The Seattle Mariners would use a 7-run 7th inning to pull away from the Halos en route to a big 8-run victory Wednesday night. 7 different Mariner batters would drive in at least 1 run in the game, including a big grand slam from Ichiro Suzuki in the 7th inning to blow it open. Ken Griffey Jr. would also homer in this one, his 400th home run as a Mariner. The Mariners are firing on all cylinders early, and the Halos still seem to be reeling from the Adenhart tragedy, which is by no means unacceptable.
Jarrod Washburn would get the win for the M’s, moving to 2-0 on the season. Wash would allow 2 runs on 4 hits, while striking out 4 Angel batters.
Jered Weaver would be credited with the loss, pushing his record to an even 1-1. Weaver would allow 4 runs on 10 hits to the Mariners, while only striking out 2 hitters.
The bullpen faltered mightily and sealed the Angels’ fate in this one. Kevin Jepsen (1 1/3 IP) and Jason Bulger (did not record an out) would give up a combined 7 runs on 4 hits, while allowing 3 walks and not striking out a single batter. Game, set and match.
Thoughts on the Game
I will be doing game thoughts instead of a scoring recap from now on… I just felt like replacing the scoring recap.
First of all, whatever happened to that vaunted and feared Angels bullpen? Three Angel relievers have an ERA of over 12! I mean sweet lord, closer Brian Fuentes has an ERA of an even 12, Kevin Jepsen has an ERA of 13.50 and Jason Bulger has an ERA of… gulp… 27.00! Jose Arredondo and Justin Speier’s ERAs are both over 5, and really the only 2 relievers with respectable ERAs are Darren Oliver (2.45) and Scot Shields (1.80). If this Angel team wants to win, this bullpen has to step up. The bullpen was the one constant last year outside of starting pitching for the Halos, and this year, the bullpen can’t seem to do anything right.
On another note, the Angels just can’t seem to score runs… big shocker there right? Story of the past 5 seasons. The Halos are putting up under 4 runs a game through their first 8 games, and coming in to today’s game with the Mariners, scored the 3rd fewest runs in the MLB. Torii Hunter made it back-to-back games with a home run today when he hit a 2-run jack to give the Angels their only lead of the game. Torii and Bobby Abreu are the only two Angel starters with an average over .300. We’re just yet to see any consistency out of the Angel lineup, and they’ve scored more than 5 runs once (6 runs back on April 10 against Boston).
Former Halo Jarrod Washburn sat down the Angels 1-2-3 for the first 4 innings and outside of Miguel Batista (1 earned run with 0 outs recorded), Shawn Kelley and Mark Lowe would give up no runs to the Angels and surrender only 2 hits.
I don’t think the Mariners’ hot start is any fluke. With a healthy 1-2 punch in Felix Hernandez and Erik Bedard (2 strikeout artists), a decent veteran in Jarrod Washburn and an up-and-coming starter/reliever in Brandon Morrow, this team could make some noise as the season wears on.
1- 3B Chone Figgins – 0-4, 0 RBI, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB, 2 LOB
Rough game for the Figmeister. He didn’t get on base once via hit, walk or hit by pitch, and the way the Angels have been hitting lately (or should I say, the way they have not been hitting lately), that’s not going to bode well for the rest of the lineup.
2- 2B Howie Kendrick – 0-4, 0 RBI, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 LOB
Howie was one of 6 Angels with 2 or more at-bats in the game to go hitless. Kendrick, like the man batting before him, couldn’t find a way to reach first base safely, and his average through the first 8 games has dipped to .235. Kendrick helped turn a double play, and has been error-free since his muff in the field on Opening Day.
3- RF Bobby Abreu – 2-4, 0 RBI, 1 2B, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 LOB
Abreu currently holds the highest batting average of all Angels at .333 and has hits in 7 of the 8 games he’s played in this year. The only consistent batter in the Angels lineup so far this year has been Abreu, and he’s currently been worth every penny of his $5,000,000 deal. Now, if only the other hitters can take after his lead….
4- DH Vladimir Guerrero – 1-4, 0 RBI, 1 R, 0 K, 0 BB, 2 LOB
The Big Daddy was able to score 1 run today, coming around to score on Torii Hunter’s 2-run jack in the 5th inning. He was able to muster up 1 hit in 4 plate appearances, but is currently batting .250 with 1 home run and 3 RBI in 8 games. Not your typical Vlad Guerrero numbers to start the season. Give credit to the Seattle staff for keeping Vladdy off balance today, which is a hard thing to do to one of the best free-swingers baseball has ever seen.
5- CF Torii Hunter – 3-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 2B, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 SB, 0 LOB
Torii was undoubtedly the Halos’ game MVP in this one, something that I’ll mention later on. Hunter has hit home runs in both games against Seattle this series, and seems to be one of the only Angels (along with Abreu) to be able to put the fat part of the bat on the ball. Hey Torii, how about you tell your teammates to step up their offensive game so you can drive in more than 2 runs on your 3-hit night? That’d be nice.
6- 1B Robb Quinlan – 0-2, 0 RBI, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 LOB
Quinny got his first action of the year as the starter at 1st base today and didn’t exactly do much with his 2 plate appearances. Robb would get pinch-hit for by Kendry Morales, the normal everyday 1st baseman.
1B Kendry Morales – 0-2, 0 RBI, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB, 2 LOB
Morales, like Quinlan, didn’t do much with his 2 at-bats either. The two would combine to go 0-4 with 2 punchouts on the day. KMo is now hitless in his last 10 at-bats.
7- LF Juan Rivera – 2-4, 1 RBI, 0 R, 1 2B, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 LOB
Rivera finally got back on track today, going 2-4 and lacing his 2nd 2-bagger of the season today against Jarrod Washburn. The Angels’ #7 hitters had gone 0-14 in the last 4 games, and Juan finally was able to break that spell, only to have the Angels get trounced by an 8-spot.
8- C Jeff Mathis – 0-3, 0 RBI, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB, 1 LOB
This was Jeff’s first bad game of the year offensively. Not much you can do when you’re the catcher, and you’re watching a guy like Endy Chavez, a guy who hits 1 home run every 124 at-bats (only hit 1 home run in 133 games with the Mets last year), go yard. And then you watch Ichiro Suzuki (who over his career hits 1 home run about every 18 games) hit a grand slam to win it… what can you do. The bullpen was awful, Weaver was getting knocked around like a pinball ball… what I’m trying to say is, is that it was not a good day for Jeff. Not at all.
9- SS Erick Aybar – 0-4, 0 RBI, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB, 3 LOB
Erick continues to struggle with the bat. Batting .150 (3 for his first 20), Aybar hasn’t been able to get a rhythm going offensively at all. Keep looking for Scioscia to platoon Erick and Maicer in and out until one can prove that he is the clear-cut better shortstop than the other… if that can even happen.
Hunter went 3-4 with a dinger, a 2-bagger, 2 RBI, 2 runs scored and a stolen bag. That’s what you like to call filling the stat sheet and getting it done offensively. The guys in front of Hunter would go 3-for-16, hence limiting Hunter’s potential run-scoring opportunities, but regardless, he made due with what he had (which wasn’t much) and put together his best game of the early season.
Halo of the Game Review and Pick
4/15 Halo of the Game Pick: Vladimir Guerrero
Stat Line: 1-4, 0 RBI, 1 R, 0 K, 0 BB, 2 LOB
Vladdy would get his hit to extend my Halo of the Game hitting streak, but wouldn’t do much else tonight. Vlad has been struggling to find game-to-game hitting consistency so far this season, and I still firmly believe that if and when he can get back in to an everyday outfielder role, his production at the plate will improve dramatically.
Current Halo of the Game Hit Streak: 8
Halo of the Game Season Hitting Statistics
.344 avg. (11-32), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 5 K, 2 BB, 1 SB
Tomorrow’s Halo of the Game Pick: Howie Kendrick
Mariners (7-2): Ryan Rowland-Smith. The Sidney, Australia native will make his 2nd start of the season, after going 3 1/3 innings in his first outing against the Oakland A’s, giving up 2 unearned runs on 4 hits, while walking 4 and striking out 1. If Rowland-Smith can continue the success that the M’s starting rotation has had in the season’s early goings, the lefty may be able to have similar success to what Jarrod Washburn did today.
Angels (3-5): Joe Saunders. One of the Halos’ all-stars last year is currently 1-1 on the season with a 2.63 ERA in his first 2 starts. Considering the way that righties got beat around today (11 runs on 14 hits in 6 1/3 innings), thank God a lefty is getting the start tomorrow. Hopefully Saunders can hold the Mariners to less than 3 runs, otherwise, the way the offense has not been producing, you’ve got to like the Mariners’ chances of taking the series sweep.
Tomorrow’s game against the Mariners is scheduled for 7:10 Pacific time.