Well, the Mariners couldn't quite get a sweep of the Tigers. Though they weren't without opportunities in the game. Despite the loss on Sunday, I still feel like the team is playing vastly better baseball than they were in the first eight games of the season.
“I thought we played a heck of a ballgame, first and foremost,” manager Don Wakmatsu said. “These guys played hard. I didn’t think we gave up all the way to the end.”
Ian Snell wasn't bad, but he wasn't good. But under the circumstances, five innings pitched giving up three runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts was a decent outing.
Snell was sick and he looked it. He was sweating profusely during our interview and that was well after he'd left the game. He was also pretty pale looking and was coughing pretty hard before he spoke with the media. Also Snell missed a few days to back for a funeral for a death in his family. He chose not to disclose any more information about it, but he got a little choked up talking about his week.
“It was (an) emotional week for me,” he said, taking a long pause. “It was a long week for me, and it sucked.
He also wrote the initials of that person in the dirt behind the mound.
Snell's biggest mistake was a changeup he left up enough in the zone for Miguel Cabrera to muscle out a three-run homer to left. One of the longest home runs I've seen at Safeco.
A few thoughts ...
The M's had some baserunning mistakes. And with the way they are offensively, they simply can't afford to make mistakes on the bases and give away baserunners for outs. There's a fine line between being aggressive and being careless. I think Wak is irked by some of the mistakes, and he said they will be worked on.
In the second inning, following his RBI single, Casey Kotchman thought a throw was going to go through and tried to advance an extra base and ended up getting caught in a rundown. Eric Byrnes, who was on third at the time, tried to score at home and ended up plowing over catcher Alex Avila, who hung on for the out. Byrnes figured Kotchman would make it second, and tried to make a play at home.
I see his logic in it. But he should have never been in that situation. That's Kotchman's second base running mistake in the homestand.
In the sixth inning, Ichiro was doubled off on stolen base attempt after Chone Figgins ripped a line drive into right. Ichiro waited to attempt to steal till the 3-2 pitch. It was a one-run game at the time, I really thought he probably should have tried to steal before that. There were counts of 1-0, 1-1 and 2-1 that seemed like decent times to go. I don't know what Max Scherzer's delivery times were to home (I'm not bringing a stop watch to the press box), but he has a relatively high leg kick. Avila is a decent defensive catcher, but can be run on.
The decision to bring Jesus Colome in the eighth inning was somewhat curious. Colome hadn't thrown since April 11th in Texas and Wakamatsu wanted to make sure he and Kanekoa Texeira got some work soon. But to bring him in a one-run game when he hasn't thrown in that long seemed like it was going to be trouble. Let's be fair Colome hasn't always had the best command in his career, he has 4.7 walks per nine inning rating. And of course, he walked the lead-off guy, who later came around to score. Colome just doesn't seem like a good fit for that situation.
Mark Lowe wasn't available for the game, but I figured if you went Texeira for one inning, White for one and Kelley for one and League in the ninth if the game is tied or Aardsma with the lead. You still have Colome for long relief if you go deeper into extra innings.
But it's obvious that Wak is vastly smarter than I am at this. And he also knows the status of his pitchers. So I will trust his decision making. Still, part of the fun of baseball is debating situations and strategy. It's not criticism but just kind of analyzing. I know a few people also didn't like Figgins bunting in the eighth, but I've written enough tonight.
- Austin Jackson had a career-high 3 hits (3x5, R, 3B, RBI) and has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games…extended hitting streak to career-high 6 games (.407/11x27)…leads all Major League rookies with 17 hits and is batting .340.
- Johnny Damon extended his hitting streak to 5 games (.437/7x16, 2 R, 3 BB, 2B, RBI).
- Celebrating his 27th birthday today Miguel Cabrera hit his 3rd home run of the season…has reached base safely in 11 of 12 games this season (26 times total).
- Starter Max Scherzer recorded his first win as a Tiger…tied season-high with 6.0 innings in his first career start against Seattle…has not allowed more than 2 earned runs in any of his 3 starts…in his last 3 road starts dating back to last season is 1-0, 1.37 ERA (3 ER, 19.2 IP) with 11 strikeouts.
- Brandon Inge tied a career-high with 3 walks (6th time, last: 6/9/09 @CWS).
- Chone Figgins recorded his team leading 10th walk in the 1st. He now has 10 walks in the first 13 games.
- With Eric Byrnes double in the 2nd the Mariners now have recorded at least one extra-base hit in all 13 games this season. Dating back to last season (8/31/09) the Mariners have recorded an extra-base hit in 44 consecutive games.
- Casey Kotchman hit his 2nd home run of the season, a solo shot in the 5th inning…also had an RBI single in the 2nd…he now leads the Mariners with 9 RBI…Kotchman now has hits in 7 of his last 8 games with 3 doubles, 2 home runs and 6 RBI.
- Starter Ian Snell suffered the loss, he tossed 5.0 innings while battling the flu…in 4 career starts against Detroit he is now 1-2, 3.97 ERA (10 ER, 22.2 IP)…the only runs allowed came on a 3-run home run by Miguel Cabrera in the 3rd inning…he has not allowed more than 3 earned runs in 10 of his last 12 starts.
- Franklin Gutierrez recorded one hit (2B in 6th inning), giving him 21 hits on the season…tied for most in club history through the first 13 team games of a season (Ichiro in 2005, David Segui in 1998).
- Reliever Sean White tossed a scoreless 7th inning…has not allowed a run at Safeco Field in his last 8 appearances (12.0 IP)…in his career at home is 4-0 with 2.37 ERA (18 ER, 68.1 IP) in 39 appearances.
- Jose Lopez went 0-for-4 to have his 12-game Safeco Field hitting streak snapped.
- During the 3 game series with the Tigers, Safeco Field drew over 100,000 fans (102,065)