Look it was an awkward lineup tonight against the Tigers and four-time all-star Justin Verlander. Was Mariners manager Eric Wedge waving the white flag before the game even started by benching Justin Smoak, Jack Cust and Chone Figgins? Not really. Verlander was that good where it wouldn't have mattered.
I doubt we'll see Smoak sit many more times in the coming months. It looks like Wedge is going to give guys like Carp, Halman and Peguero opportunities to prove themselves or fall on their faces. You can't really be upset about that, especially when you look at what you are getting from other players.
Ichiro went 0-for-4 tonight, he is now hitless in his last 13 at-bats. He has just three hits in his last 34 at-bats. People are screaming for him to have to sit a game. I'm not sure that will be tomorrow. Maybe if he struggles tomorrow Wedge will sit him on Saturday.
But to me, tonight was more about Verlander being pretty damn tough. Others can disagree, and I respect that. Was it easier for him to be dominant because of the lineup the Mariners rolled out there? Perhaps. Yet, it's not like we haven't seen him dominate teams like this before.
Here's what Brendan Ryan, who had two of the five hits, Verlander allowed had to say.
“It’s not fun,” Ryan said. “It’s not fun at all. He’s throwing the kitchen sink at you and his fastball is 98 (mph). You are facing closer’s stuff with a pitch or two extra and he’s throwing all of them and he’s throwing all of them well.
It’s not an easy job. You just pray you don’t foul off the one ball you get."In the search for positives and interesting moments in a fairly one-side loss:
1. Greg Halman had a nice single and showed that he can make some things happen on the bases.
2. Mike Carp worked a walk off of Verlander and Jose Valverde.
3. Ryan had a pretty nice hustle play in the first inning where he noticed that no one was covering second base after his bouncing ball was gloved by shortstop Jhonny Peralta and second baseman Ryan Raburn was kind of standing there looking lost.
4. We got to see catcher Alex Avila hit two triples tonight. Only two other Tiger catchers - Brad Ausmus and Lance Parrish - have done it for the Tigers. And according to the estimable Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing, only 74 catchers have done it in baseball history. No catcher has ever hit three in a game.
5. Miguel Olivo struck out four times in one game and gets the golden sombrero. It's always interesting to see that. The last Mariner to strike out four times in a game was Jack Cust here at Comerica.