homer in a Mariner uniform.  Welcome to the club!  The M's cease to amaze me when they can come back from a 3-run deficit and take the game in extra innings.  And that is why I am Sleepless Over Seattle.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The M's Phenominal Pitching

May 21st and 22nd:  Mariners @ Padres (Pineda v. Richard) (Hernandez v. Stauffer)

Alright, so I missed my posting on Saturday so I will post for both Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday's game featured the hard-throwing right hander Michael Pineda in which he went 7 innings striking out 9 and keeping the Padres at bay with only 2 hits.  The Mariner's batts were on fire as well, particularly the bottom of the lineup.  Franklin Gutierrez got his first hit of the season and scored a run.  Rookie Mike Wilson had two hits including a double and 2 RBIs and Jack Wilson recorded a couple of hits and an RBI. 

Sunday's game was amazing with King Felix matching his career high of 13 K's.  He was able to scatter 6 hits over 8 innings having only 1 run scored on him.  He was in complete control over the Padres Sunday.  Miguel Olivo, Carlos Peguero, and Brendan Ryan were the heroes at the plate going 7-14 with 2 doubles and 4 RBIs.  The bottom of the lineup certainly shined during this series and it is good to see that they are giving their pitchers the run support that they need.

Overall, this series against the Padres was amazing.  The M's swept the Padres beating them overall 14-2.  They out-hit them 32-14 and out-pitched them in many ways.  The M's starting pitching staff this weekend (Bedard, Pineda, Hernandez) recorded 31 strikeouts and their relievers were also amazing.  This is the kind of series that makes any Mariners fan extremely happy.  It is good to see them winning and leaves me wanting more.  That is why I am Sleepless over Seattle.