Mariners Update – July 3 (Goldsmith Edition)
Mariners radio broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith checks in with a notes-filled update from Arlington, Texas after last night’s 9-2 win over the Rangers…
Tuesday night started a six-game road trip against two clubs that were a combined 25 games over .500, while the Mariners, at 35-47, were 12 games behind the break-even mark. Add to that a recent series loss to the hapless Cubs, a Rangers team that had won 10 of its last 13, and a Mariners starting pitcher with the most regular season losses in Rangers Ballpark history without a victory (0-7, 9.91 ERA).
The Mariners threw all of that to the Texas wind and thumped the first-place Rangers 9-2 in front of a crowd of nearly 40,000. It marked the most runs the M’s had scored in Arlington since a 21-8 thumping on May 30, 2012 and the first win in Texas in 2013.
- With his first-inning home run, Raul Ibanez became the first player dating back to 1916 to record 20 home runs before the All-Star break in an age 40-or-older season. He now has the 6th most homers in MLB history in a 41-or-older season, passing Stan Musial. With 21 home runs, Dave Winfield is next on the list.
- After back-to-back blasts from Ibanez and Kendrys Morales Tuesday night, the Mariners have gone back-to-back five times this season. Ibanez has clubbed the first homer in four-of-five occasions.
- I had heard some rumblings through the blogosphere that Brad Miller was rough around the edges defensively at shortstop. While four games doesn’t make a career, he’s looked sharp at short so far and helped turn four double plays Tuesday night. His arm has looked strong, his range has been good, and he seems to be lining up in the right spots (tip of the cap the bench coach Robby Thompson and Brendan Ryan).
- It really struck me last night that there almost can’t be a Major League team younger up the middle than the Mariners. Miller is the old man of the group at 23, while Nick Franklin and Mike Zunino check in at 22. (Franklin’s beard is well ahead of his years, though.) The trio has played a combined 50 games in the Majors.
King Felix and the M’s face lefty Derek Holland Wednesday night in Game 2. The “Dutch Oven” has an improved slider in 2013 which has accounted for 70% of his 97 strikeouts, compared to 31% last season. Holland is 8-2, 3.39 ERA lifetime against the M’s, but last night should’ve taught us something about that, and the last time he faced the Mariners in Texas he allowed 8 runs in 1.2 innings.
Here is a fun note from the Elias Sports Bureau: