Contention is the goal
A few days back I posted this piece evaluating the Mariners after the 2020 mini-season with an eye toward readiness for 2021. As usual, the post got linked to some of the Mariners fan groups on Facebook, and as usual, more people remarked on it there than here onsite. Considering the attitude of some of those people, I'm OK with that. There are a lot of haters on Facebook.
Mini-season ends with Mariners not ready for 2021
With today's loss to the AL West Champion Oakland A's, the Mariners officially finished their part in 2020’s wild and wacky baseball season. It went about as expected, overall, with some interesting surprises and familiar frustrations, serving its purpose as an evaluation/on-the-job training ground for some players while failing miserably at that task for others. So, you might say the goals were a little different, but in the end it was just another Mariners season, done before October and watching other clubs play for titles. Even in crazy 2020, when you have to be really bad to miss the playoffs.
Game notes — 9/22/20
Happy fall, everyone. Well, "happy" adjusted for 2020, anyway.
Giants series relocated
The Mariners' two-game series against the San Francisco Giants that was slated to begin tonight has been postponed one day and relocated to San Francisco due to abysmal air quality in Seattle. This was done after complaints were lodged by players, principally from the Giants, but also from the Seattle side.
Well, yesterday's opener of the three-game set in Phoenix didn't go as expected—the dreadful Diamondbacks managed to get a win with outstanding pitching of their own while Seattle's Yusei Kikuchi had a first inning full of meatballs that got smacked before settling down into a fine several innings after. Tonight it's fellow lefty Justus Sheffield against the cellar-dwelling Snakes and I'm trying another of these notes/observations-as-I-watch posts. Because it's a pandemic and the air outside is a think hellish blanket of particulates and probably carcinogens, so what else am I going to do this evening?
The Mariners today have outrighted Mallex Smith from their satellite training facility off of the 60-player pool of available personnel for 2020. On paper, he is now assigned to Triple-A Tacoma. The move was not, apparently, made to clear a spot on the 60-man list for someone else.
We've now passed the two-thirds mark in the 2020 miniature schedule, and so far Your Seattle Mariners have done a fairly OK job in achieving their goals in this bizzaro-not-really-a-season. There's been good, there's been bad, and because this is the Mariners, you know there has been ugly. But on the whole they've done all right; thanks to the pandemic and the short schedule and the lack of minor leagues and all the rest, 2020 has been first and foremost about evaluation. Winning will resume as a priority next year (fingers crossed).
Another edition of Notes While I Watch the M's, hopefully less stream-of-consciousness and more cogent-observational-insight. But we'll see.
Kikuchi, M's sink Rangers to 10 games under .500
After a few days of unscheduled respite, the Mariners took the field to host the Texas Rangers Friday night and made them look like, well, a really bad baseball team. Yusei Kikuchi had one of his better starts in this abbreviated season, holding the Rangers to just two hits over six innings to earn the win.
Mariners add outfielder for reasons(?)
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto added a player to the Mariners' major-league roster today by claiming outfielder Phil Ervin off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.
M's postponed until Friday and other news bits
In addition to tonight's and tomorrow's games between the Mariners and the Oakland A's being postponed, Thursday's contest has also been pulled form the schedule. This doesn't appear to be because the Oakland crew has had any further COVID-19 issues beyond the one case that was revealed on Sunday; rather, it seems to be more of a logistical issue for the A's coupled with extra caution. Instead of traveling to Seattle, the A's will go home to Oakland and prepare for their series with San Diego, scheduled to begin Friday.
Trade deadline recap and the new state of the M's
The wild and wacky 2020 mini-season, with its expanded playoff structure and small-sample-sized skewing of performances, made for some interesting wheeling and dealing over the last few days. With 2020's oddly timed August 31st trading deadline now behind us, what interesting conclusions can we make?
Another trade, plus COVID hits the West and postpones next games
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto swung one last trade as this afternoon's MLB trading deadline hit, sending reliever Taylor Williams to San Diego in exchange for a player to be named later.
Well, that didn't take long.
Trade winds blowing
Having already made one deal ahead of tomorrow afternoon's trading deadline—Taijuan Walker to the Blue Jays for a player to be named after the season ends—the Mariners find themselves fielding calls from contenders desiring other Seattle valuables.
Well, I'm a little late to the party tonight, but here we go with the M's and Angels on about an hour's delay. Justus Sheffield going for Seattle against Dylan Bundy, who pitched a complete-game 2-1 victory against hte M's earlier in the year.
Doubleheader game notes—8/27/20
With yesterday's game against the Padres called off due to righteous social outrage, today we have a doubleheader. It's a 2020-style doubleheader, which kind of blows—each game will be only seven innings long—but, in the vernacular of the day, it is what it is.
The Mariners have agreed to a trade that will send starting pitcher Taijuan Walker to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for a player to be named later.
No game tonight
Tonight's game between the Mariners and the San Diego Padres has been postponed.
Let's try another live-ish blog of a game. These haven't been as interesting as I'd hoped when I've done them for prior contests, and I'm not sure what the best format for such things is, but what the hey, one more shot at it here.
Believe it or not, we are now halfway through the season. With a miniaturized 60-game schedule, 2020 was always going to feel weird, and it's been interesting to notice how both expectations and attitudes about the campaign have evolved as that weirdness settled in.
Better late than never: Fraley promoted
It took them until the season was half over, but the Mariners have finally promoted outfielder Jake Fraley to the team. He is slated to start tonight in right field in Seattle's game against the Texas Rangers.
More roster moves
The Mariners made another pair of roster moves today, placing relievers Erik Swanson and Taylor Guilbeau on the injured list with muscle strains. To fill their spots, the club has activated veteran reliever Yoshihisa Hirano from the COVID-19 injured list and recalled left-handed pitcher Aaron Fletcher from the satellite camp.
Vogey DFA'd, Mallex to taxi squad
The Mariners made a series of roster moves upon their return home from their 1-7 road trip, giving them a slightly different look as they prepare to take the field at TMP tonight against the Dodgers.
Back to normal
So, yesterday's aberration was apparently just a one-time deal. In this afternoon's game between Your Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Dodgers, formula returned:
Breaking the format
Well, that was...weird.
Nancy and the Heart Attacks
There's a lot that's different about this Mariners season from last year. A lot. From leaguewide (and nationwide) changes related to the pandemic to the Mariner-centric issues with young players getting big-league playing time. But one thing that is thud far exactly the same is the revolving door in and out of the Seattle bullpen.
The Mariners are back in Houston already. Weren't they just there? Well, this sort of thing happens even in in standard-type seasons, so with this year's wacky west-only schedule it's no surprise that such things happen. At least it was on the same trip as a stop in Dallas-Ft. Worth. Efficiency!
The 2020 M's: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, one pitching change at a time
If last night's series finale with the Texas Rangers gave you a feeling of déjà vu, well, it's probably because you've seen this before. The 7-4 loss to the Rangers pretty much followed what we can now call a template for your 2020 Seattle Mariners. It hasn't played out like this in every game, but since leaving Houston after the opening series of the season, the formula goes like this:
The Rangers are not tempting fate again with their roof, it's closed tonight. No heat-carried homers for you!
Not-quite-live from the brand-new ballpark in the DFW Metroplex, the Mariners are taking on the Texas Rangers for the first time in 2020. Rookie Justin Dunn on the mound against veteran Kyle Gibson. Both teams with struggling offenses and iffy bullpens. Only one will win! Let's see how things unfold.
M's make minor moves
The Mariners made a couple of minor transactions today ahead of their game tonight in Arlington, Texas. They are:
8/9/20 Notes after the fact—M's upset Colorado
It was a beautiful day in Seattle and, harkening back to the days of the Kingdome, the Mariners played under a roof. Because of a ridiculous protocol that says closing the roof on lovely days is preferable to installing some sort of shade canopy over the seats behind the dugout for the benefit of players seated there for social distancing purposes. Why? I'm going with laziness. You may have other theories.
I'm a little bit behind schedule today, so this is not a live-blog. Not that it matters as y'all tend to see these well after the fact anyway. Can the M's rebound against the super-tough Rockies? Two untried young pitchers starting us off, so who knows what to expect. Here we go:
Back to watching live, some notes and observations from tonight's Mariner game against Colorado, as it happens (though you're likely reading this after the fact)! Yusei Kikuchi on the mound for Seattle, looking for his first win in start number three. Looks like Crawford and White both getting the night off, at least to start off.
Again not watching this one live; it's getaway day for the Angels and I had stuff to do this afternoon. But, since we live in the future, I can watch it now and do my notes and observations after the fact. Onward!
I missed last night's game (gee, too bad), but tonight is a Marco Gonzales night, so even though I cannot watch live, I will take in the entire thing on DVR-delay and do a not-really-live-but-same-basic-result blogging of the action. Let's snap this four-game losing skid, OK? Onward—DVR: Engage!
News bites: 8/4/20
A few items from the day to pass along:
Just when it looked like things might start going the Mariners' way, the Oakland A's come to town and take three of four, with the last one being both the most and the least irritating. Quite the simultaneous feat!
Game notes - 8/2/20
Some thoughts as I watch Sunday's game between the Mariners and the Oakland Athletics:
Game notes - 8/1/20
Observations and brain droppings as I watch Saturday evening's tilt against the Oakland A's:
Game notes: 7/31/20
Musings and observations on tonight's home opener, a 5-3 win over the Oakland A's:
A few random thoughts/observations from tonight's 8-5 Mariner win over the Angels...
M's show some life in win vs Angels
Tonight's game against the Los Angeles Angels was an interesting one to watch. The Mariners won it, for one thing, which is always more fun than the usual. But it also had a lot of the good and a lot of the bad that we can expect to see as this weird mini-season unfolds.
Virtual Season: Pence, Kikuchi power M's to 8-2 win over Jays
Hunter Pence put the Mariners on the scoreboard with a 1st-inning three-run homer against the Blue Jays today at TMP and Yusei Kikuchi pitched six scoreless innings as Seattle cruised to an 8-2 win over Toronto.
M's win in Houston, hell dips below freezing
The Mariners hadn't won a game in Houston since 2018, but the pulled one out today. Barely. By the skin of their teeth.
Virtual Season: Mariners double up Jays 6-3, Marco wins 11th
Shed Long blasted a long two-run homer and drove in another run with a tie-breaking sacrifice fly to lead the Mariners to a 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays today at TMP.
Game two: as it happens
Tuning in to Game Two of the mini-season from the cesspool of the Gulf, Houston, Texas. Observations:
Game One thoughts
What do you know. The season really did start. Three weeks ago I'd have put money on it not starting, but then I should have had more faith in the abilities of Commissioner Manfred and the other Major League Baseball powers that be to ignore anything that might get in between them and money. Pandemic, shmandemic.
Virtual Season: Blue Jays rout Mariners 17-1
Justin Dunn probably regrets not calling in sick today. The Mariner rookie was coming off a stellar performance his last time out, a six-inning, 11-strikeout game versus the NL East-leading Mets, and with an extra day of rest wanted to pick right up where he left off tonight against the Blue Jays.
Opening Day is here
Whether it's a good idea or not, opening day is happening, and it's happening today. Empty stadiums, masks in the dugout, broadcasters working from home, it's the weird and wacky 2020 mini-season, for as long as it lasts.
Virtual Season: Mariners take rubber match from Orioles
The Mariners took advantage of a shaky Orioles bullpen in coming from behind to beat Baltimore 8-5 today at Camden Yards.
Virtual Season: Mariners score a baker's dozen to pummel Orioles
Jake Fraley homered and Daniel Vogelbach went 4-for-6 in the Mariners' 18-hit barrage of the Orioles tonight, as Seattle cruised to a 13-4 win in Baltimore.
Mariners firming up roster in advance of Opening Day
For good or ill, Major League Baseball will open its truncated 2020 season this week, and the Mariners are getting ready.
Virtual Season: Mariners clip Mets to regain first place
The M&M boys won a game in New York today, but not the ones New Yorkers might remember. Instead of Mantle and Maris, today's 4-3 Seattle victory over the Mets was thanks largely to Marco and Mallex.
Virtual Season: Orioles snap 18-game losing streak, beat M's 3-2
The Baltimore Orioles sent their top pitcher to the mound tonight to get back in the win column. After losing 18 consecutive games, Baltimore finally came out on top as John Means went eight strong innings to beat the Mariners 3-2.
Virtual Season: Stroman outlasts Dunn, Mets win against Seattle's bullpen
The Mariners had a tough assignment today in New York, facing one of the National League's best pitchers in Marcus Stroman, and they came up short as the Mets won the game by a score of 5-2.
Virtual Season: Mariners trade for Pence, beat Mets
Carlos González had three hits and drive in two runs against Mets ace Noah Syndergaard to lead the Mariners to a 6-4 victory in interleague action in Queens, New York.
Virtual Season: Hometown Dodgers help NL to All-Star victory
Dodger Stadium was filled with stars. Usually, the LA ballpark has its share of movie and television personalities giving it star power, but today it was the best of the Major Leagues and the home crowd was justly rewarded with a 5-1 National League victory.
Not much to talk about today, but here are a few notes to pass along.
Virtual Season: Manaea handcuffs M's as Oakland wins 4-2
Sean Manaea was dominant through six innings today as the Athletics prevailed over the Mariners 4-2. The Oakland lefty allowed four hits and walked one while striking out six.
Virtual Season: Mariners squeak by A's to stay a half-game up in AL West
Evan White reached base four times and scored twice in tonight's 4-3 win for the Mariners over the Oakland Athletics.
Virtual Season: Murphy's two homers not enough as M's lose to A's
Shed Long made a costly error in the 1st inning, leading to three Oakland runs as the A's built up to a 7-3 victory over the Mariners at TMP.
Virtual Season: Luzardo's great start leads A's to 4-2 victory
Ramon Laureano blasted a three-run homer into the bullpen tonight to give the Athletics a lead that held up, as Oakland beat the Mariners 4-2 in Seattle.
Virtual Season: Gonzales wins 9th as M's sweep Orioles
Marco Gonzales has found a way to prevent his relief from blowing wins for him: finish the game himself. Seattle's ace threw his league-leading sixth complete game tonight as the Mariners defeated Baltimore 5-2, sweeping the series and sending the Orioles to their twelfth straight loss.
Virtual Season: Fraley leads Mariners to 7-2 win vs. Baltimore
Jake Fraley homered in the 6th inning tonight, breaking a 1-1 tie and sending the Mariners on their way to a 7-2 win over the badly-slumping Baltimore Orioles.
Virtual Season: Sheffield masterful in win vs. Orioles
Justus Sheffield was dominant against the Baltimore Orioles tonight, throwing eight shutout innings, walking none and striking out 11 en route to a 3-1 Mariner victory.
Virtual Season: Phillies beat Seattle 5-4 in extras
Andrew McCutchen connected for a home run into Edgar's Cantina in the top of the 12th inning today at TMP to give the Philadelphia Phillies a 5-4 comeback victory against the Mariners.
Virtual Season: Kikuchi falters, Phillies win 5-3
The Philadelphia Phillies took advantage of an uncharacteristically wild Yusei Kikuchi tonight at TMP, scoring three runs in the 1st inning and making them count, hanging on to beat the Mariners by the score of 5-3.
Virtual Season: White leads M's to victory against Phillies
Evan White drove in Austin Nola with the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning to give the Mariners an exciting walkoff victory against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Virtual Season: Mariners drop series finale to Boston 4-3
The Mariners concluded their latest road trip in Boston today, dropping the final game to the Red Sox by a score of 4-3. Rafael Devers doubled and scored what turned out to be the winning run in the 6th inning.
Virtual Season: Murphy leads M's to victory in Boston
Tom Murphy led the charge as the Mariners squeaked by the Red Sox tonight 4-3. Murphy drove in all four runs, hitting a two-run homer over the green monster in the 2nd inning and doubling in two runs in the 4th.
Virtual Season: Kikuchi dominates Red Sox as M's win 2-0
When the Red Sox last saw Yusei Kikuchi, on April 12th, they tattooed him for six runs. Today, a different story altogether. The Mariners' Japanese southpaw shut out Boston for eight innings despite giving up seven hits, pitching out of trouble on several occasions to give Seattle a 2-0 victory.
Virtual Season: M's blow lead in the 9th, win anyway
Yoshi Hirano was on in the 9th to close out a win for Marco Gonzales, but the Tampa Bay Rays had other plans and Kevin Kiermaier took Hirano deep for a game-tying home run and the Mariners would have to play on until they could win it 6-5 in ten innings.
Virtual Season: Rays sink Mariners 9-1
The Mariners' bats apparently arrived in Florida with holes in them. Tampa Bay starter Brendan McKay and relievers Anthony Banda and Colin Poche combined to strike out 14 Seattle batters tonight as the Rays routed the M's 9-1 at the former Suncoast Dome.
Virtual Season: Mariners lose first game of road swing to Rays 5-1
Tyler Glasnow had the Mariners tied in knots tonight. The Tampa Bay right-hander struck out ten Seattle batters in 71⁄3 innings on the way to a 5-1 Rays victory.
Virtual Season: Rangers blank M's to snap streak; Seager traded
Lance Lynn, whose been a thorn in the Mariners' side for a few years now, pitched a gem for the Rangers tonight as Texas beat Seattle 4-0. The loss snaps the Mariners' eight-game winning streak.
Virtual Season: M's feast on Texas pitching, win 8th straight
The Mariners took advantage of one of the American League's worst pitching staffs to continue their offensive explosion, scoring ten runs against the Rangers to beat their division rival 10-3.
Virtual Season: Mariners beat Texas, extend win streak to 7 games
Tom Murphy and Mitch Haniger each homered and drove in three runs in the Mariners' 9-3 defeat of the Texas Rangers tonight at TMP.
Virtual Season: Fraley, Walker shine as Mariners complete sweep of Royals
Taijuan Walker struck out a season-high nine batters over eight strong innings and Jake Fraley went 3-for-4 with a home run to lead the Mariners to a 2-1 win over Kansas City and extend their winning streak to six games.
Virtual Season: Mariners shut out Royals, win 5th in a row
Nick Margevicius pitched six strong innings and Mitch Hanger launched a late home run to help the Mariners to a 4-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Virtual Season: Mariners win 4th straight, take over first place
The Mariners kept up their winning ways tonight at TMP, defeating the Kansas City Royals 5-2 behind a solid start from rookie pitcher Justus Sheffield. Every Seattle batter in the lineup reached base again tonight, via hit or walk.
Virtual Season: M's clobber Royals 9-2
Yusei Kikichi went eight strong innings and the Seattle offense continued its impressive consistency to lead the Mariners to a 9-2 drubbing of the Kansas City Royals.
Virtual Season: Mariners sweep Astros, close to 1 GB
Evan White and Kyle Lewis each hit home runs and eight of nine Mariners in the lineup had hits as Seattle beat the Houston Astros 7-4.
Virtual Season: Mariners edge Astros 3-2
Taijuan Walker pitched six strong innings and Kyle Lewis hit his first home run of the year to help the Mariners clip the Houston Astros 3-2 in Seattle.
Virtual Season: Angels trounce M's to snap winning streak
Dee Gordon gave the Mariners an immediate edge with a leadoff home run today, but the Los Angeles Angels weren't fazed as they came back to wallop Seattle 10-1.
Virtual Season: M's survive bullpen implosion to win 6th straight game
The Mariners opened up a big 8-0 lead over the Angels tonight, then saw that margin narrow to one run when LA plated six runs in the 8th against ineffective Seattle relief pitching. But in the end, the M's prevailed in Anaheim by a score of 8-7.
Virtual Season: Kikuchi leads M's to fifth straight win
Daniel Vogelbach and Mitch Haniger homered and Yusei Kikuchi went seven strong innings as the Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-1 for their fifth consecutive victory.
Virtual Season: Mariners sweep Jays with 5-0 shutout
Marco Gonzales went the distance to earn his first shutout and league-leading fifth complete game of the year as the Mariners defeated the Blue Jays 5-0 tonight in Toronto.
Virtual Season: White leads M's with three extra-base hits in 6-4 win
Evan White was just a single shy of the cycle in leading the Mariners' offense to a 6-4 win over the Blue Jays tonight in Toronto. The rookie first baseman doubled in the 3rd inning, homered in the 4th, and tripled in the 9th. He scored twice and drove in three runs.
Virtual Season: M's open series in Toronto with unusual game
The Mariners' series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto featured some oddities, including an inside-the-park home run and a game-ending pickoff.
Virtual Season: Mariners at Blue Jays play-by-play "broadcast"
Behold the latest GSAU experiment: a radio-style play-by-play account of this evening's game between the virtual Mariners and the virtual Toronto Blue Jays from the Rogers Centre in virtual downtown Toronto. Please to enjoy.
Virtual Season: Mariners best Marlins in 2-1 pitchers' duel
Yusei Kikuchi and Caleb Smith matched wits today in Miami, each putting up zero after zero on the scoreboard through six innings of work. It was only when the bullpens got involved that either side was able to push anything across, and Seattle got two to manage a 2-1 win over the Marlins.
Virtual Season: Bullpen blows it for Marco, Fish win in 12
Jonathan Villar delivered the third of four consecutive hits for the Marlins off of Yoshi Hirano in the bottom of the 9th inning to wash away a two-run Seattle lead, and then Corey Dickerson drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th as Miami defeated the Mariners 6-5 today in south Florida.
Virtual Season: Seager leads M's in 6-0 win over Miami
Kyle Seager had three hits and Taijuan Walker pitched seven strong innings to lead the Mariners in a 6-0 shutout of the Marlins tonight in Miami.
Virtual Season: 5-run 4th gives Yankees 7-5 win over M's
Giancarlo Stanton connected for a three-run homer in a big 4th inning for the New York Yankees, leading them to a 7-5 victory over the Mariners in Seattle.
Virtual Season: Yankees power their way to 7-3 win vs. M's
Nick Margevicius surrendered four solo home runs to the Yankees tonight and was chased after just four innings as New York cruised to a 7-3 victory in Seattle.
New York set the tone early on, as leadoff man Brett Gardner greeted Margevicius (1-2) with a 450-foot home run on the third pitch of the game and Giancarlo Stanton topped that with a 453-foot bomb later in the inning.
Virtual Season: M's shut out Yankees 4-0
The Mariners took advantage of a wild pitch and an error to score two 1st-inning runs against Gerrit Cole and the Yankees, then added two solo home runs later on to defeat New York 4-0 tonight in Seattle.
Virtual Season: Gonzales wins 5th as M's beat Braves 7-2
Mallex Smith tripled in the bottom of the 1st inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games and scored the first of seven Mariner runs as Seattle topped the Atlanta Braves at TMP.
Virtual Season: Mariners outlast Atlanta, win 4-3 in extras
Tom Murphy singled home Carlos González in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Mariners a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Atlanta Braves tonight in Seattle.
Virtual Season: Atlanta blows out Mariners 17-2
The Mariners had an early 1-0 lead, but before long the visiting Atlanta Braves showed the TMP crowd just what kind of game it was going to be. The Braves plated eight in the top of the 2nd inning and kept on going, eventually reaching 17 runs to crush the M's by a 15-run margin behind an excellent outing from pitcher Mike Foltynewicz.
Virtual Season: Mariners take series in Detroit with 8-5 win
Miguel Cabrera went 5-for-5 today but that wasn't enough for the Detroit Tigers, as they fell to the Mariners 8-5. Nick Margevicius got the win with six innings of two-run ball while Dee Gordon led the offense with three hits and three runs scored.
Virtual Season: M's score four in extras to beat Tigers
Dee Gordon and Mallex Smith combined to score the tying and winning runs for the Mariners tonight as they came back to defeat the Tigers in Detroit, 4-2.
Virtual Season: Mariners fire hitting coach Laker, hire Perry
Tim Laker has been fired as the batting coach for the Seattle Mariners as part of the team's efforts to change its offensive philosophy. Laker had been the team's batting coach since 2019. According to team officials, Laker's dismissal was tied to the on-field performance of Mariner hitters during his tenure, specifically the prevalence of strikeouts and a swing-for-the-fences mindset among some players.
Virtual Season: Bullpen, offense fail Gonzales as M's lose to Detroit 4-2
Jonathan Schoop and Miguel Cabrera each hit RBI doubles in the bottom of the 8th inning tonight to give the Detroit Tigers a 4-2 victory over the Mariners, spoiling yet another winless quality start from Seattle ace Marco Gonzales.
Virtual Season: Mariners top Yanks in slugfest, split series
Playing through an intermittent drizzle at Yankee Stadium, the Mariners traded leads with the home team this evening, eventually prevailing over New York 10-8.
Virtual Season: Yankees homer their way to another win over M's
Justus Sheffield was hoping for a better result against the team that traded him away. Despite a strong six innings, the Seattle rookie took the loss in a 5-2 comeback win by the Yankees in New York.
Virtual Season: Yankees use homers to come back, beat M's 4-3
Luke Voit hit two home runs and Miguel Andújar added a solo shot of his own to account for all four runs scored by the New York Yankees today in their 4-3 defeat of the Mariners.
Virtual Season: Mariners club Cole, Yankees in 7-0 win
Daniel Vogelbach homered twice and Yusei Kikuchi struck out nine Yankees over seven innings as the Mariners shut out New York 7-0 tonight in the Bronx.
All seven of Seattle's runs scored via the longball. Vogelbach launched a two-run shot down the left-field line in the 1st off of Garret Cole (5-4), which Jake Fraley followed up with an opposite-field blast of his own to give a 3-0 lead to Kikuchi before he even took the hill.
Virtual Season: M's use running game to give Gonzales a win vs. Nats
The Mariners broke with tradition and scored big in a game started by Marco Gonzales, starting with three runs in the 1st inning and ending in an 8-2 win over the defending World Champion Washington Nationals.
Virtual Season: Mariners blow lead, come back to win at Washington
Carlos González delivered a clutch RBI single in the top of the 10th inning tonight to give the Mariners the winning margin in their 6-5 victory against the Washington Nationals.
Virtual Season: Bats come alive as Mariners beat Detroit 9-6
Jake Fraley, Dee Gordon, and Evan White each had three hits in a 9-6 Mariners win over the Detroit Tigers today in an offensive display that was a welcome sight for Seattle baseball fans.
Virtual Season: Mariners' comeback falls short as Tigers win 5-3
Jeimer Candelario hit two home runs to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 5-3 win tonight against the Mariners at TMP in Seattle. The Detroit third baseman, who now has seven longballs on the season, went deep to break a 1-1 tie in the 6th and hit a two-run shot in the 7th.
Virtual Season: Boyd, Tigers spoil fine outing from Kikuchi
Matthew Boyd has been a bright spot in a dark early season for the Detroit Tigers, and he showed why with 62⁄3 shutout innings against the Mariners tonight in Seattle. With help from relievers Buck Farmer and Joe Jimeñez, Boyd put an end to the Mariners' four-game winning streak as the Tigers took the opening game in the series, 4-0.
Virtual Season: Gonazales victorious in 2-1 pitchers' duel
The Mariners once again failed to give Marco Gonzales much in the way of run support, but this time Seattle's ace was able to make do with what he had. Thanks to Mallex Smith's 5th-inning double, the M's had just enough offense to give Gonzales a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics and a series sweep for Seattle.
Virtual Season: Gordon's four hits lead M's to 8-4 win vs. A's
Dee Gordon led the Mariners in a 14-hit attack as Seattle beat the Oakland A's tonight 8-4 at TMP. Gordon's four-hit, three-RBI performance helped make a winner out of Taijuan Walker (5-2), the Seattle starter who had fallen behind 4-3 when the A's mounted a three-run, two-out rally in the 5th inning. Walker survived the frame by getting Stephen Piscotty to ground out and breezed through the 6th and 7th before being relieved for the 8th.
Virtual Season: Mariners win pitching duel with solo homers
Oakland's Frankie Montas and Seattle's Justus Sheffield took part in a good old-fashioned pitchers' duel tonight at TMP. Both hurlers were on their game, pitching efficiently and briskly as the A's and Mariners fought to put any runs on the board, with the Mariners emerging as 2-1 victors.
Virtual Season: Murphy's three homers rescue M's in Houston
Tom Murphy capped a come-from-behind effort by the Mariners today by belting his third home run of the game into the left-field seats in the 9th inning against the Astros.
Virtual Season: Astros score late to beat M's 7-5
Designated hitter Abraham Toro blasted a two-run home run in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park tonight to give the Astros the winning margin in a 7-5 defeat of the Mariners.
Virtual Season: Greinke outduels Marco, gives Houston 1-0 win
Zack Greinke struck out 14 Mariners over eight innings tonight and George Springer provided a solo home run to give the Astros a 1-0 victory over Seattle tonight in Houston.
Virtual Season: Mariners beat Osuna, Astros in 10
Patrick Wisdom hit a go-ahead solo home run and Daniel Vogelbach drove in a pair of insurance runs in the 10th inning tonight to give the Mariners a 6-3 victory in Houston.
Virtual Season: Oakland bats score 10, embarrass Mariners
Justus Sheffield did not have his good stuff this afternoon. The rookie southpaw served up eight runs on seven hits and five walks in just two innings against the A's in today's 10-4 loss in Oakland.
Virtual Season: A's clobber Graveman, beat Mariners 8-3
A thirteen-hit attack that included a mammoth 465-foot home run propelled the Oakland Athletics to an 8-3 victory over the Mariners at the Oakland Coliseum tonight. Seattle starter Kendall Graveman lasted four innings in taking his fourth loss.
Virtual Season: Kikuchi leads Mariners over A's 5-1
Through eight innings, the M's and A's could get very little going at the plate with starters Yusei Kikuchi and Sean Manaea putting up zeroes except for single runs by each side in the 3rd. Seattle got on the board with a solo home run by catcher Tom Murphy, while the A's plated one when Marcus Semien singled in Stephen Piscotty from second base.Kikuchi (5-2) went the distance, giving the Mariners back-to-back complete games—a rare feat in today's game. He walked none and struck out seven, getting through the game with an economical pitch count of 109.
Virtual Season: Marco, Dee lead M's in 6-3 win over Astros
Marco Gonzales has been a hard-luck starter for the Mariners this season, but not on this day. Staked to an early lead, Gonzales went the distance against a powerful Houston lineup to secure a series split with the Astros.
Virtual Season: Astros' homers, defense beat Mariners 4-3
Carlos Correa robbed Dee Gordon of a base hit in the 9th inning tonight that would have tied up the Mariners' score against the Houston Astros. Instead, the Astros held on to win by a score of 4-3.
Virtual Season: Mariners shut out Astros 3-0
The Houston Astros used a trio of homers to score all four of their runs and defeat the Mariners 4-3 in ten innings tonight in Seattle. Domestic abuser Roberto Osuna (1-1) got the win for Houston with two scoreless innings of relief.
Virtual Season: Astros' Tucker homers in 10th as Houston beats M's
The Houston Astros used a trio of homers to score all four of their runs and defeat the Mariners 4-3 in ten innings tonight in Seattle. Domestic abuser Roberto Osuna (1-1) got the win for Houston with two scoreless innings of relief.
Virtual Season: Mariners survive 9th-inning errors, edge Angels 4-3
31,000+ fans at the ballpark by Elliott Bay saw high drama in the 9th inning tonight, as the Mariners threatened to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory yet ultimately prevail by a score of 4-3 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Virtual Season: M's fail Marco again, lose to Angels in 10 innings
Marco Gonzales pitched another fine game for the Mariners tonight at the ballpark by Elliott Bay, and once again he has nothing to show for it, as the Angels came back to defeat the M's 5-3 in ten innings.
Virtual Season: Mariners implode, lose 10-6 in Texas
Taijuan Walker was solid through five innings today, allowing only a solo home run to Joey Gallo, and was enjoying a 5-1 lead when the wheels fell off his wagon. In just a matter of minutes, the Texas Rangers erased that cushion in the bottom half of the 6th inning on a pair of homers.
What do you know? It's the Trivia Challenge Mark II
While we continue waiting out the COVID-19 hiatus, why not indulge in a little baseball quiz-taking? In the spirit of last year's Mariner-centric Trivia Challenge, we present this year's more generalized (with plenty of M's stuff too) baseball trivia quiz. Click below to begin, then when you're done you'll be brought back here so you can tell us what you think.
Virtual Season: 2-run 12th gives M's win over Rangers
It took 12 innings, but the Mariners came through to beat the Texas Rangers tonight, 5-3 in Arlington. Tim Lopes drove in Mallex Smith with the go-ahead run to break a 3-3 tie and Evan White added an insurance tally with sacrifice fly.
Virtual Season: M's squander opportunity, lose to Rangers in 10
Notes from around the leagueJeff McNeil went 4-for-4 with two home runs for the Mets today in New York's 9-3 win over Atlanta. The Astros have now won eight straight, having beaten the Oakland A's 5-1 tonight. They are 13-1 in Houston. On the Farm/Prospect WatchThe Tacoma Rainiers also lost in extra innings tonight, dropping their game with Albuquerque 7-6 in 11 innings. Jered Kelenic had two hits and three RBI in Double-A Arkansas' 8-3 loss to Tulsa. Julio Rodríguez went 2-for-3 as the Class-A Modesto Nuts lost to Stockton 6-1.
Virtual Season: Mariners win 6-3, take series with Twins
Yusei Kikuchi pitched seven innings for the win and Daniel Vogelbach clubbed his sixth home run of the season as the Mariners defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-3 today at Minneapolis' Target Field. The victory gives the Mariners their second straight series win after splitting the two-game set with Washington last week.
Gordon wins 2020 Hutch Award
Dee Gordon, the Mariners' second baseman and sometime-outfielder, was honored today with the 2020 Fred Hutch Award, bestowed upon a Major League player who exemplifies courage and fortitude in off-the-field community activity in the manner of the late Fred Hutchinson.
Virtual Season: M's, Twins trade homers in Minnesota walk-off win
Byron Buxton connected for a game-winning, walk-off home run off reliever Nestor Cortes in the 9th inning tonight at Minneapolis' Target Field to end the Mariners-Twins contest with a final score of 4-3.
Virtual Season: Walker sharp; CarGo, JP, Seager homer in win vs. Twins
Taijuan Walker took a no-hitter into the 7th inning and Kyle Seager, Carlos González, and J.P. Crawford each hit home runs as the Mariners defeated the Minnesota Twins by a score of 8-3 in Minneapolis.
Virtual Season: Mariner homers enough to beat Buxton and Odorizzi in Minneapolis
The Mariners overcame a tremendous outing by Minnesota pitcher Jake Odorizzi to squeak by the Twins tonight 3-2 at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Virtual Season: Mariners take 3 of 4 in Oakland
Kyle Seager drove in two runs and J.P. Crawford hit a two-run homer to provide all the runs the Mariners needed today to defeat the A's and cap off a three-win effort in the four-game series in Oakland.
Virtual Season: Vogey awakes, drives in 5 in M's win vs. Oakland
Daniel Vogelbach drove in all five Mariner runs today as Seattle defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-1. Vogelbach had been struggling mightily, riding an 0-for-33 streak coming into today's game that saw his batting average dip to .162 and his playing time curtailed. But against Oakland starter Sean Manaea today, Vogey came up big.
Virtual Season: M's drop nailbiter to A's 3-2
The Mariners and Oakland Athletics dueled in the East Bay tonight with runs at a premium. Both Seattle starter Marco Gonzales and Oakland hurler Jesús don't-call-him-Emilio Luzardo brought their A games and made few mistakes.
Virtual Season: Walker wins pitchers' duel with A's
Taijuan Walker pitched eight innings of near-perfect ball and Evan White drove in Dee Gordon with what would be the winning run for the second game in a row as the Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 1-0.
Virtual Season: Mariners beat Nats in extras
This post chronicles a virtual 2020 season played on the computer game Out of the Park Baseball 21. See the virtual opening day post for details on the setup. We’ll be updating this “season” as our coronavirus-enforced life without real baseball continues.
Strasburg dominates as M's lose 4th straight
Stephen Strasburg schooled the Mariners in the art of pitching Monday night at TMP in Seattle. The Washington Nationals right-hander pitched 81⁄3 innings of shutout baseball as Washington won 6-0.
Virtual Season: Errors, wildness sink Mariners against Boston
Dee Gordon had a banner afternoon, but it wasn't enough to overcome several defensive lapses by the Mariners as the visiting Boston Red Sox defeated Seattle 6-4.
Virtual Season: McHugh, Gonzales duel in 2-1 Boston win
This post chronicles a virtual 2020 season played on the computer game Out of the Park Baseball 21. See the virtual opening day post for details on the setup. We’ll be updating this “season” as our coronavirus-enforced life without real baseball continues.
Virtual Season: Red Sox get revenge, beat M's 7-1
Smarting from the drubbing they took yesterday, the Boston Red Sox took their revenge on the Mariners Friday night at TMP, clubbing three home runs en route to a 7-1 win.
Virtual Season: Mariners clobber Red Sox 8-0 behind Sheffield
This post chronicles a virtual 2020 season played on the computer game Out of the Park Baseball 21. See the virtual opening day post for details on the setup. We’ll be updating this “season” as our coronavirus-enforced life without real baseball continues.
Virtual Season: Murphy, CarGo power M's over ChiSox
The Mariners were decided underdogs on paper for this afternoon's rubber match concluding the three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox. The palehose were starting former Cy Young Award winner and two-time All-Star Dallas Keuchel, who came into the game with an 0.79 ERA, while the M's went with reclamation project Kendall Graveman in his third start after recovering from Tommy John surgery. But it would be Keuchel that got sent to the showers early, driven from the game after just 22⁄3 innings in the eventual 11-5 Mariner win.
Virtual Season: Kikuchi victorious in Windy City pitchers' duel
Yusei Kikuchi and Lucas Giolito locked horns in a classic pitchers' duel Tuesday night at New Comiskey Park. The Seattle lefty and Chicago right-hander traded scoreless innings through five full frames, though Kikuchi did it with more efficiency—through five, Kikuchi had thrown 59 pitches while Giolito needed 80.
Virtual Season: Mariners shut out against White Sox
Virtual Season: Mariners take series in KC
Virtual Season: Crawford powers M's to extra-inning victory
J.P. Crawford homered and tripled to lead the Mariners to a 4-1 victory in ten innings over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium Saturday. Crawford's 3-for-5 performance accounted for two runs scored and three batted in.
History: This Week in Mariners Transactions
The COVID-19 crisis has all rosters frozen (again) for the time being. But with no real baseball happening (though we are doing our virtual season), we thought we'd look into the wayback machine and see what interesting moves happened in the first week of April in seasons past (plenty of boring ones will be ignored). We'll continue this sort of thing in the weeks to come.
Virtual Season: Royals win home opener vs. Mariners 4-2
Virtual Season: Twins, Berrios blank Mariners 7-0
Virtual Season: Marco, Fraley lead M's to victory
The Mariners won their third game of the season Tuesday night, scoring four runs and holding off the Minnesota Twins to even their record at 3-3. Marco Gonzales pitched six solid innings to earn his first win of 2020 while Kenta Maeda took the loss for the Twins.
Evan White breaks the mold for M's at 1B
When Seattle General Manager Jerry Dipoto announced his “step back” plan after the 2018 season, the focus for 2019 immediately shifted to the farm system. Mariner fans quickly learned about young stars like Jared Kelenic, Julio Rodríguez, and Justin Dunn. One young player who went under the radar was first baseman Evan White. All this changed when White was signed to a six-year major league contract last November.
Virtual Season: Walker strong in victory over Twins
Taijuan Walker returned to the Mariners' fold in style Monday night at TMP. The one-time prized prospect, traded to Arizona along with Ketel Marte after the 2016 season for Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura, took the hill in his second Mariner debut and pitched seven shutout innings to earn a win over the Minnesota Twins.
Virtual Season: M's drop finale to Texas, fall to 1-3
Virtual Season: Gallo, Minor lead Rangers to 4-2 win over M's
Joey Gallo smacked his second 2-run homer in as many games and Mike Minor pitched six shutout innings to lead the Texas Rangers to their second win of the season, a 4-2 defeat of the Mariners at TMP.
Virtual Season: M's win 6-5 in dramatic comeback
Scores from around the virtual league:
Virtual Opening Day
We have no baseball right now (no live baseball, anyway; some TV channels and MLB.com are providing broadcasts of old games here and there), thanks to global pandemic chaos, so to keep us entertained here at grandsalami.net I have engaged the computer program Out of the Park Baseball to provide a facsimile.
Still no baseball
Hi, everyone. Weird times we're living in, aren't they? With COVID-19 having shut down so much of our regular lives, we're all making do as virtual shut-ins.
Nerds of a certain age may remember the Marvel Comics series "What If...?" that was published regularly in the late 1970s and early '80s, with a revival in the late '80s and 1990s. The anthology series took an event from the long canon of Marvel Comics history and turned it on its head, telling "alternate universe" stories wherein, for example, Spider-Man's Uncle Ben had lived, or Captain America had run for President. Well, let's apply that concept to baseball, shall we?
Events continue to unfold at high speed, but here's the latest on the state of affairs with MLB and the Mariners.
Spring Training check-in II
We're now just two weeks from Opening Day—maybe—so let's check in once more with how the Mariners are doing down in Arizona. The record is underwhelming at 6-12, but remember, wins and losses don't really matter in spring training. More important is how particular players are developing and how competition for roster spots plays out.
Age of uncertainty
Opening Day is just two weeks away...maybe.
Spring Training Check-in
Having hit the quarter-pole for Spring Training 2020, let's check in with Your Seattle Mariners and see who's doing well and how the battle for various roster spots is progressing. The sample size remains small, of course; we're talking a week's worth of games in which players generally get just a couple of at-bats each. Still, it's a starting point to refer to as the spring goes on and we approach Opening Day on March 26th.
Welcome to Spring
The calendar will tell you it's still winter time, but as we all know, spring begins on the first day of spring training exhibition games regardless of date. Thus, this year, spring begins in February.
M's add players you may have heard of
The rumors proved to be true: The Mariners have reunited with onetime prized prospect Taijuan Walker.
Spring Training is on the horizon for 2020 and we have yet to check in on the Mariners' doings in the offseason since they traded away catcher Omar Narváez a couple of months ago.
Trader Jerry boots an easy grounder
As we speculated about last week, the Mariners today traded catcher Omar Narváez. He was dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Class-A pitcher Adam Hill and a competitive balance draft pick.
Early offseason odds and ends
It is not going to be an offseason like last year's for Your Seattle Mariners, with massive roster churn and a constant check of the Twitter feed to find proof of life on Jerry Dipoto when we haven't seen news of a trade in 48 hours. But there will be some tweaking, and said tweaking has begun.
M's fill coaching vacancies from within
Next season will see some new faces among the Mariners' coaching staff, but not the wholesale turnover that came after 2018. Having previously announced the reassignment of pitching coach Paul Davis and the release of bullpen coach Jim Brower and third-base coach Chris Prieto, the remainder of the staff will stay on.
Hey, we know him
Now that the Wild Card slots are filled with the conclusion of the WC play-in games—good one in DC, dull one in Oakland—the playoffs can begin in earnest. As we tune in for the four League Division Series starting tomorrow, we may not know a lot about the teams playing; after all, we don't see those squads very often, a lot of their players are unknown quantities unless we're super-diehard baseball consumers. But some will be familiar because they used to be Mariners.
2019: Actually not that bad
It's over. The long slog of the season, the Dog Days of Summer, the grind of 162 games. Done for another solar orbit. For the 18th year in a row, Your Seattle Mariners head into October as spectators for the playoffs, adding another number to their ignominious total of years as the only American League franchise never to reach the World Series.
No-stakes losses to Houston already lost to memory
At this point in the season, when only the very last playoff spots have yet to be clinched and most teams are just playing out the string, things take on a less meaningful aura. I mean, this is sports, and in the grand scheme of things it's all not-that-meaningful, but you get the point. In the case of the just-completed two-game mini-series between the Mariners and Houston Astros, things were even less meaningful: The Astros are already American League West division champions again and the Mariners have been rooted in last place for a while and are assured of finishing there.
M's lose series to Orioles despite the unheralded greatness of Marco Gonzales
The Baltimore Orioles are, by record, the second-worst team in the Major Leagues, behind only the 4½ games worse Detroit Tigers. The Mariners had already beaten them three out of four times earlier in the summer, and coming off a sweep of the not-as-bad-but-still-not-good Pittsburgh Pirates, one could be forgiven for thinking the M's would take their final road trip of the season in impressive fashion. Instead, Seattle dropped two of three to the hapless Orioles and come home having recorded a 4-2 road swing.
Mariners sink Pirates in three-game sweep
With the season winding down and the Mariners hoping to merely avoid the indignity of losing 100 games, this final road trip to Pittsburgh and Baltimore was just what the doctor ordered. Building on their series win at home versus the White Sox, the Mariners' winning streak reached five games with the completion of a three-game sweep of the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
M's take wacky series from Chisox
That was nuts.
Ichiro celebration weekend
As this is being written, the Mariners are in the midst of Ichiro Weekend, three days of celebrating the career and achievements of one Ichiro Suzuki. One because, well, there are many people in the world named Ichiro Suzuki—"Ichiro" translates to "first son," of which there are lots, and Suzuki is the second-most common surname in Japan—there is and will be only one Ichiro, and he played the bulk of his Hall of Fame MLB career as a Seattle Mariner.
Reds series shows what to expect from next year's M's
The Cincinnati Reds are not an intimidating team, but they are Major Leaguers and just a few days ago many of the Seattle Mariners were not. So taking two of three in this Interleague matchup is meaningful, in a couple of ways.
Astros embarrass Mariners in 4-game sweep
Nobody expected much. It was already a mismatch on paper, with Houston sporting one of the best records in baseball as they approach 100 wins yet again, Seattle flailing along in last place on their way to 100 losses. The Astros were 12-1 against the Mariners in the season series. They had Cy Young favorites Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole scheduled over the weekend. But, you know, it's baseball in the big leagues, upsets happen.
Mariners mauled by Cubs at Wrigley
Though it still feels a bit weird to say, the Chicago Cubs are a very good team. Meanwhile, as we are completely accustomed to saying, the Seattle Mariners are . . . not. So it's not surprising that the Cubs swept the M's in their brief two-game set at Wrigley Field.
Mariners split with Rangers instead of winning series for some reason
In what was the final series played by the Mariners in the current home of the Texas Rangers (they'll open a new retractable-roof facility next season), Seattle manager Scott Servais decided to be charitable and allow the Rangers to split the four games. At least, that's one theory.
M's swept by Evil Empire
In three games against the New York Yankees, the Mariners were hopelessly outmatched and lost all three contests. Pitchers Tommy Milone, Yusei Kikuchi, and Justus Sheffield each served up five earned runs to the New Yorkers in their starts (or "headline game" in Milone's case), while the Yankees' starters were much sharper.
Marco shines in series win vs. Blue Jays
The annual Canadian Invasion came down this past weekend to see the Mariners host the Toronto Blue Jays just a week after the two teams played out in Ontario. Like in that earlier series, the M's won two out of three with the rubber match featuring a brilliant pitching performance by the Seattle starter.
August Roster Churn
The trade deadline may have come and gone, but the roster of the 2019 Mariners continues to be fluid.
M's blow sweep, but take 2 of 3 from Rays
The Mariners arrived in St. Petersburg looking for revenge, and they nearly got it.
Kikuchi pitches shutout in series win over Jays
This was the guy.
Seager clubs Tigers as M's take 2 of 3
The Mariners needed a break, and the Detroit Tigers obliged. Seattle had dropped eight of their last nine games coming into Detroit, some by rather irritating fashion, and three against the worst team in the Majors was a welcome turn of events. It wasn't a sweep, as it was when the Tigers visited the Northwest, but the M's will gladly take two wins out of three at this point of the lost 2019 campaign.
M's celebrate Edgar weekend by losing three times
It was Edgar Martínez Hall of Fame weekend the last few days at the ballpark by Elliott Bay, with celebrations, giveaway goodies, and a speech by the newly-minted Hall of Famer himself on Saturday during pregame activities. The honors for Edgar were fun and, of course, well-deserved, and we look forward to next year's unveiling of the new statue of Edgar commemorating "The Double" from the 1995 ALDS that was announced on Saturday.
How goes the rebuild?
This is not a good year for Your Seattle Mariners. At least, not at the big-league level, and not by the standard metric of, you know, winning. But there are other ways to gauge progress, especially when the club is in the midst of a rebuild.
M's snap losing streak, split with Padres
The Mariners returned home Tuesday and began a new homestand with two games against their ostensible/former Inerleague "natural rivals," the San Diego Padres, a team that has given them fits over the last couple of years. The teams split the two-game set, giving the M's a 1-7 record vs. San Diego since 2018.
I left town for a week, and so did the Mariners. I think I fared better overall.
Beckham suspended for rest of Mariner tenure
Another season, another Mariner infielder suspended for PED use. It was announced this morning that Tim Beckham has been caught violating the MLB/MLBPA drug policy. He has been suspended for 80 games, or the rest of this season plus 32 games to start next season, assuming he gets a contract for 2020.
Trade deadline action
Greetings from our nation's capitol, where while attending the Nationals-Braves game this afternoon grandsalami.net kept tabs on all the wheeling and dealing as today's 1:00pm PDT MLB trading deadline approached. The Mariners were involved in a couple of notable deals (one involving the Nationals, as it happens).
M's sweep worst team in Majors, feel good about it
Your Seattle Mariners were having, to be blunt, a miserable July. A week ago they were at 3-11 for the month, nearly the reverse of that blissful 13-2 opening run at the start of the season and about as fun to watch as wood rotting in the rain. But: This was a good week.It began with the badly-slumping Texas Rangers giving the M's their first series win since taking two of three in Milwaukee in June and continued with a gift from the scheduling gods, a four-game set against the Detroit Tigers, owners of the worst record in the big leagues.
Mariners manage series win against slumping Rangers
The Texas Rangers rolled into town having lost seven in a row and losers of 12 of their last 16. The Mariners began the series having lost 15 of their last 19. It was to be a clash of ciphers, and so it was, with the M's ending up winners of two out of three on the strength of the pitching of Marco Gonzales and Mike Leake.
Good riddance, Angels
With the merciful end of today's loss to the Los Angeles Angels, the Mariners bid adieu to their AL West rivals for the season. Due to the quirky schedules we get nowadays, there always seems to be something odd with the Angels' dates on the calendar—last year all three of their visits to Seattle were done with before the M's set foot in Orange County, for example—and this year it's that the season series is done with on July 21st.
I wasn't supposed to be at tonight's Mariners-Angels game. In my season ticket group's draft, this game went to another guy, Grant. But Grant decided to head to Cooperstown to see Edgar Martínez get inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend, so he put tonight's tix up for grabs and I said, sure, I'll take ’em, even though it is the frickin' Angels AGAIN and not even a Marco Gonzales game.
On the heels of an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Angels down in Orange County, the Mariners were pasted good in a two-game set in the East Bay. The Oakland A's outscored the M's 19-4 in the two games, making the umpiring problem in Tuesday night's contest nothing but a footnote.
Angels humiliate M's in return from break
The Mariners returned to action following the All-Star break with a three-game set in Anaheim against the Angels, and it was ugly. Not only were the Mariners swept, they were also no-hit in the first game. Mike Leake had his monthly meltdown, Wade LeBlanc served up a pair of home runs in three innings, and Matt Carasiti relieved Yusei Kikuchi and predictably allowed all inherited runners to score before Anthony Bass came in and did what he does best: put runners on and take the loss in a game.
I was recently asked by friend of the site Mike Putnam (hi, Mike) for some info on how former Mariners who were traded way since last season were doing as compared to the guys they were traded for. That's a bit of an involved question, really, since by this point a few guys have been traded for other guys who have since been traded for yet other guys. So, since we're in the All-Star break, this seems a good time to do a dive into it.
Mariners limp into the break with series loss to A's
Friday night the Mariners were undone by a defensive error and a poor relief choice. Saturday Marco Gonzales turned in a gem. And Sunday Scott Servais played with matches and gasoline again by using an "opener." So went the final series of the unofficial first half of the season, the Oakland A's taking two of three as we head into the All-Star break.
Pitching failures turn series win into series loss vs. Cards
The just-completed Interleague series vs. the St. Louis Cardinals was a frustrating experience from before the first pitch of the first game, and not just because I was prevented from getting into the ballpark on time Tuesday night because of an electronic ticketing fiasco. In the greater Mariner fan universe, we were given yet another experiment with "the opener" Tuesday (and Thursday), which was enough to make one shake one's fist and scream into the void and diminish any expectations of things getting better.
M's fight well in losing cause for two games, give up early in third
On the heels of their promising series win in Milwaukee, the Mariners took on the Astros in Houston for three games to remind us all why this season has been so disappointing.
M's preview the future with solid interleague series win
Prior to the Mariners' series win against the low-hanging fruit known as the Baltimore Orioles last weekend, the club had gone 7-11 in the month of June. Taking three of four from the awful Orioles may have given the M's a morale and confidence boost, because they just won a more challenging series, taking two of three from the contending Milwaukee Brewers for their first Interleague wins of the year.
M's take three of four from worst team in MLB, retain semblance of self-esteem
If only the Mariners could face Baltimore pitching every day.
The halfway point: how's it going?
Today's 8-4 loss to the worst team in the big leagues, the Baltimore Orioles, marks the halfway mark of the Mariners' 2019 season, at least in terms of games played. 50% through the campaign, the M's sit at a fairly unpleasant 34-47, last in the American League West at 15½ games behind division-leading Houston. On the surface, this seems like a horrid season for Seattle baseball, particularly after a surprisingly strong start that saw Seattle atop the leaderboards and nearly undefeated in the first few weeks and fall hard and fast off a cliff after the stellar 13-2 early record.
M's take just one of three from team with .324 winning percentage
After another opener-fueled defeat and a blowout loss behind the ever-mysterious Yusei Kikuchi, the Mariners remembered that the Royals had an eminently beatable pitching staff and teed off on KC's erstwhile ace, Brad Keller, in yesterday's series finale to reclaim a modicum of self-esteem and halt their losing streak at two.
Back in California, M's win another series
The Mariners completed their latest road trip of inefficient mileage—Anaheim-Minneapolis-Oakland—at 5-4, their first over-.500 road trip since April 5-11. After taking two of three from the Angels and dropping two of three to the Twins, Seattle won the rubber match against the Athletics Sunday afternoon by a score of 6-3.
Dipoto makes eighth trade of the season, inspires plethora of puns
Adiós to the Accidental Mariner.
The "opener." The "headliner." You may have heard these terms being bandied about lately on Mariner and other Major League teams' broadcasts or read them elsewhere in the baseball press. It refers to a fad—some would charitably call it a "strategy"—that has become increasingly popular among big-league managers this season and that has infected Scott Servais and the Mariners over the past couple of weeks.
Mariners actually win a series
In a callback to happier times, the Mariners won a series last weekend. In taking two out of three from the Angels on their home turf in Anaheim, Seattle brought its win-loss record to 28-41—still rather pathetic but hey, a win's a win.
Injury update, near-trade, and the bullpen shuffle
A quick roundup of Mariner roster moves and almost-moves over the past few days:
Mariners surprisingly competitive against former Colt .45s, but shoot themselves in the foot repeatedly
No one had much hope for success in the just-completed four-game series versus the first-place Houston Astros. The M's had just dropped five straight series with an overall 3-14 record and were looking like the 1962 Mets.
Fans enjoy Edgar Martínez book signing event
Mariners great Edgar Martínez signed hundreds of copies of his new book, EDGAR: An Autobiography (co-written with Larry Stone) this evening at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle. The book will officially be released next week, but those at EBBC got an advance opportunity to purchase the book and have it signed by the new Hall of Famer.
"It's bad baseball."
In dropping three of four to the Angels this weekend, the Mariners continued to look more like the Bad News Bears than a Major League baseball team.
Bruce trade final
The trade we reported on yesterday involving outfielder/first-baseman Jay Bruce was completed today, with Bruce headed to join the Philadelphia Phillies. To take Bruce's roster spot, outfielder Braden Bishop was recalled form Triple-A Tacoma.
Dipoto nearing seventh trade of the season
Outfielder/first-baseman Jay Bruce may be headed to Philadelphia. According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Mariners and Phillies have been discussing a trade of Bruce; Passan had indicated the deal would be completed this weekend, but more recently has amended his report to say that nothing has been formally agreed to.
Edgar Martínez's autobiography
GrandSalami.net is pleased to promote the pre-release book-signing event at Elliott Bay Book Company next Wednesday evening with the Mariners' own Edgar Martínez. The Seattle sports icon will be signing copies of his new memoir, EDGAR, several days in advance of the book's official release date of June 11, 2019.
M's drop another series but look less bad
The Mariners' latest homestand opened with something we hadn't seen in Seattle for a good while now: a well-played baseball victory. It was, sadly, a one-and-done phenomenon, as the next two contests against the visiting Texas Rangers went into the loss column, but in all three games there were positive take-aways to mitigate yet another series defeat.On Monday we saw the beginnings of the rebirth of center fielder Mallex Smith. Throughout the series, Smith has been the player the M's thought they were getting when they shipped Mike Zunino and Guillermo Heredia to Tampa Bay last fall: a leadoff man...
Last-place Mariners continue descent into bottomless pit
The Mariners ended their latest road trip with a whimper today, spoiling a decent start from Mike Leake by failing to hit baseballs against the Oakland A's. Though they fell behind early on a couple of Oakland home runs, the game was close for most of it, with a score of 3-1 in the top of the seventh inning before the bullpen let it get away; it's just that the Mariners can't score runs without hitting balls over the fence.
The Mariners are a bad team. If we didn't know it already, getting swept in this three-game series by the Texas Rangers let us know.
More roster juggling
The Mariners today made several more changes to their active roster. Infielders Dee Gordon and Ryon Healy have been placed on the 10-day injured list—Gordon due to lingering pain from being hit by a pitch in New York two weeks ago and Healy due to a lower back strain—reliever Parker Markel has been optioned down to Triple-A Tacoma, utilityman Dylan Moore has been activated from his stint on the injured list, and infielder Shed Long and pitcher Tommy Milone have been promoted from Tacoma to the big-league club.
Dipoto makes sixth trade of the season
When reliever Anthony Swarzak entered a game against the Twins last week in Seattle, an encouraging cheer was heard in the upper deck of the ballpark by Elliott Bay: "Swarzak! Raise your trade value!"He didn't, really, despite his one scoreless inning of work, but he was nevertheless traded today. Swarzak will head to Atlanta, where he'll join a similarly middling bullpen for a team that has some potential. In exchange, the Braves are sending left-handed reliever Jesse Biddle to the Mariners.Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto has a tendency to seek out potentially undervalued players and reclamation projects, and Biddle fits that profile.
OK, we can give up hope now
Remember back when the Mariners were taking baseball by storm, the early surprise in the Majors with a 13-2 record that was this close to being 15-0? Yeah, fun times. It might seem now like those days were back in 2018, but really it was just a little over a month ago. Mariner fans were riding high, thinking this whole "step back," "sort-of-rebuild year" thing was just unwarranted pessimism.
Roster juggling redux
The Mariners made yet more roster moves today, recalling pitchers Matt Festa and Ryan Garton from Triple-A Tacoma. Both will be available in the bullpen immediately. To clear space for them, southpaw reliever Zac Rosscup has been designated for assignment and alleged starting pitcher Erik Swanson was optioned to Tacoma.
The Mariners' active roster has seen a lot of additions and subtractions since Opening Day in Tokyo, with players seemingly coming and going several times a week, and we're due for some more before today's game versus the Twins.
Mini-sweep of A's slows plunge into sadness
The Mariners returned home from a dismal road trip that saw them drop eight of ten games to the Indians, Yankees, and Red Sox and slip under the .500 mark for the first time this year. They were outscored 57-41, lost some badly and lost some barely, shot themselves in the foot a few times and were bludgeoned others. It was enough to make one wonder if these M's could ever win another series.
A few thoughts on the first two games of the Boston series . . .
The JP Crawford era begins
Infielders Dee Gordon and Dylan Moore both had to come out of yesterday's game against the New York Yankees due to injury, leaving the under-benched Mariners in the position of having to play someone at second base who had never played the middle infield. Moore has been placed on the 10-day injured list, Gordon has not (for the moment), but the upside of this misfortune is that Seattle's shortstop of the future can now become Seattle's shortstop of the present.
Schizophrenic Mariners leave New York in shame
The final tallies were 7-3, 5-4, 10-1, and 3-1. But the scores don't really tell the story.
Dipoto makes fifth trade of the season
Seattle General Manager Jerry Dipoto made yet another trade this weekend, acquiring right-handed reliever Austin Adams from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Class-A prospect Nick Wells and cash considerations.
Don't despair (yet)
Last month I said don't get happy. The hot start for the 2019 Mariners was likely a mirage, but there was still real hope that it might not be. The offense was really cooking in the first couple of weeks and the only concerns were that the bullpen would blow up and that the defense would give way too many runs. Was it sustainable? Probably not, but still...
Ichiro is back again.
Well. That was embarrassing.
Dipoto makes fourth trade of the season
The Mariners traded minor-league infielder Ryne Ogren to the Orioles for right-handed reliever Mike Wright today.Wright has had a spotty professional career, pitching reasonably well at the Triple-A level and poorly at the Major League level. In ten appearances this year with Baltimore, he's posted an ugly 9.45 ERA and brutal 2.025 WHIP, and last year's 5.55 ERA/1.625 WHIP in 481⁄3 innings weren't much better. At Triple-A Norfolk from 2015-2017, however, he was 17-11 with a 2.99 ERA and 1.152 WHIP (2401⁄3 IP).Perhaps GM Jerry Dipoto thinks Wright was mishandled in Baltimore and better coaching can bring his big-league performance...
Stop me if you've heard this before: The Mariners lost to the Padres.
Series win in SoCal
Having dropped six straight at home, the Mariners course-corrected on their just-concluded four-game series in Orange County, taking three of four from the LA Angels with a barrage of home-run power. This puts the M's back atop the American League West standings, believe it or not, as the Astros had some trouble with their vastly inferior Texan neighbors this weekend.
Homestand of Horrors
When the just completed homestand began, the Mariners were the talk of baseball. A surprise juggernaut that won 11 of their first 13 games and were very nearly undefeated, a powerful lineup hitting home runs and scoring at a record pace. It was a beautiful thing to behold.
In last night's game against the Cleveland Native American Stereotypes, the Mariner bullpen pulled off quite an achievement. Well, "achievement" . . . there are probably better words. But the relief corps, known from the get-go as a problem area for the Mariners this season, turned in an eighth inning for the history books.
Astros sweep M's with elite pitching
The Mariners' hot start ran into a cold shower this weekend. The Houston Astros rolled into town and outslugged and outpitched the M's to a three-game sweep and dropped the Mariners' record to 13-5.
Dipoto makes third trade of the season
The Mariners today traded backup catcher David Freitas to Milwaukee for 23-year-old pitcher Sal Biasi, who has been playing in the Class-A Midwest league.
The Mariners made two roster moves today, activating reliever Shawn Armstrong from the injured list and promoting fellow right-hander Ruben "R.J." Alaniz from Triple-A Tacoma. Pitchers Erik Swanson and Matt Festa were sent to Tacoma to make room.Armstrong was expected to be a significant contributor to the Seattle bullpen from the get-go, but landed on the IL just before the club opened the season in Tokyo with an oblique strain. The career reliever spent the bulk of last season with Tacoma, where he went 2-5 with a brilliant 1.77 ERA, and impressed with the big club after a promotion to...
With today's wild extra-inning victory over the Kansas City Royals in the books, the Mariners come home riding a six-game winning streak and an incredible overall record of 13-2. They have set a Major League record for most games with a home run to start a season; they lead the American League in runs scored, hits, batting average, on-base percentage, home runs, total bases, stolen bases, walks (and hit batters), and runs batted in; and under the radar, their pitching staff leads the league in saves and is second to Houston in quality starts.
More IL traffic
After pitching two innings in yesterday's drubbing of the Royals, reliever Chasen Bradford went on the injured list today with shoulder inflammation. Bradford had been one of the Mariners' more effective relievers in the early season. The injury is considered to be mild and he isn't expected to be out more than the minimum 10 days.
Don't Get Happy (Yet)
Don't look now, but Your Seattle Mariners are the best team in the American League.
Swarzak to the rescue(?)
The Mariners have activated right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak from the injured list today, He will be available in the bullpen for tonight's tilt against the Angels.
Dipoto makes second trade of the season
We're just six games into the season, and General Manager Jerry Dipoto has already made two trades. The first, last Friday, brought in backup catcher Tom Murhpy. Today's deal with the Texas Rangers nets the Mariners relief pitcher Connor Sadzeck (not to be confused with Anthony Swarzak).Sadzeck has had a brief taste of the big-leagues—91⁄3 innings with the Rangers last season—but has little experience above Double-A. Last season he threw 38 innings for Round Rock in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, where he was uninspiring (5-3, 4.03 ERA, 1.368 WHIP) but not terrible.
M's best Boston despite themselves
Well, this was a home-opening series for the books, wasn't it? The World Champion Red Sox come to town with their vaunted starting pitching and stacked lineup to face the don't-call-it-rebuilding-it's-just-we're-kind-of-in-between-good-years Mariners and most thought it would be an easy start for Boston; they could bank a few wins here before heading down to Oakland and feel pretty good about themselves.
Strickland out for weeks
After blowing a save in the second game of the Boston series, reliever Hunter Strickland was diagnosed with a grade-2 latissimus strain and will be out of action for at least eight weeks. Strickland felt discomfort while warming up in the bullpen prior to entering the game, but didn't consider it to be debilitating until he'd thrown pitches in the game. He was tagged with the loss after serving up a three-run home run to Mitch Moreland in the ninth inning.
Dipoto makes first trade of the season
It's not even April yet and the always-restless general manager of the Mariners, Jerry Dipoto, has made another trade. This one is small and eminently reasonable: Dipoto has dealt 20-year-old prospect Jesús Ozoria to San Francisco for catcher Tom Murphy.The Mariners began the season with defensively-challenged Omar Narváez as the primary catcher and warm body David Freitas as the backup, so a low-risk pickup for a second-string receiver is a sensible move. Whether Murphy is actually an upgrade over Freitas is yet to be determined, but this one goes into the "why not? Can't hurt" bucket.Murphy was waived by Colorado...
Game 3: Yard Sale
Oh, man, you may have thought. The M's have to face Chris Sale in the home opener? Well, yes, they did, and they tattooed him. Sale may have struck out the side in the first, but he'd be gone after three innings, three homers, and seven earned to give him an early-season ERA of 21.00. What else was interesting today?
Second Opening Day
The Mariners have already played their first games of the season, having defeated the Oakland A's in two contests in Tokyo, but tomorrow they resume action when the other 28 Major League teams open their seasons. The home opener begins a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox, the only visit of the year for the defending World Series champs.
Changing the rules
Major League Baseball is once more tinkering with its rules. Is that a good thing? Bad? Just weird? Grandsalami.net's Erik Lundegaard and Tim Harrison try to sort it all out.
Game 2: Curtain Call
We didn't know when the game began that Ichiro was calling it quits. That news came a few innings in. Kyodo News had the story and those of us keyed in to Twitter started getting the alerts. The ESPN broadcast caught up to us a bit later, and for half the game or so half the drama was how was Ichiro going to leave the game.
One Down, 161 to Go
Konbanwa, baseball fans. Are you ready to pull another all-nighter for Game 2 from Tokyo tonight/tomorrow morning (game time 2:35am PDT)?
Next Year is Here
Winter is over. Well, not technically, but hey, it was nearly 80 degrees today in Seattle (in your face, Miami!) and tonight the Mariners take the field for the first official game in the 2019 championship season. Or tomorrow night, or tomorrow morning, based on your time zone. It's complicated. Temporal mechanics and all. Anyway, come 2:30am PDT the Tokyo Dome will be abuzz with excitement when the Oakland A's take the field as the "home" team against our Seattle Mariners.
Meet the Mariners
With Opening Day only ... let's see, carry the one ... 27½ hours away in Tokyo, it's time to get familiar with the 2019 Seattle Mariners. Who are these guys? With so much change form the 2018 roster will we recognize even a handful?
What should we call the home ballpark?
Though officially dubbed T-Mobile Park, here at GrandSalami.net we've chosen not to refer to the Mariners’ home field by that name. What should we call it instead? Thoughts?
Shameless Commerce Department
Grandslami.net is now featuring prints of Mariner player portraits in the store. Four players currently available, with others to be added as the season progresses. If your favorite Mariner isn't yet in the mix, sound off in the comments and put in a request!
The New Staff
We all know the Mariners have churned their player roster something fierce this offseason, but what might have escaped notice is the turnover among the coaches. Aside from manager Scott Servais, only two of Seattle's 2018 coaches are returning this season, Manny Acta and Chris Prieto. Everyone else is new.
Change of Clothes
Looking at the Mariners' new spring training duds and the new uniform set the Marlins have this year got me to thinking about the Mariners' history of sartorial styles. The current uniform concept is, aside from some minor tweaks in the wordmark and number outlining and an early addition of the compass rose on the road jersey, unchanged since it was introduced in 1993. Which isn't bad. It's a nice design, and light-years better than what came before it. But might it be time for something new?
M's Trivia Challenge
While we wait for spring training to gear up in force, let's take a walk down memory lane and see how well we know our Mariner history. Take the GrandSalami.net Mariners Quiz! When you've reached the end, you'll be brought back here and you can let us know what you thought. Onward!
M's unveil new Spring unis
At a media event yesterday, the Mariners showed off new uniforms that they will wear in spring training. Instead of the northwest green jerseys and inverted trident "M" caps worn last spring, the new outfits consist of "powder blue" jerseys and a capital "M" against a four-pointed compass on the caps. The caps will also be worn for batting practice throughout the season.
Mariners sign free-agent Strickland
Right-handed reliever Hunter Strickland, last seen in the uniform of the San Francisco Giants, today signed a one-year contract with the Mariners. Financial details were not yet available, but the contract value is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $2.5 million. Strickland, 30, is still shy of the six years of service time needed for unrestricted free agency, so even though the deal is for one year, the M's still have team control through 2021 via arbitration.Released by the Giants last November, Strickland has a career record of 14-14 with a respectable 2.91 ERA over four-plus seasons in San Francisco.
Ichiro officially returns
The Mariners announced today that they have re-signed franchise icon Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.It was an expected move, telegraphed all the way back in May, when the team moved Ichiro off the active roster and into a non-player role with the title of "special assistant to the chairman," an invented position that allowed Ichiro to train and travel with the club but not suit up for games. At that time it was clear that Ichiro was not retiring as a player and intended to try to play again the following year.The contract...
"Thank you, sir"
He had to wait 10 years, often with low vote totals, before a push of SABRmetric dudes, the Mariners organization and its fans, and, maybe most importantly, the pitchers who faced him...
No one in the wings
If Edgar Martinez worked a corporate 9-to-5 job he’d be the guy who arrived early, performed, excelled, was slapped on the back by the boss, and when the time came for that big raise or promotion … someone else would get it.
Where are they now?
Mariners sign different infielder Beckham than last year's infielder Beckham
The Mariners signed two free agents yesterday to Major League contracts, infielder Tim Beckham (not to be confused with veteran Gordon Beckham, who spent the last two years bouncing back and forth between the M's and their Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma) and relief pitcher Cory Gearrin.Beckham, who will be 29 later this month, came up with the Tampa Bay Rays and spent the last season and a half with Baltimore. Primarily a shortstop, he's also logged plenty of innings at both third base and second base.
An odd reunion
In a weird but no-risk move today, the Mariners signed Dustin Ackley to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.
Yusei Kikuchi signing official
The Mariners have officially signed Japanese free-agent pitcher Yusei Kikuchi to a multi-year contract. The former Saitama Seibu Lions star was posted for Major League teams' consideration at his request by the Nippon Professional Baseball club last month and chose Seattle after meeting with representatives of several MLB teams in December.
Kikuchi deal coming?
According to Yahoo! Sports, the Mariners are close to signing Japanese southpaw Yusei Kikuchi to a multi-year contract. Details are sparse, but due to the rules of the posting arrangement with Nippon Professional Baseball, Kikuchi must sign by January 2nd or forfeit is right to leave NPB for 2019.Kikuchi had reportedly been open to signing with any Major League team when his posting became official early in December and has met with several clubs.An eight-year NPB veteran, all with the Saitama Seibu Lions, Kikuchi holds a career record of 74-48 with a 2.81 ERA and 1.177 WHIP to go with...
Dipoto deals another
Mariner General Manager Jerry Dipoto has made another trade, this time with the Milwaukee Brewers. The trade sends outfielder Ben Gamel and 22-year-old minor-league pitcher Noah Zavolas to Milwaukee in exchange for outfielder Domingo Santana.Santana—not to be confused with first baseman Carlos Santana, whom the M's recently dealt to Cleveland—is a right-handed batter, offering some platoon balance to an outfield that had been overstocked with lefties. Since breaking into the Major Leagues with the Astros as a late-season callup in 2014, Santana has produced a career batting line of .261/.349/.458, mostly as a part-time player.
So Long Santana
Well, that didn't take long.
Jerry Dipoto is bored.
How did we get here?
It's not exactly standard procedure for a team that won 89 games to go straight into a massive rebuild. When you just barely miss the postseason, you typically look to improve on one or two areas that could put you over the top, not declare defeat and look to try again in three years. So WTF, you might ask of the Mariners, why are they blowing up the team?
Trades are official
The deals are done, and the Mariners are no longer the team of Robinson Canó, Edwin Díaz, or Jean Segura.
The Demolition Continues
Another day, another big trade for the Mariners. Well, "big"; the word has a lot of room for interpretation. It's big in that General Manager Jerry Dipoto is dealing away another big name, All-Star shortstop Jean Segura. It's maybe not so big in what he's getting back. Or maybe it is, this one's hard to project.The deal isn't final yet, and what the whole package will include isn't known. What is expected is that Segura will be traded to Philadelphia and that in return the M's will get young Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford and not-so-young first baseman Carlos Santana.
With General Manager Jerry Dipoto on another of his trading benders, the Mariners' roster is undergoing some stark change. Though Dipoto is by no means done tinkering—as we'll see, there are still some holes to fill—if games had to be played tomorrow, how things would look on the field?
Trader Jerry ships Colome to Chisox
While the giant trade of Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz to the Mets is still pending, Mariner GM Jerry Dipoto did trade a closer today. Reliever Alex Colome, who came to Seattle in an in-season deal with Tampa Bay last May, was dealt to the Chicago White Sox for catcher Omar Narvaez.Trading Colome leaves the Mariners without an established closer (presuming the deal with the Mets goes through), but adding Narvaez gives the M's a starting catcher, something they're in dire need of after trading Mike Zunino last month.Narvaez, who will be 27 in February, hit .275/.366/.429 in a part-time...
End of the Canó era?
Reports are flying around the Interwebs (sourced to Joel Sherman of the New York Post and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic) that Mariner General Manager Jerry Dipoto is close to unloading second baseman Robinson Canó and his giant contract onto the New York Mets.
Voice of the Mariners
This interview originally appeared in the August and September 2008 issues of The Grand Salami.
Pulling the Thread of a Trade
With so many similarities in the recent trade of James Paxton to the hated New York Yankees to the 1998 trade of Randy Johnson to the Houston Astros, we thought we'd look back on that RJ trade and see what became of it for the Mariners over time. Sure, the initial deal was Johnson for three then-Triple-A players, but what were the ripple effects? How'd those guys do for Seattle?
By Any Other (Corporate) Name
We've known for a while now that the Mariners' home field would get a new name by next season. Safeco Insurance's deal for naming rights to the stadium expired at the end of the 2018 season and they were up front about not being interested in extending their association with the facility, so the speculation began in earnest last spring: Which corporate behemoth would step up to replace Safeco and brand their identity all over our beautiful ballpark?
More trades coming
More Mariner players may soon be on the move.
Big Maple to Big Apple
Prompting memories of 1998’s trade of Randy Johnson to the Astros, today Mariner General Manager Jerry Dipoto dealt his team's ace left-hander to an already-upper-echelon team: James Paxton is now a New York Yankee.Much like the Johnson deal made by then-GM Woody Woodward, Paxton was traded for three relatively-unknown minor leaguers, two pitchers and one position player. One of them, left-handed starter Justus Sheffield, may be ready for the bigs as soon as next season. The other pitcher, righty Erik Swanson, has a chance to crack the bigs but will likely play in Tacoma next year, while the position player,...
Mariner Makeover Begins
Seattle General Manager Jerry Dipoto began rebuilding the Mariners for 2019 this afternoon, making a big trade with his favorite trading partner, the Tampa Bay Rays.Addressing one of the bigger questions of the offseason—do the 2019 M's try again with the 2018 plan of Dee Gordon in center and Robbie Canó at second, or do they get a new CF to play full time?—the Mariners acquired outfielder Mallex Smith from the Rays in exchange for defensive wizard and strikeout artist Mike Zunino and reserve outfielder Guillermo Heredia.Smith played all three outfield positions for Tampa Bay last year, most often in center.
M's are done, but 2018 continues
The Yankees are here for a weekend series, and Salami contributor and world's only sensitive Yankee fan Bill Abelson brings us the goods on the Bronx Bombers. The Friday night matchup is a beaut, with Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka facing off against The Big Maple. Saturday will feature former Mariner J.A. Happ taking on Felix Hernández, while the Sunday afternoon affair has C.C. Sabathia scheduled for New York and a question mark for the M's. It's possible Marco Gonzales will be activated for that one, or Erasmo Ramírez could take the hill.
When a series win instills the air of defeat
The Mariners just finished a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, winning two of the contests and finishing the season series with the Orioles at 6-1. Pretty good, right? A series win after some trying times in this second half is something one might think would lift the flagging spirits of Mariner fandom.
It's September, which means Major League roster limits expand from 25 to 40 for the rest of the regular season. Who have the Mariners added? Well, today we saw a number of moves:
I didn't go to any of the three Dodger games at Safeco Field this past weekend. I had other things going on and no affinity or special dislike of the Dodgers, plus I knew the ticket pricing would be exorbitant, so I skipped the series. This turned out to be a good choice.
Signs of Life
After dropping three of four to the underachieveing Blue Jays and two of three in frustrating fashion to the Rangers, the Mariners have somehow come back to take the first three of a four-game series in Houston against the first-place Astros. It's been a huge lift for the club and, frankly, for a fan base that was all but giving up on what has been a tremendous season until the past month or so.Credit manager Scott Servais for trying something different and shaking up his lineup for the Houston series.
In addition to the standard update to the page for the current opposing team, player profiles for Felix Hernández, Denard Span, Zach Duke, and Ryon Healy have been updated/added. Others are still out of date and need attention, I know. If anyone wants to volunteer their help with that, I'm open to it...
Well, that was ugly.
The streak is over
The Mariners were on a winning streak (technically). Now they're not. The sad post-Independence Day fall from grace continues. There's still time for a recovery, but getting thumped by the Rangers is depressing.
Two in a row is a start(?)
The Mariners are on a winning streak. Not an impressive one, sure, but two games is technically a streak. And with the way the M's have performed since they broke their last actual win streak—eight games—on July 4th, two in a row feels like a notable achievement. We all hope this is the beginning of the resurgence Seattle needs to reclaim its playoff standing, but a win like tonight's doesn't do much to calm the nerves of the Mariner still-for-now-but-for-how-much-longer-faithful.
Are the Mariners collapsing?
With yesterday's loss to the woeful Toronto Blue Jays, The Mariners have been overtaken by the Oakland A's in the Wild Card race. The M's had held either first place in the division or a Wild Card position from May 18th through August 1st, but after their fantastic June—when they won 19 out of 28—they stumbled badly, playing under .500 for the month of July (10-13) and they've now dropped the first two games in August. Meanwhile, Oakland has surged, going 18-8 since July 1st, and the Astros and Yankees have held their own to hold onto their playoff positions.
Mariners trade for Maybin
As today's 1:00pm trading deadline approached, GM Jerry Dipoto was, naturally, still working the phones. His efforts landed the Mariners one more piece as we head into the dog days of August, outfielder Cameron Maybin.
Mariners trade for more relief help
The Mariners made two more trades today, bolstering their bullpen with two veteran rental pieces.
Trade Winds Pick Up
Now that the All-Star Game is behind us, July Trade Season begins in earnest. Manny Machado has finally been traded (to the Dodgers, for five minor-leaguers) and serves as an unofficial starting gun; let the wheeling and dealing begin!
When the Royals were last in town, I was offered a ticket to my choice of one of the three games in that series. I looked at the schedule, saw that the Saturday game had the fun "Turn Ahead the Clock" promotion and nearly picked that one, but then I looked at the pitching rotation and saw Marco Gonzales' name for the Friday game. "Friday," I told my friend with the ticket connection, "no question." The King still reigns and Big Maple is the undisputed ace, but the guy I want to see pitch is Marco.
So, the fans, the players, and the Commissioner's office have spoken. Only three Seattle Mariners have been selected for the 2018 AL All-Star team: Edwin Díaz, Mitch Haniger, and Nelson Cruz. Something is broken.
M's lose Zunino to DL again
Mike Zunino was getting the day off on July 4th. Chris Herrmann started at catcher and Z was kicking back in the dugout. But then the Mariners mounted a threat against the Angels and Z was asked to pinch-hit and finish out the game. He walked and singled in his two plate appearances, a very good sign after he spent a good deal of pre-game time working on his batting mechanics with Edgar Martínez and Minor League field coordinator Mike Micucci, but rolled his ankle while running the bases.
It's All-Star season once again, and the 2018 contest in Washington, DC, should have plenty of Mariner representation. Jean Segura, James Paxton, Mitch Haniger, Edwin Díaz, Nelson Cruz, and perhaps Dee Gordon and Marco Gonzales are all deserving of a spot on the AL squad, and in the Mariners' best years they've sent a hefty contingent to the All-Star Game.
The Halfway Mark
Even though the All-Star break traditionally marks the start of the second half of the season, in terms of games played, the Mariners are there now. Having swept the Baltimore Orioles, the M's are now 51-31, 82 games into the 162-game campaign.
First-place(!) M's begin homestand on a roll
It was looking bleak for Your Seattle Mariners not too long ago. On a Sunday afternoon in Detroit, Robinson Canó was hit by a pitch and left the game with a broken hand, and fans began to wonder how the M's would manage without him for perhaps a month or more. Then it was revealed that Canó had also flunked a PED test, so he'd actually miss half the season. Their third-place hitter and MVP candidate gone for half the year?! How could they survive?!
Cast your ballot
All-Star voting season is upon us. Sadly, you can no longer vote in person at the ballpark; gone are the days of whiling away the between-innings time by amusing your fellows with ballots filled out for the "all-disabled list team" or "worst-stats-ever team" along with your real choices, consigned to history are seating areas littered with little paper ballot chads.
Is this for real?
Don't look now, but Your Seattle Mariners are just one game out of first place. On Memorial Day. While their arguably-best player is out on suspension and their other arguably-best player (really, there are several guys you could argue for) on the DL with a broken toe. After a week when the offense couldn't scratch out more than 2.7 runs per game. It's...unsettling.
Trader Jerry Strikes Again
General Manager Jerry Dipoto made his first in-season trade of the year earlier today, acquiring relief pitcher Alex Colomé and outfielder Denard Span from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for minor league pitchers Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.Colomé led the American League in saves last year with 47, but won't be asked to close in Seattle so long as Edwin Díaz remains effective. Instead, he will slot into a setup role, where Juan Nicasio has struggled.But the big piece of this deal, at least in the short term, appears to be Span.
You Get Nothing!
Because of a rainout in Detroit last week, the Mariners needed to bring up someone from Triple-A to make a spot start against Texas this past Wednesday afternoon. To make room, the M's designated reliever Erik (don't call him Eddie) Goeddel for assignment.This move struck me as problematic. Goeddel had been very effective in his short time with the Mariners and would certainly be lost to the organization with the DFA; meanwhile, other pitchers had been, shall we say, bad, and probably ought to be cut anyway.Today Goeddel was claimed off the waiver wire by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Canó Suspended for PED violation
On Sunday, Robinson Canó was hit by a pitch and broke his right hand. Today he was handed down an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball for violating policy on performance-enhancing drug use. He is not having a good week.
I think I can lay my concerns about James Paxton to rest now. In is first start of 2018, Pax looked bad, allowing six runs to the Indians without getting out of the fifth inning. He had three pretty good starts following that, but not great, and then another bad one in Texas. Was there something wrong? Had the Big Maple been cut down to size?
Ichiro No More
Well, it's happened. Sort of.As rumored earlier this week, Ichiro Suzuki has hung up his spikes, at least for the remainder of this year. He is not officially retired, according to his agent, but for all practical purposes, the future Hall of Famer's Major League career ended last night, when he played all nine innings in left field for the Mariners in their loss to the Oakland A's.The Mariners are reporting the Ichiro will "transition" to a front office role currently defined as Special Assistant to the Chairman.
Irasshaimase! Tokyo Welcomes Mariners back to Japan
Major League Baseball has announced that the Mariners and Oakland Athletics will once again open the season in Japan in 2019. The two games will be held in the Tokyo Dome and the A's will serve as the "home" team. As was the case the last time MLB opened in Japan—also with the Mariners and Athletics, in 2012—the opening series will be held a week in advance of the rest of the league starting the campaign to allow for the M's and A's to readjust to the time difference between Japan and North America (Japan is 17 hours ahead during...
RUMOR: Ichiro may retire THIS WEEK
This is unconfirmed. To my knowledge, this remains informed speculation on the part of Root Sports' Brad Adam, based on a text exchange he had with Ichiro. But the scuttlebutt is that Ichiro may call it a career after this week's homestand.
State of the M's: April
Don't look now, but Your Seattle Mariners are a playoff team.
The Return of Roenis Elias
Following the 2015 season, the Mariners traded one of their promising young starting pitchers, Roenis Elias, to Boston along with reliever Carson Smith, for more seasoned starter Wade Miley. (Miley has since been traded himself, for pitcher Ariel Miranda.) Elias only made four appearances with the Red Sox after that, spending the majority of his time with Boston's Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, and had a lengthy stint on the disabled list with a strained oblique. This week the Red Sox traded Elias back to the Mariners in exchange for either a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Mid-Road Trip Exam
The Mariners are halfway through their current road trip through Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, and Cleveland, having taken the series with the Rangers two games to one and split the first two with the White Sox. How has it gone? Let's examine.
It's a Beautiful Day for an Off Day
Thank the schedulemakers that today is a bizarre Friday off-day for the Mariners. After the last two games, a blowout loss to San Francisco and a fall-from-ahead defeat at the hands of the Twins, this team needs a breather, a chance to reflect on their performance. It's not that the M's lost two straight. That's not that big a deal, and it's going to happen again—I daresay more than once—during the course of the season. It's the squandering of opportunities. The Mariners left 21 runners on base in those two games, going 3-for-29 with runners in scoring position.
San Fran Split
Random thoughts on the just-completed San Francisco series...
Game One: Random Thoughts
Game 1 of 162 is in the books, and it was a nailbiter win for Your Seattle Mariners against the Cleveland Ethnically Insensitive Caricatures. Some random observations:
Mariners Figure to Extend Streak in 2018
In all of the major sports, what team has gone the longest without appearing in a playoff game? That's right, your Seattle Mariners, who haven't tasted the postseason since 2001.
Marjama the Man
New catcher Mike Marjama is the subject of the latest mini-documentary from LeBron James' UNINTERRUPTED. In the eight-minute film, Marjama details his struggle with body image and masculinity, which manifested as an eating disorder in his teen years. "I was going to be a man," he says.Professional sports has long been a domain rife with machismo, and whether that's a good thing or not I'll leave to your own sensibilities. But one thing is certain: It takes courage and guts—or, if you prefer the coarse macho language of the locker room, balls—to confront a personal demon like this, persevere, and...
Some Mariner fans are elated. Some are skeptical. And some are disgusted. Whichever camp you may find yourself in, the fact of the matter is that, at age 44, Ichiro Suzuki is a Mariner once more. Personally, I am in the first camp. I have always loved watching Ichiro play, and I'm delighted to get the chance to see him in person once again at Safeco Field. That Ichiro has the opportunity to continue his Major League career at all is satisfying, and getting to see him climb up the hits leaderboard back in a Mariners jersey is a sweet,...
How Much is a Mariners Game Ticket?
Determining the price of a Mariners ticket is a complicated matter these days.