Seattle Mariners Universe – August 24

Can’t say I am against the effort that both Thames and Saunders put in on that last play; doubt either thought the other was going to get there and neither were going to look off the ball in such a tight situation. Tough break.

In other news; David Pauley does drugs.

Pauley, of Mariners 2011 fame squad, signed with Seattle earlier this season and has thrown in Tacoma. It was not released which drug was the culprit but he was suspended 50-games under the Mariners recreational drug policy. With the lack of Pauley coverage on twitter it would appear no one cares. Fine with me.

To the Tabs!

MarinersThe Mariners showed some real fight in giving up a tough loss to Chicago 9-8 on Friday.

Jason Vargas, who yesterday we highlighted as a Top-10 pitcher in the American League this past month +, looked more like Johan Santana post All-Star break on Friday.

  • Vargas’s line: 4 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 2 K, and 3 HR allowed.

Vargas appeared to be mechanically unhinging throughout the night as his 3rd HR allowed was tomahawked by 106 pound emaciated SS Alexei Ramirez for his 8th of the year.

Pitch F/X verification: Jason Vargas threw at a PACE of 18.4 second between pitches tonight. Last week we highlighted via Pitch F/X data that Vargas gets the least from his arsenal when he throws between 17 to 18.5 seconds between pitches.

At the end of the night Vargas threw 3 poorly placed pitches and paid for it.

He has performed like a #1 starter for Seattle over the past month and a half from the #2 spot in the rotation and we should expect nothing less in the next outing than a quality start.

Dustin Ackley doubled to lead-off the game and was promptly followed by a Michael Saunders RBI single with no outs in the 1st inning.

Adam Dunn clobbered his 37th and 38th HR of the season off Vargas driving in 3 runs with a solo HR in the 1st and a 2-run blast in the 3rd.

In between Dunn’s moon shots Trayvon Robinson added a HR of his own, his first of the season, to put the Mariners back up at 2-1; their last lead until the 9th inning.

Josh Kinney allowed a run in relief of Vargas through 2 innings while Capps and Perez threw 2 innings combined allowing no runs on just 1 hit.

Capps looked brilliant in hitting 100 MPH on the gun and striking out two of his batters faced throwing 13 of 19 for strikes.

This is where it gets interesting – 

The Mariners come up to bat down 7-2 in the 9th inning. Mr. Perfect Game Philip Humber comes in to pitch for Chicago and gives up a HR to Montero on his 1st batter. Humber finishes out getting Thames to pop out and walking Smoak before being replaced.

Donnie Veal comes in and gives up a double to Trayvon Robinson advancing the slowest runner in baseball Justin Smoak to third base.

Addison Reed replaces Veal and promptly walks Brendan Ryan to load the bases.

Dustin Ackley drives in two runs on an RBI single that was oddly similiar to a Jaso RBI single in the Cleveland series off the glove of Kotchman.

Ackley advances to second base on a Michael Saunders walk.

Kyle Seager sac-fly scores Brendan Ryan from 3B and advances Ackley to third and Saunders to second.

John Jaso, Mr. Clutch, singles in Ackley to tie the ball game and Michael Saunders scores on a throwing error by Alex Rios in RF; Mariners lead!

The awfully uninteresting part of the 9th inning -

Wilhelmsen allows 2 runs in the 9th in 0.1 IP to pick up the loss and the blown save, his 3rd of the year.

‘The Collision’ between Thames and Saunders Eric Wedge was very quick to protest as a catch and drop situation instead of a no catch situation as it was called on the field.

Honestly I do not consider anything that squirts free before the player hits the ground, maybe I am a football fan after all, as a catch.

If you haven’t seen it go take a look. If not for anything else it will give you a stance on whether Thames caught the ball or couldn’t hold on when you are talking by the water cooler on Monday.

In the end Dewayne Wise tagged from second base after the collision and scored regardless.


Trayvon Robinson and Dustin Ackley, two big reasons for the Mariners 2nd half resurgence, both added 3 hits from the plate.

Robinson’s HR was his 3rd career HR in 63 games played.

Montero added the other multi-hit game with 2 base knocks.

John Jaso reached base for the 26th consecutive start – dating back to July 8th.

Tweet @Mariners to push these guys over .500; only 4 games off pace!

RainiersDanny Hultzen night in Tacoma in front of a record crowd quickly turned into relieve Danny Hultzen night as the Rainiers lose 4-2 on Friday.

Hultzen, making his final appearance at home this season with Tacoma, was chased early in his start; WAY early.

  • Hultzen’s line: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 1 K.

I am not going to sit and talk about this one that much for two reasons:

  1. It’s depressing.
  2. Hultzen has pitched well enough in August that a blip in mechanics and the resulting loss to one of the hottest hitting PCL teams isn’t a red flag.

Hultzen threw 16 of 40 pitches for strikes (40%); clearly his release point or some mechanical component wasn’t with him in this start.

Sweeney in long relief of Hultzen threw 5.1 innings allowing just 3 base runners and striking out 3. Missing that quality ‘relief’ start by just 0.2 IP.

Cesar Jimenez threw for the first time in Tacoma since his rehab assignment with AZL. I am not sure the time-table they had on Jimenez without Pauley’s drug suspension but he threw 2 innings of 1 hit ball striking out 2 after receiving the call-up this week.

Steven Hensley closed the game for Tacoma throwing a perfect 9th with 1 K.

Luis Antonio Jimenez and Carlos Peguero continue to tighten the belt against Seattle management who might look at either as a late season addition to an expanded MLB roster if Guti and Carp cannot come back strong in September as Seattle fights towards a .500 season.

Jimenez went 3-4 with a run scored and two doubles raising his 2012 average to .313.

Peguero picked up his 51st and 52nd RBIs of the season going 1-3 with a double.

Franklin Gutierrez, who we just spoke about, was 1-4 with a run scored and a walk as he continues to see the strike zone well in coming back from his concussion.

When speaking directly of Gutierrez returning to Seattle with the recent OF competition in Seattle Eric Wedge said:

“Hopefully, he’ll be back here soon and that turns it up even more,” Wedge said of the competition. “It’s healthy. I think it’s good. We’ve had a chance to watch a lot of players play and we’ve got a lot of guys up here that are helping us win ballgames right now and that’s what you like to see.”

Gutierrez has hit in 5 straight games with 2 HRs and 7 RBIs.

Tweet @RainiersLand to let these guys know we are looking forward to seeing some of them in September!

Generals It was a ‘bullpen night’ for the Jackson Generals as Forrest Snow got the start and Jackson wins a close one 2-1.

First and foremost Jackson gets over the hump in winning their 75th game in an unusual game.

Before you get to far into this one, check out this link, Bleacher Report names Jackson Generals the best Double-A affiliate in 2012.

  • Snow’s line: 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

Snow hasn’t worked from the rotation since July 25th making his last 7 appearances from the bullpen. Snow gets the hook after 4 innings and 57 pitches, 43 for strikes, which tells me that the Mariners organization believes Snow is more valuable from the pen in the long run.

Snow has given up just 1 run in his past 8 innings thrown after struggling mightily through June and July. Snow posted an 8.42 ERA in AAA earlier this season and carries a 4.76 ERA in Jackson after tonight.

Moises Hernandez allowed The Lookouts only run of the ball game through 2 innings of work.

Yoervis Medina worked the next 2 frames picking up his 4th victory and Logan Bawcom picked up his 17th save; this one coming against his former team.

Bawcom tweeted after the game:

Prob my favorite Save of my career. Excited to be a @jacksongenerals and a @Mariners !!! #yusss

Bawcom has been phenomenal since coming over in the Brandon League trade allowing a .174 BABIP against with 10.13 K/9 and a 2.53 ERA from the closing role for Jackson.

Yoervis Medina has been just as phenomenal as Bawcom allowing just 5 runs since June 23rd with a 1.07 ERA.

I tweeted before the contest that Medina might be headed up to Tacoma after Pauley’s drug suspension left Tacoma a reliever short (filled by Cesar Jimenez at the moment) with a pending MLB call-up from the staff in September. Medina himself is a 40-man roster addition, though I would believe he is behind DJ Mitchell for the MLB call up, but could be a valuable addition to Tacoma in ending their season strong.

The Generals were out-hit 10 to 3 in this contest but pulled it out.

Brad Miller added 2 of the Generals 3 hits scoring Francisco Martinez on an RBI double in the 1st inning to start the scoring in this contest.

Johermyn Chavez hit a solo HR in the 4th inning which turned out to be the game winner for Jackson.

Denny Almonte went 0-2 with a walk and an outfield assist.

Yes there was little enough offense that I spoke of an 0-2 performance with a walk.

Tweet @JacksonGenerals to congratulate the club on their 75th win of 2012!

Mavericks What is weirder than an extra inning game in the CAL League? An extra innings game where the final score is a field goal; Mavericks lose 2-1 in 12.

Taylor Stanton turned in a superb performance getting the start for High Desert.

  • Stanton’s line: 7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Inland Empire’s starter Eswarlin Jimenez threw the same line as Stanton; both receiving no-decisions.

Andrew Kittredge threw 3 innings of 3 hit baseball striking out 5 lowering his 2012 ERA to 3.47.

Stephen Kohlscheen, who has been outstanding as of late, allowed the game winning run after a Mario Martinez errant throwing error on a botched double play, to take the loss in 1.2 innings thrown.

Mario Martinez added the lone RBI for the Mavericks on a 5th inning sac-fly.

John Hicks continues to certify himself as Jackson’s 2013 starter at catcher going 2-4 from the plate swiping his 22nd bag while throwing out a runner in the loss.

Steven Proscia, Leon Landry, and James Jones all added two hits for the Mavericks while Jones was the only player to cross the plate scoring on the 5th inning sac-fly.

James Jones added two OF assists with one coming at home plate.

Tweet @HDMavs and let them know we like to see double-digit runs and not double-digit innings played from them.

LumberKings Clinton falls to the Bees 4-1 on Friday but takes the series from Burlington 2 games to 1.

Rusty Shellhorn vs. AJ Cole
Mariners vs. Athletics
Athletics Win

That is a pretty accurate box score for what the LumberKings accomplished on Friday but let’s talk about the rest in light of not being rude.

  • Shellhorn’s Line: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 3 K.

Shellhorn flew through the first 6 batters of the contest in a hurry with 3 Ks. However the 3rd inning proved difficult as Burlington sent 7 men to the plate scoring 3 times.

This was Shellhorn’s 2nd start with Clinton after making his second jump of the season from Everett. Shellhorn has had succcess with all 3 ballclubs this season; 1.53 ERA with Pulaski, 2.76 ERA with Everett, and 3.75 with Clinton after tonight. I think it’s safe to say that barring an injury or an offseason setback that Shellhorn will start next season with High Desert in the CAL League.

Kyle Hunter threw 2 innings of 1 run relief for Clinton with 3 Ks as Joshua Corrales closed out the game striking out the final 3 batters of the game in 1 inning worked.

Ji-Man Choi and Guillermo Pimentel added 2 hits a piece for Clinton with Pimentel picking up the lone RBI of the night.

Kevin Rivers and Jamal Austin added the only other two hits of the night for Clinton; Rivers scoring on Pimentel’s RBI single in the 7th inning.

Clinton turned two double plays.

Tweet @LumberKings to welcome Ji-Man Choi back to the organization after missing 2011 with an injury.

AquaSox Victor Sanchez took the mound for Everett and did not disappoint as Everett falls to Yakima 4-3 on a 9th inning rally.

Sanchez ran his ERA in 2012 down to 3.29 as everyone’s favorite 17-year-old starter (There aren’t many more above Rookie-Ball) threw his way to a no-decision on Friday.

  • Sanchez’s line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 6 K.

I said it yesterday with Seon Gi-Kim on the mound for Clinton; a great pitcher allows fewer base runners than innings thrown consistently.

With Sanchez I can add that tossing more Ks than innings thrown while allowing less base runners than innings thrown is the true quality start.

In 9 of 14 starts Sanchez has allowed no more than 1 base runner over his innings thrown coming in even or under innings thrown in 6 starts.

Sanchez is 1st in IP, 2nd in Ks, 3rd in Wins, 6th in WHIP, and 10th in ERA while throwing in the NWL this season. That is a lot of Top-10 for a guy who will not see his 18th birthday until 2013.

John Sickels, baseball columnist, recently updated his list of Top 120 baseball prospects and Sanchez made the list at 111. Pretty good for a 17-year-old having success above rookie ball.

Oliver Garcia kept his inherited runner from scoring but was on the mound as Yakima scored their 2nd un-earned run of the game; ultimately Garcia tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball.

Brandon Plotz, the AquaSox ‘closer’ received the blown save and recorded his 2nd loss of the season allowing 2 runs over 2 innings on just 2 base runners striking out 3. Plotz tweeted after the game:

Change-ups to righties is a No no! #NoBueno

Referring to the 9th inning game winning HR from 9-hole hitter Michael Lang

Alfredo Morales and Jamodrick McGruder recorded two hits for Everett.

Michael Faulker added an RBI from the 9-hole going 1-4.

Patrick Kivlehan hit his 11th HR of the season alongside his 2nd 2B of the season to put his RBI total at 46. Kivlehan is now tied for 1st in the league in HRs and tied for 2nd in RBIs.

Tweet @EverettAquaSox to keep Victor Sanchez going and show your love for Kivlehan as he plays towards a possible NWL MVP.

Rookie Pulaski fell to Elizabethton 7-5 on Friday in probably the best looking loss of the day within the Mariners Organization; unless you are in the Mariners bullpen.

  • Kaalekahi’s line: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K, and 1 HR allowed.

Charles Kaalekahi, a 15th round pick from the 2010 draft, has resurrected a career that was not  throwing quality innings before 2012.

In 2011 with AZL Kaalekahi allowed a .305 average against, a 1.56 WHIP, and BABIP of .362. His K’s were also down at 17% and 7.20 K/9.

In 2012 with Pulaski Kaalekahi is striking out 23.1% of batters faced for a ratio of 8.65 K/9 and is allowing a .253 average against.

Add Friday’s quality start and Kaalekahi is even at 4-4 on the season with a 3.19 ERA.

Nate Koneski and David Holman allowed 5 runs in 3 innings to close out the game giving up 7 hits combined.

Koneski’s ERA for 2012 jumped from 2.84 to 4.05 in picking up the blown save. Koneski was the Mariners 15th round pick in the 2012 MLB draft and has struck out 24 batters to just 3 walks allowed; a ratio of 10.8 K/9 on the season.

Jordy Lara went 3-4 from the plate with two doubles and two RBIs.

Tyler Marlette, headed back towards his .300 batting average he saw towards the beginning of the month went 2-4 with a run scored, double, and an RBI.

Martin Peguero added the other lone RBI for Pulaski. Peguero was caught stealing and picked off in the ball game.

Pulaski lead-off hitter Gilmer Lampe went 1-3 from the plate scoring once and walking twice.

The AZL Mariners lost to the AZL Royals 6-2 after taking a 2-run lead in the 1st inning Friday.

The combined outing from 5 different AZL pitchers isn’t much worth talking about as they allowed 15 base runners striking out just 3.

I’ll mention George Mieses who threw an inning of shut-out relief because he recorded all 3 outs via ground-out.

The other inning of scoreless relief belonged to Daniel Mata who lowered his 2012 ERA to 5.06 with Friday’s showing.

Gabriel Guerrero, Vlad’s nephew (I know I say that every day but wouldn’t be great if he filled out like Vlad), hit his 1st stateside HR in putting AZL up 2-0 in the 1st inning with a 2-run shot scoring Lopes from 1B.

Cory Scammell hit a triple in going 1-4 from the plate.

Miguel Sanchez, catching for the Mariners, allowed 3 past balls in the game.

Tweet @PulaskiMariners to root Kaalekahi to a strong ending in his breakout season. Tweet @MinorLeagues to congratulate Gabriel Guerrero on his 1st career stateside HR.


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