As we were all crafting on our game stories (epics in my case), we were informed the Mariners made a series of roster moves. RHP Jesus Colome and RHP Kanekoa Texeira have both been designated for assignment. To take their place, the Mariners recalled RHP Sean White and LHP Garrett Olson from Triple A Tacoma.
White has appeared in four games with the Rainiers, since being optioned on May 19. He has allowed no runs and two hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched.
Olson has split time being starting and relieving. He started the season in the Rainiers rotation, but has moved to the bullpen in the last few weeks. As a starter, he was 1-4 with a 4.08 ERA in six starts. As a reliever, he has posted a 2.38 ERA in 11 1/3 innings pitched with 17 strikeouts and three walks.
Colome is no real loss. He's 32, and is what he is, a hard thrower, who has little command. He's shown that for most of the season, and I'm surprised he's lasted this long. He was 0-1 with a 5.30 ERA in 16 relief appearance. In 17 innings pitched, he'd allowed 15 hits, 10 runs, walked 11, hit one and struck out 16.
And yet, somebody will likely take a chance on him since he throws mid 90s with decent stuff. Can you say KC Royals?
As for Texeira, that's a little more puzzling. He's only 24, and he has had some decent outings. Sure there were moments of inconsistencies, which are expected since he's never pitched in the big leagues before. Obviously Sunday's outing was a debacle. But he showed some ability to get outs, and his sinker and breaking pitch had promise. The problem is that because he's a Rule 5 pick-up, Texeira had to stay on the 25-man roster. He couldn't be sent down to Triple A.
So according to Jeff Evans of the M's media relations, who knows stuff like this ...
Since Texeira was selected by the Mariners in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft from the Yankees. Any team that acquires Texeira, via trade or off of waivers, must keep him on their Major League, 25-man roster for the remainder of the season. If no team claims or acquires Texeira, Seattle must offer him back to the Yankees for $25,000 before the club can outright him to the minors.
Manager Don Wakamatsu applauded his team's effort tonight. The Mariners came back from a 5-0 deficit against one of the best teams in baseball and made a game of it.
“I know it doesn’t mean a whole lot in the win column,” Wakamatsu said. “But watching our club play tonight, you couldn’t tell we just got walked-off on two days in Anaheim. They came out and battled, down 5-1 against a first-place club and battled all the way back.”
If Casey Kotchman's hard hit ball is a foot either way, or a few feet higher, the Mariners tie that game. But instead it was gloved and turned into a game-ending double play.
. But Seattle has been short on breaks for most of this season, and didn’t get one on Monday.
“I guess you could say that’s typical,” Wilson said. “But at the same time, we still believe things are going to start changing, those walk off wins will start going the other way, those balls will start getting through.”
One person you have to commend is starter Doug Fister. He clearly didn't have his best stuff, and it showed, and yet he still gave the M's a chance to win.
In the second inning, he gave up an RBI single to Michael Cuddyer and then hung a curveball to Delmon Young, who crushed it into the visitor’s bullpen for a two-run homer. In the fourth inning, Cuddyer and Jason Kubel hit back to back home runs to push the lead to 5-0. Fister came into the game having allowed two homers all season.
“His velocity was down a little bit,” Wakamatsu said. “You look at a young pitcher that’s gone deep into games as many starts as he has, you’re going to go through a little bit of a dead-arm. I thought he had that.”
Fister is never going to be confused for Felix Hernandez in terms of velocity. But he will usually sit around 89-90 with his fastball. On Monday, his fastball was around 86-87. The fastball to Cuddyer was 84 mph and the fastball to Kubel was 87.
But Fister blamed the poor location not the lack of velocity.
“That’s basically everything that hurt me tonight,” Fister said. “I made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized on it. I just had to refocus.”
And he did a nice job of refocusing. After the fourth inning, Fister retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced, never allowing another run, working 7 2/3 innings allowing five runs on eight hits, while striking out six batters and walking none.
“I thought he competed all night,” Wakamatsu said. “He knew our bullpen was short, he continued to battle and gave us 7 2/3 innings when we didn’t have anybody in the bullpen.”
A lot of pitchers with Fister’s experience, or lack there of, would have probably melted after the fourth-inning eruption. But perhaps Fister’s best attribute is his poise and his ability to “refocus” after getting into trouble.
“Doug is ice cold out there on the mound,” Wilson said. “He never shows any fear. That’s the way he is. He’s not going to give in. Just because he gives up a hard hit ball or a homer, even back to back homers, he’s coming right back at you. He’s mature beyond his years for sure.”
1. The Twins are really good. Their lineup didn't have Orlando Hudson in it, and it had Jason Kubel and Delmon Young batting 7th and 8th. Conversely the Mariners had Josh Wilson and Rob Johnson batting 7th and 8th and their first baseman for the night- Matt Tuiasosopo - batting ninth.
2. For all the purity and smoothness and beauty of Joe Mauer's swing, his teammates Justin Morneau is equally as violent, explosive and scary. Both are quite effective. If they had the MVP vote today, Morneau should win it over A-Rod and Carl Crawford.
3. I don't know how many pitchers would have rebounded from Fister's fourth inning and come back to hold a team scoreless over the next 3 2/3. On the M's? Perhaps Cliff Lee and possibly Jason Vargas, and I'm not sure about Felix.
4. Josh Wilson had three hits and has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games. In 24 games, he is hitting .300 (24-for-80) with four doubles, a homer and 11 RBI. And while I don't think he's a .300 hitter by any means, he's certainly been a nice surprise. Comparatively, Jack Wilson is hitting .253 (19-for-75) with seven doubles and 7 RBI in 26 games.
Jack is supposed to be the better fielder of the two. But I'm not really seeing that much of a difference, at least this season. Jack Wilson has been beat up and is seemingly always one step away from a strained hamstring. The wear and tear seems to be affecting his play. Jack Wilson is getting $5 million this year and $5 next year, while Josh Wilson is getting the major league minimum.
5. If the Twins have any hope of winning in the postseason, it can't involve Jon Rauch as their closer. I'm sorry it just can't.