Felix to DL, Paxton Rocked

On Wednesday the Mariners announced that right handed pitcher Felix Hernandez will be placed on the 15 day disabled list with a left calf strain. It was rumored that Hernandez injured his calf celebrating one of the Mariners five home runs they hit Tuesday in a 16 to four win. So with the injured Hernandez in line to start Wednesday the Mariners had to turn to left hander James Paxton coming up from triple A Tacoma.

Paxton’s start Wednesday against the Padres was atrocious. The Mariners got off to a hot start of Padres starter Christian Friedrich, sending nine batters to the plate in the first inning and scoring three runs off a Cano homer. However, the M’s left them loaded to end the inning and turned the ball over to Paxton. After striking out the first batter and getting outfielder Wil Myers into an 0-2 count, Paxton missed on a fastball leaving it out over the plate and Myers promptly deposited the ball into the right field bleachers. It was all down hill from there for the Mariners lengthy left hander as he gave up six runs in that first inning. He finished the first with only one earned run but that was due to his error on a ball that should have been an inning ending double play.

He pitched 3.2 innings giving up ten hits and eight runs, three earned, in his first start in the big leagues this season and the Mariners dropped the game 14-6. Paxton has been lights out in the past, showing serious promise as a left handed start who can throw in the upper 90’s, he topped out at 99 last night with an average velocity of 97. His command has been shaky and that was again the issue last night as he just left too many pitches over the middle of the plate. Let’s hope Paxton can hold it together for these next two starts as Felix recovers.

06 06

 

Mariners Win in Spectacular Fashion

The Mariners played their second game of a three game series against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.

Nathan Karns started for the Mariners against Oakland starter Kendall Graveman.

Karns pitched five innings, giving up five hits and three runs, all earned while walking two and striking out three. It wasn’t his normal sharp self that Mariners fans have become accustomed to over the past month or so. Karns struggled to locate his fastball and was forced to throw his curveball more often when he was behind in the count. Still he was able to minimize the damage to only three runs.

For Graveman it seemed as if he was always pitching with runners on as the Mariners were able to jump on him for seven hits and two walks through four and a third innings. Although the Mariners had a high number of baserunners, they were only able to put two across the plate against Graveman

Karns left the game with the M’s winning two to one after failing to get an out in the sixth and allowing two base hits to start the inning. Nick Vincent came on in relief and allowed each of the two baserunners to score before allowing two basehits of his own and a intentional walk to load the bases. Vincent then struck out A’s outfielder Jake Smolinski before Mike Montgomery came into the came and allowed a two run double to Coco Crisp. This was Montgomery’s only blemish of the night as he finished out the inning and then allowed only one more hit over the next three. After six, the Mariners trailed five to two.

To start the eighth inning the Mariners pinch hit Franklin Gutierrez and he rocketed a double off of the middle of the center field wall. The next batter was Robinson Cano who belted a two run homer to right center to make it a one run game.

In the ninth the Mariners first two hitters were each retired and then Nori Aoki stepped up to the plate and hit a perfectly placed ball down the left field line for a double to bring up Leonys Martin. Martin then did this, a two run blast on a 1-2 changeup from Oakland closer Ryan Madson. There was no doubt that it was gone right off the bat, Martin then turned to the dugout and flipped his bat in excitement as Mariners fans were sent hope happy.

Final: SEA 6, OAK 5

Benoit returns from DL

Today the Mariners activated Joaquin Benoit from the 15 day disabled list and optioned RHP Mayckol Guaipe to AAA Tacoma. The Mariners hope that Benoit will provide some much added relief to a struggling bullpen.

Joel Peralta has been asked to step in and fill in Benoits eighth inning role in his absence and has done a less than stellar job in recent days. Allowing two runs in back to back outings Friday and Saturday to allow the Angels to get back into, and ultimately win each of those games.

Having Benoit back will also allow manager Scott Servais to use him on days when closer Steve Cishek is unavailable. Cishek was forced to throw some of the highest pitch counts of his career when being used in multiple inning save opportunities this last week. This required him to take a day off leaving Nick Vincent in the closing role, in which he blew a save.

Benoit has been a closer for a large part of his career and will be much more comfortable in that late inning role than any other option in the Mariners pen.

Excluding bullpen play the Mariners have been playing very well recently. The starters have been going deep into games and limiting the opposing offenses consistently. The offense has been lead by a scorching hot Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano combination and is receiving contributions from all parts of the lineup. Hopefully the addition of Benoit to the bullpen will help get the relief staff back on track and get the Mariners back into their winning ways!

Go M’s

Mariners Open Up Season in Arlington

On Monday the Mariners begun the 2016 campaign at Globe Life Park against the Texas Rangers. Felix Hernandez took the hill for the M’s, standing atop the mound for his ninth straight opening day start.

The game started off with a couple of solo shots for the Mariners, Robinson Cano took an 0-1 pitch deep to right field off of Rangers started Cole Hamels on his first swing of the season. Kyle Seager then launched a moonshot into the right center field bleachers off Hamels the next inning.

After a shaky first inning where he hit a batter and walked another, Felix cruised through the next three innings unscathed, without a hit on the board. Then in the fifth, Hernandez walked Rougned Odor and then Odor stole second on a failed hit and run attempt. Adrian Beltre then grounded one to Seager at third who tried to tag out Odor instead of getting the easy out at first, which caused him to boot the ball. Felix then issued another walk, and then another walk, allowing Odor to score from third on the force. Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder blooped a ball into shallow left field the next at bat which proved to be the Rangers only hit of the ballgame and tied it up at two. Ketel Marte then committed the second error of this disastrous fifth inning before Hernandez retired the final two batters to get out of it allowing only three.

Hamels eased his way through the Mariners lineup through seven innings allowing only three hits, and despite a late rally in the seventh the Mariners weren’t able to push through that third run and dropped their first opening day game in nine years by the score of three to two.

Hisashi Iwakuma faces up against Martin Perez on Tuesday.

Seahawks Defeat Ravens, Lose Rawls

On Sunday the Seahawks traveled to Baltimore to challenge the injury depleted Ravens.

Russell Wilson looked to continue his hot stretch of games against one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Wilson did just that going 23 for 32 for 292 yards and five touchdowns. Over his last four games Wilson has completed 75 percent of his passes, for 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He has almost certainly warranted a conversation for NFL MVP.

The Seahawks won the game by a final score of 35-6 and despite the final score, the game could turn out to be a huge loss for the Hawks.

Early in the first quarter while the Seahawks were driving and in the redzone they ran a halfback dive play where Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams tackled Rawls for a two yard loss. On the play Rawls’ left leg looked to get rolled up on and bent backwards awkwardly. Many fans instantly fear that players will tear either their ACL, MCL, or both on plays like that. Luckily for Rawls, he did not suffer any structural damage in his knee, however he did fracture his ankle and tear a few ligaments there.

This injury renders Rawls out for the remainder of the season. The Seahawks hope that Marshawn Lynch will soon be able to return to the playing field from sports hernia surgery. Until that time comes they will look to hand the ball to DeJuan Harris, who gained 42 yards on 18 carries in Rawls’ absence and Bryce Brown who the Seahawks signed Monday.

With a Cardinals win this week, the Seahawks will need them to lose their next two games to Philadelphia and Green Bay before facing the Hawks for the division title.

Seahawks Return to Dominant Form

On Sunday the Seahawks continued their winning ways defeating the Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota by a score of 38-7.

Russell Wilson played as good of a game as he has ever played in a Seahawks uniform, throwing for 274 yards completing 21 passes on 27 attempts and also running for 51 yards on nine carries. Wilson was able to avoid the Vikings pass rush and look like the quarterback the Seahawks paid for this offseason.

The defense was also dominant, holding Vikings running back and the second leader rusher in the NFL, Adrian Peterson, to a mere 18 yards rushing. Albeit Peterson did not play for most of the second half but the Seahawks defensive front was extremely impressive.

This team offensively is getting into a groove similar to the end of the 2012 season where they put up 59, 50, and 42 points on the board in consecutive games. At this pace the Seahawks are likely to put up some large point totals against the weak defensive fronts of the Ravens and Browns.

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After those two games the Seahawks will host St.Louis and travel to Arizona for the season finale.

Right now the Seahawk hopefuls have their eyes on the division title and the number two seed in the NFC. In order for this to happen the Cardinals would have to lose two of their next three and drop the game against the Hawks in Arizona. The Cardinals face a tough stretch of games so even if it is unlikely it is definitely plausible. They travel to Philadelphia this week to face an Eagles team fresh off of defeating the Patriots in Foxborough, then they host Green Bay and Minnesota. In order to secure the number two seed the Seahawks would prefer to see the Vikings capture the NFC north title over the Packers with a record of 11-5 or worse.

With the way that this team is playing right now, if they get in, especially at number two, they’ll be bound for some February football.

Seahawks Prepare to Face Niners

After dropping another game on the season to move to (4-5), our beloved Seahawks look like a team that is growing apart.

The egotistical attitude of many of the players led to contractual disputes and feelings of under appreciation and resentment towards the players on the team with large contracts.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson really looks nothing like what the third highest paid quarterback in the league should look like.

Marshawn Lynch has had a flurry of injury problems and that is apparent based on his play on the field, when he gets on it.

The offensive line is an absolute piece of garbage and cannot block anything coming their way without holding it.

And, despite all this, the Seahawks are right in the thick of things. At (4-5) the Seahawks sit tied for third in the NFC wildcard picture, with the top two teams making it in the playoffs. This certainly doesn’t appear to be a team that will play all of its games at the Clink for the entirety of the playoff run but with the talent on this team and the weak remaining schedule, the Seahawks are still positioned to go far in the playoffs.

The San Francisco 49ers are up next, visiting Century Link Field this weekend. They will come in with a new starting quarterback in former Jaguars gunslinger Blaine Gabbert. Fresh off of the bye, the 9ers decided to go in a new direction, sitting superstar turned scapegoat Colin Kaepernick.

It really is remarkable that this Seahawks team is (4-5), it makes no sense, they have had a fourth quarter lead in each of their five losses. The games against the Bengals, Cardinals, Rams, and Panthers all should have been won, with only the Packers game making sense to me.

But look at those five teams the Seahawks have lost to, they are all playoff teams and aren’t bad losses for any team. Look for the Seahawks to get back on track this weekend with ground and pound style football, hard nose defense and a prolific running game.

Go Hawks.

11 23

Mariners Add Slugger in Hopes of Mid-Season Turnaround

This story-line of this season is all to familiar to Mariners fans. A season of high expectations where the young kids are finally going to reach their full potential and this is the year for us.

This team is a very well put together team, with platoon systems in place in both right field with Justin Ruggiano and Seth Smith and then the weaker combo in left of Rickie Weeks and Dustin Ackley.

Smith and Ruggiano have each played adequately, doing what is expected of them and producing for the team. After a strong second half last year the Mariners had loads of confidence in the former number two overall pick Dustin Ackley, but this season has proven to be more of the same for Ackley, more groundouts to second. Weeks was a project of hope and he has been an absolute disaster.

After being swept in a three game series at home by the Yankees and losing five in a row, the M’s decided it was time for a change.

On Wednesday night the Mariners acquired right handed slugger Mark Trumbo and left hander Vidal Nuno in exchange for Dominic Leone, Gabby Guerrero, Jack Reinheimer, and Welington Castillo.

It was disappointing to see the promising young prospect Guerrero go but desperate times call for desperate measures. Trumbo should add some pop to the lineup but that doesn’t mean he will fix everything. Robinson Cano still needs to get back on track, Mike Zunino needs to learn how to put the ball in play, and there needs to be some production from the corner outfield spots.

The Mariners are likely to recall Jesus Sucre from AAA Tacoma Thursday so it will be interesting to see which outfielder will be cut from the team. I sure hope it’s Rickie Weeks.

Let’s hope we can end this skid and start winning ball games again, looking forward to seeing Trumbo mash some balls into the left field seats.

Issaquah Lacrosse drops Semifinal Game Against Mercer

Issaquah faced a tough number two seeded Mercer Island Islanders team Wednesday night in the state semifinals.

The Eagles got off to a hot start, with juniors Ryan Egland and Jake Lindahl each scoring first quarter goals, senior Mikey Giannopulos added a goal of his own and Issaquah led after one, three to zero.

In the second quarter it was all Mercer Island, the Islanders quickly scored five goals in the first five minutes of the period to combat the Eagles hot start. Lindahl would add another two before the half and Mercer scored yet another goal in the final 30 seconds of the quarter to bring the halftime tally to 6-5.

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Jake Lindahl shoots and scores in a 11-10 loss

In the third quarter it was a back and forth the whole time with Giannopulos another goal and junior Jacob Gonzalez scored two goals as well. Mercer scored twice on some lackadaisical defense by the Issaquah defenders and the game was tied at eight at the end of three.

In the fourth quarter it was a defensive battle, the Mercer Island goalie and Issaquah goalie Jordan Dondyano each had played an excellent game up to this point.

Issaquah’s defense had played quite poorly and allowed easy chances at the net for the Islanders which Dondyano gobbled up.

Egland and senior Anthony O’Reilly each scored a goal around the five minute mark that made it appear Issaquah would be headed to their second straight state championship game.

The Islanders rallied back and scored three goals in 50 seconds starting at the two minute mark to push it to 11-10.

Issaquah would get a final look at the net on a Jake Lindahl shot but it was saved and the Islanders ran out the clock to clinch a trip to the title game where they will face Bellevue.

Issaquah Lacrosse to face Mercer Island

The Issaquah Boys lacrosse team led by senior All-American Mikey Giannopulos defeated Eastside Catholiclast Friday in the quarter finals to guarantee a trip to Islander stadium to go up against Mercer Island.

Eastside Catholic’s Zack Steffens, left, tries to manuever around Issaquah senior Mikey Giannopulus during the first half of the Washington Lacrosse state quarterfinal matchup on May 21 at Eastside Catholic School. Giannopulus has committed to Georgetown University.  - Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman photography

If Issaquah can play the way they did in a 9-3 victory over the number one seeded Crusaders last Wednesday they should have no problem taking down Mercer Island.

Giannopulos had a four goal effort in that game to go along with junior Ryan Egland’s two goals.

Egland was able to cross the crease in front of the goalie and flip a beautiful behind the back shot past Crusader goalie Josh Matte.

Goalie Jordan Dondyano played a brilliant game allowing only three goals against one of the best offenses in the state in Eastside Catholic, he recorded seven saves including a diving save late in the third quarter that had everyone fired up.

Sophomore James Rauch had a huge hit on Eastside Catholic attackman Bryce Atwater that echoed throughout the entire stadium.

The game against Mercer Island could be the Eagles last game of the season, the Islanders took down Issaquah earlier in the year handing Issaquah one of only two losses on the season. The other came against the Wolverines of Bellevue after Issaquah held a five goal lead late in the first and ended up losing in overtime.

Bellevue still remains in the playoffs and they face off against the Skyline Spartans tonight. If Issaquah can pull out a victory tonight they will face the winner for the state championship, which Issaquah lost to Bellevue last season.

Mariners Drop Another One to the Astros

I hate the Houston  Astros.

The Astros were bottom dwellers of the National League before making the switch to the American League before the 2013 season. They then spent another two seasons in last in the American League west before this season where they decided to ruin everything for everyone else.

The red hot Astros, just saying that sounds weird, won their seventh straight game last night against our beloved Mariners 3-2. They improved their record to 15-7 and continued to dominate in the AL West standings.

James Paxton was able to pitch his best game of the year so far and look like the James Paxton that Seattle fans expected this season. He threw seven innings of two run ball and stuck out seven. In his prior two starts he couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning without giving up five runs. He was able to get his fastball up to 96 MPH in the final inning of his outing which was a quite impressive number.

In the top of the first is where the M’s got their two runs, a Nelson Cruz double play ball that scored a run with the bases loaded and a Kyle Seager RBI single that scored Austin Jackson.

The Astros got their runs from newly acquired catcher Evan Gattis, he had an RBI ground out to second in the first and a RBI ground out to third in the sixth.

In the bottom of the tenth the Mariners called on Dominic Leone to get the job done and extend the game, but 5’4″ Jose Altuve was able to hit an RBI single and walkoff the game for the ‘Stros.

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(Altuve and George Springer celebrating the walkoff win)

The Mariners are back at it tomorrow with left handed Roenis Elias on the mound.

Mariners Complete Sweep of Rangers

For the first time this year the Mariners were able to win all of the games in one series, sweeping the Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

In the first game of the series it was Taijuan Walker on the bump for the M’s, he was able to pitch seven strong innings of one run ball, and the one run was due to a Brad Miller throwing error. Nelson Cruz continued his hot hitting with a RBI single to right to score Justin Ruggiano in the top of the first. Kyle Seager tacked on the second run of the night on the next AB with a RBI ground out. The Rangers were able to get their run on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Seth Smith added an insurance run with an RBI single in the fifth. Fernando Rodney recorded the save in the Mariners 3-1 victory

On Tuesday night J.A. Happ got the call for the M’s, pitching seven innings and only giving up one run. In the top of the fourth the Mariners were able to get a couple on the board, starting off the inning Nelson Cruz hit a triple to right field and was brought in the next pitch on a Kyle Seager ground out. The very next batter was left fielder Rickie Weeks who belted a line drive home run to left. In the bottom of the seventh the Rangers got on the scoreboard with a RBI double by Delino DeShields. Fernando shot the arrow for the second time in the series and closed out a 2-1 win.

Last night the King took the hill for the final game of the three game set, Felix Hernandez was dealing early. He ran into some trouble in the early innings when he allowed an RBI double to former Mariner Carlos Peguero in the second, catcher Carlos Corporan followed that up with an RBI single to score Peguero and put up a two spot in the second. That was all the Rangers would get on the night though as Felix did his thing, going six innings and only giving up the two runs. Offensively the Mariners did quite well, in the top of the first Nelson Cruz unloaded an absolute moonshot, a 483 foot blast into the upper deck in left, his 10th homer of the year. Mike Zunino grounded into a double play later in the inning but the run scored. Logan Morrison added a two RBI double down the right field line in his four hit night, and Robinson Cano scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to make it a 5-2 game.

The star of the series, Fernando Rodney, became only the fourth Mariner pitcher to record three saves in one series, shoot that arrow in the sky! M’s win 5-2!

The Mariners travel to Houston to face the Astros next.

Felix Masterful in 2-0 Win over Twins

The Kings Court section at Safeco Field on Friday Night was electric, and so was Felix’s stuff on the mound. It was easy to tell that Felix was on his game early in the first, from the first two batters, who he set down on three pitches each, and eventually struck out the side. He struck out the first four batters of the game and did not allow a baserunner until there were two outs in the fifth inning.

He was simply brilliant, his change-up was excellent, he was painting the corners with his command, and he was just in top form. Even after the game he said he had the stuff to throw a perfect game, it just didn’t work out, yeah he was that good.

Nelson Cruz hit the fourth longest home run in Safeco Field history, a 442 foot line drive in the upper deck in left in the bottom of the second.

That would be all the offense that Hernandez needed on the night, although Logan Morrison added a homer of his own. LoMo has been the most unlucky player in baseball this year statiscally, carrying the lowest BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) of anyone in the entire MLB, so it was nice to see one fall for him.

Felix struck out nine while allowing five hits, and walking no one in a complete game shutout effort.

The Mariners improved to 7-9 with the win, James Paxton will face the Twins on the mound Saturday.

In other news, the Mariners put starter Hisashi Iwakuma on the 15 day DL and called up lefty reliever Lucas Luetge from AAA Tacoma.

Mariners Drop Two to Astros, Fall to 5-9

The Mariners lost again last night at the hands of those pesky Houston Astros.

Tajiuan Walker got the start and fared pretty well after allowing several base runners in the first few innings but came out only giving up one run in the third, the only run he would allow. Taijuan was consistently hitting the radar at 96 mph, a velocity he was unable to reach in his prior two starts. He recorded eight strikeouts on the night, and went six strong innings.

The offense came in the form of Mike Zunino, who had been struggling at the plate as of late. Zunino was chasing pitches in the dirt with regularity and striking out at an alarming fifty percent clip. He added a single and later scored.

Robinson Cano did his thing with two RBI’s on the night, one in the first on a ground out and the other in the 3rd with a single right back up the middle.

Brad Miller had a RBI single of his own in the bottom of the 4th to left field on a line that scored Kyle Seager.

Despite all this, the game was wasted for the Mariners in the top of the 8th inning when Charlie Furbush entered the game. The inning started off with a booted ball by Robinson Cano that allowed Robbie Grossman to reach first. Then Marwin Gonzalez singled to right field to move Grossman to third, Chris Carter then hit a screaming line drive right back up the middle to score Grossman and cut it to a one-run lead at 3-2.

Danny Farquhar was then brought in the game.

He faced Jed Lowrie, who he walked to load the bases and then center fielder Jake Marisnick singled back up the middle which moved everyone up ninety feet and tied the game 3-3. Jose Altuve would hit a line drive double to left the next pitch scoring everyone and the Astros took the lead 6-3.

They would hold on and win the game by that score, 6-3, and Farquhar was dealt the loss.

The M’s look to bounce back Wednesday with J.A. Happ on the hill and this weekend when the Minnesota Twins come to town.