Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. This post covers Nick Franklin batting leadoff for the first time in his MLB career, tonight’s pitching match-up between Hisashi Iwakuma and Derek Holland, and a Clemson connection.
Nick Franklin saw his name at the top of the lineup card for the first time in his Major League career Monday. “I love hitting leadoff,” Franklin said. “I’ve hit all up and down the order in my career, but feel like I’m at my best when I’m fighting off pitches and working counts.”
It will be interesting to see if Nick is leading off again Tuesday against Texas. When Franklin is seeing the ball well, he proved to be one of the more patient and effective hitters on the team. Through his first 35 games, the M’s second baseman hit .290/.350/.473. In his last 36 games Franklin is batting .177/.255/.355.
It will be up to Hisashi Iwakuma to keep the Rangers off the board Tuesday night. He’s coming off his 13th quality start of the season, holding the A’s to three runs over seven innings on August 21. Talking with Iwakuma yesterday after batting practice (through interpreter Antony Suzuki), he said he threw less sliders to the A’s in his last start and more fastballs. When asked what makes his 90 mph fastball to effective, Iwakuma said it was because of how well he hides the ball in his delivery.
Iwakuma will need to be especially stingy Tuesday. Texas starter Derek Holland has made three starts against Seattle this year and has struck out 26 batters over 19 2/3 innings while allowing just two earned runs (0.92 ERA).
There was a Clemson connection Monday night at Safeco Field. Jeff Baker was in left field for the Rangers while Brad Miller was at shortstop for the Mariners. “He was a big reason why I wanted to go to Clemson,” Miller said. With 59 career homers, Baker left Clemson as the school’s all time home run leader and was part of the Tigers 2002 College World Series team with Khalil Greene and Michael Johnson.
“All my friends wanted to play at Florida, but I knew I wanted to play at Clemson,” Brad explained. “What Baker, Khalil, and Johnson did there made me so excited to play for Clemson.”
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. Today Aaron writes about the return of Eric Wedge to the dugout and a recap of last night’s 2-0 loss to the Angels.
It sure was nice to see Eric Wedge back inside the Mariners dugout Friday night at Safeco Field.
“He’s part of our family,” said Felix Hernandez after the M’s 2-0 loss to the Angels. “I was a little disappointed. I was trying to win this one for him.”
Eric looks terrific, has lost some weight, and was clearly excited to be at the ballpark Friday afternoon. “I feel better than I have in 10 to 15 years,” he said. “This is a new beginning.”
- Mike Trout finished Friday night 0-for-4, snapping is MLB-best 40-game on-base streak. He’s a career .308 hitter vs. the Mariners, .441 vs. Felix, and finished 0-for-4 for just the second time versus the Mariners this season (14 games).
- Nice work Friday night by Carter Capps. After allowing 4 runs over his last three outings combined (3.0 IP), Capps worked 2.0 scoreless innings and faced just one over the minimum. His fastball had terrific life and it looked like he worked in his changeup a couple times, too.
- Watching Angels closer Ernesto Frieri pitch the ninth inning for his 27th save of the year, you have to wonder how many more he might have if the Angels were the reverse of their 56-71 record. He threw virtually nothing but 93-95 mph fastballs (with a couple sliders) and struck out the side.
- Had a brief chat with Mike Zunino Friday afternoon who (as always) seemed thrilled to simply be at the ballpark. Sidelined since July 25 with a broken hamate bone in his left hand, he said he caught two bullpen sessions, took some swings, and is hoping to participate in batting practice Saturday.
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. Today Aaron looks back at last night’s comeback win vs. the Rangers .
Rangers reliever Neil Cotts is having a terrific season. He gave up only one earned run throughout May and June and has surrendered just two homers all year — both to the Mariners. Kyle Seager’s eighth inning, two-run shot off Cotts Friday night propelled the Mariners to a Game 1 win in Arlington and made for only the seventh blown save all season for the Texas bullpen. (By the way, Raul Ibanez had the other home run off Cotts on July 4.)
After a win to take the opening game of the series, this is when you especially love the 1-2 punch of Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez. While The King hasn’t been dominant versus the Rangers this season (0-2, 4.66 ERA), he leads the A.L. with a 2.28 ERA and has a 1.05 ERA over his last six starts while walking seven and striking out 42.
- For his career, Seager now has five homers and 13 RBI at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington while batting .374. The only ballpark where he’s homered in more often and has driven in more runs is Safeco Field. During the Mariners last trip here, Kyle said, “I don’t consciously think about the success I’ve had here. I think more about the great pitching staff they have.”
- Saturday night Felix will square off against fellow countryman Marin Perez. The 22-year-old lefty is from Portuguesa, Venezuela and said yesterday from the Rangers dugout that his matchup against Felix “will be a pretty special day.” He went on to say that he believes Hernandez is the best pitcher in the Majors.
- Where does the radio crew eat on a Saturday afternoon in Texas? Babe’s Chicken Dinner House. I’m sure our review will be squeezed into the broadcast tonight.
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization.
There were a number of good things to take away from what turned out to be a very disappointing loss Wednesday night in St. Petersburg:
- After struggling against lefties all season (.230 vs. LHP, 27th in MLB), the Mariners made David Price look somewhat mortal.
- Inheriting two runners with no outs, Charlie Furbush was nails once again and retired three straight right-handed hitters. Yoervis Medina cleaned up his own mess and left the bases loaded after walking them full.
- The Mariners scored all four runs with two outs and Brad Miller refused to stop at first base yet again.
It’s hard to get on Danny Farquhar too much after he’s been so solid taking over as Mariners closer. Making things tougher, the first three men he faced Wednesday night were the same three batters be pitched to the night before.
- The two runs Farquhar allowed in the ninth were his first in 14 2/3 innings — a span where he allowed just four hits.
- For some reason he hardly threw his four-seam fastball Wednesday night and instead actually used a changeup at least once (a pitch I can’t ever remember him throwing before).
- According to Fangraphs, opponents are batting .361 vs. his cutter/.205 vs. his four-seamer/.121 vs. his curveball. He once again threw a lot of cutters Wednesday.
The Mariners still have a chance to start this daunting road trip with a series win before traveling to Texas to take on the 70-win Rangers.
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. Today Aaron looks ahead to the series starting tonight vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, and gives a little weather report about the humidity in St. Petersburg .
- 22-year-old Erasmo Ramirez will make his fifth start of the year tonight — his first since August 3 at Baltimore. The righty has allowed an average of 4.5 runs/game as a starter this year but is 3-0 thanks to receiving a team-best 6.25 runs of support per start.
- Ramirez will square off against the reigning AL Pitcher of the Month, Chris Archer. With a pair of complete game shutouts against the Astros and Yankees, coupled with a 0.79 ERA for the month, Archer seemed fairly deserving of the award. He features a 95 mph fastball and a dirty slider that’s holding opponents to a .115 average. He’s allowed two extra-base hits to right-handed hitters in 13 starts. Finally, he’s also an avid reader.
- With 48 days until the post-season, the Rays have 46 games left to play.
- If you’re keeping track of the Top 5 defensive plays of the year, add this to the list.
- Happy Birthday to Mariners pitching prospect Taijuan Walker (turns 21) and Mariners Hall of Famer Jay Buhner.
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. Today he looks back at last night’s tough loss vs. the Blue Jays, the return of Hisashi Iwakuma and King Felix.
Monday night’s series opener against Toronto went about as well as John Gibbons and the Blue Jays could have hoped for. They survived Hisashi Iwakuma’s fifth-straight quality start, received a clutch pinch hit from 38-year-old Mark DeRosa, and R.A. Dickey had his knuckleball dancing for nearly eight full innings.
Although Game 1 went down as a loss for Iwakuma (his first since July 4 at Texas), it’s starting to feel like he’s moved beyond his only problem all season: the long ball. Only the Orioles have blasted more homers than the Jays all season and Iwakuma kept them in the yard all night. Hisashi has not surrendered a home run since Mark Trumbo on July 14 (four starts, 28.0 innings).
- #HappyFelixDay. The King has been especially Cy Young-like over his last four starts where he’s 2-0, 0.60 ERA (2 ER, 30.0 IP). Watching Felix this year is all the evidence needed for why wins on a pitcher’s stat line is nothing more than a pat on the back. He has back-to-back no-decisions despite holding the Twins and Red Sox to two runs over 15.0 innings.
- Justin Smoak since May 1 is .292/.393/.505.
- With Smoak’s homer Tuesday off Dickey, the M’s and Jays are tied with 138 home runs (only Baltimore has more with 149).
- Since the Blue Jays are in town, here’s your token Munenori Kawasaki video. The Jays were 37-33 in Energy Boy’s 70 games this season. He was the starting shortstop for Toronto’s 11-game winning streak earlier this year.
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. Today he looks at the recent impressive outings by right-handed reliever Danny Farquhar.
After Danny Farquhar worked a season-high three scoreless innings on July 31 at Fenway park, pitching coach Carl Willis said the development of the right-hander’s curveball “raises his ceiling” and will “allow him to pitch more meaningful innings.” It was only three days later that Farquhar collected his first Major League save, and then racked up his second the very next afternoon.
Since going through a rough four-game stretch from July 6-19 (3.1 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 18.90 ERA), the 5-foot-9 Farquhar has given up only two hits over his last 11 2/3 scoreless innings spanning seven outings while walking four and fanning 18 batters.
Talking with Danny after his appearance against the Red Sox, he said that his cutter is still his best pitch. However, he was also quick to point out that adding his 12-6 curveball to his mix more often helps change hitters’ eye levels and thus plays off his cut and four-seam fastball well.
For as impressive as Farquhar was Sunday, retiring the three final hitters on nine pitches, the efforts of Yoervis Medina shouldn’t be lost. His slider was as filthy as we’ve seen it this year, and he looked awfully calm sitting down Manny Machado, Adam Jones, and Chris Davis in order in the seventh inning. The six batters he retired over two innings have a combined 98 home runs this season.
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:
I think it’s now safe to delete the phrase “Safeco Joe” from our vocabulary. Following his eight strong innings Wednesday night in Anaheim, Joe Saunders has a 1.23 ERA (3 ER, 22.0 IP) over his last three road starts in San Diego, Oakland, and Anaheim. An Angels offense that outscored the Mariners 30-4 over the first three games played this season in Anaheim, has suddenly been able to plate only three runs over the last two games.
For as futile as the Halos were against Jeremy Bonderman and Saunders the past two nights, the Mariners have had their share of challenges with Angels starters Joe Blanton and C.J. Wilson. Don’t let Blanton’s 1-10 record fool you. Yes, he’s given up a ton of hits this year (a Major League high 117), but his performance Tuesday night against the Mariners was his seventh quality start in 14 outings.
Wilson, meanwhile, has had the Mariners number. In three starts this year against the M’s, the man with a lifetime supply of Head & Shoulders is 3-0, 1.77 ERA (4 ER/22.0 IP) with 22 strikeouts. He’s the only pitcher this year to collect three wins against Seattle, and is 8-1 with a 2.00 ERA over his last 10 starts vs. the Mariners (since the start of 2011).
When this series is over, what I might remember most is the defensive play of Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos. These two centaurs have made so many crashing/leaping catches over the last three nights that I’ve honestly started losing track. While we haven’t seen them rob a home run, they’ve certainly stolen plenty of extra bases — and at some big times, too – like this catch by Trout up against the wall in left field on a Mike Zunino drive with the tying and go-ahead runners on base last night.
- Trout, who scored the lone run of the game Wednesday night on a wild pitch, has reached base 17 times over the last (I trust you’re already sitting down) five games. The Angels are a mortal 9-26 when he doesn’t score a run.
- Dustin Ackley is hitting .400 with 34 hits in 20 games with Tacoma.
- Ramon Morla hit a 3-run home run in his Double-A debut with the Jackson Generals yesterday.
- DJ Peterson, the Mariners No. 1 draft pick (12th overall) in the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft, made his pro debut for the Everett AquaSox last night and went 0-for-3 with a walk.
- The CG by Joe Saunders last night was his second of the season, tying Aaron Harang for the team lead…it was the first CG loss by a Mariners starter since current Angel Jason Vargas on Aug. 6, 2012 at Baltimore.
- In two career starts vs. his former team, Joe Saunders is 0-2 with a 1.93 ERA…and has not received any run support in losses by scores of 2-0 (6/16/12 – ARI at LAA) and 1-0 (last night). Saunders was the Angels first round draft pick (12th overall) in the 2002 June Draft.
- The Rangers topped the first-place A’s 9-5 Wednesday night in Arlington. Justin Grimm earned the win and became the first Rangers starting pitcher to collect a win since Derek Holland on May 31 against Kansas City.
- A win tonight against the Angles and the Mariners finish the road trip 4-3 with a series win against the division’s first place team. Happy Felix Day. Here is a statistical preview of tonight’s matchups (Felix Hernandez vs. Tommy Hanson).
“Everything. What’s not to like? He’s been a shot in the arm. Nothing fazes him.” This is what bench coach Robby Thompson told Aaron Goldsmith when asked what he’s liked so far about rookie second baseman Nick Franklin.
PHOTO OF THE DAY:
Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. In this installment Aaron shares some interesting tidbits about the CG 2-hit shutout by Aaron Harang last night vs. the Astros.
I was just finishing up my dinner last night at Safeco Field when the word reached our table that Kendrys Morales was a late scratch from the lineup due to some back soreness. While I didn’t exactly drop my plastic fork mid-bite, I did wonder what the Mariners offense might look like without the threat of Morales.
Well, as it turned out, the M’s were just fine without Kendrys last night. Yes, the Astros offense has struggled at times this year, but few might have predicted that Aaron Harang would deal his second complete game shutout of the season like he did.
Here are some notes from last night and looking forward to the upcoming road trip.
- At 35 years and 33 days old, Harang became the 5th-oldest pitcher since 1916 to have a shutout with no more than two hits allowed, at least 10 K’s and no walks. Randy Johnson, at 40 years and 251 days old on May 18, 2004, was the oldest.
- Harang’s 10 strikeouts set a new season-high and marked the 12th time in his career he racked up 10 or more punch outs in a game (last time: April 13, 2012 vs. SD).
- Get this…in the history of the Mariners, there have only been two pitching performances that featured a shutout allowing 2 or fewer hits, 10 or more strikeouts with zero walks. The Felix Hernandez Perfect Game and Aaron Harang last night. Wow!
- The Astros never had an at-bat with a runner in scoring position. Harang worked with a runner at first base only three times.
- Two of Harang’s three wins this season have come on complete game shutouts.
- Raul (So Cool) Ibanez clubbed his team-leading 13th home run of the year. Ibanez also homered the night before, making it the fourth time this season he has homered in back-to-back games. Here is some great info on Ibanez and his HR hitting prowess as a 41-year-old courtesy of Gary Hill.
- Every baseball fan should love watching Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. He saw his career-high 11-game hitting streak end last night. In the 8th inning Monday night, Altuve connected on his 300th career hit in what was his 263rd career game. It took Lance Berkman 288 games to reach hit No. 300.
- A quick look around the A.L. West tells you that it’s the Rangers and A’s…and everyone else. The Mariners now hold a 1.5 game lead over the Angels for third place in the division, 10 games outside of Texas and Oakland.
- With the upcoming seven-game trip to Oakland and Anaheim, the Mariners have a chance to gain a little ground, but it won’t be easy. The A’s are killing it right now. At 39-17, Oakland has its best record after 66 games since 1992. The Angels, meanwhile, have lost four straight but just got center fielder Peter Bourjos back. All he did Tuesday night was this.
The Mariners have a chance for their first series sweep of 2013 tonight in the finale with the Astros. Hope you can join Rick, me, and Mike Zunino for the first pitch at 7:10.