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Mariners Newsbeat

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Mariners are fighting to be more than just average

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Dee Gordon crooked his finger, raised his eyebrows and said, “Y’all wanna story?”

He started across the visitor’s clubhouse at Angel Stadium and with his baseball bat motioned to follow.

“C’mon,” he said.

When average wasn’t good enough for the Seattle Mariners, who actually were a lot better than average but refused to believe it, they chose to be something other than average, because there is no glory in average. Given their options, then, they opted for less than average, which seemed a bit of a cop-out, right up until they won 13 of their first 15 games this season. And if Mariners management was not going to fall for 89 wins in 162 games, imagine the shrapnel when trying to wrap its head around 13 wins in 15 games. Maybe, had the Mariners simply gotten around to trading Edwin Encarnacion and Mike Leake, too, as were the rumors even into April, they’d have won 15 of 15. Or 16 of 15.

Yes, they claim they don’t want to be average- but will they spend the funds needed to prove it?

 

QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Thursday, April 18, 2019


Monday, April 15, 2019

MLB roundup: Astros sweep Mariners, run win streak to 9

Aledmys Diaz led off the seventh inning with a home run to break a tie as the Houston Astros rallied to defeat the host Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Sunday afternoon, extending their winning streak to nine games.

Jose Altuve’s homer streak ended at five consecutive games, but the Astros swept the three-game series at T-Mobile Park to pull within a game of the first-place Mariners in the American League West.

Right-hander Gerrit Cole (1-2) pitched six strong innings for his first victory of the season. He gave up two runs on four hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts.

Seattle’s Mitch Haniger led off the bottom of the first with a home run off Cole, hitting a 1-2 pitch into the bullpen in left field. That gave the Mariners homers in each of their first 18 games to begin the season, extending their major league record.

Well, this answers the question as for whether or not any of the teams dominant last year are having a good start this year….

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mariners, sweep

Friday, April 12, 2019

Dee Gordon blast gives Mariners an MLB record with 15 straight games with home run to open season

KANSAS CITY — It wasn’t Edwin Encarnacion or Jay Bruce, nor was it Daniel Vogelbach or Ryon Healy or any of the expected home run bashers.

So it had to be Mitch Haniger, the team’s best overall hitter, right?

Wrong.

The Mariners went into Major League Baseball’s record books thanks to the home-run power of Dee Gordon.

Some additional data points in the analysis of the rise in home runs in recent years.

 

QLE Posted: April 12, 2019 at 08:21 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dee gordon, home runs, mariners

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

MLB roundup: Encarnacion homers twice in same inning

Edwin Encarnacion hit a pair of home runs in the sixth inning, and the visiting Seattle Mariners scored eight times in the frame to earn a 13-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday.

The Mariners have scored five or more runs in 11 of their first 12 games and became the first team in the major leagues to win 10 games.

Encarnacion became the first major-leaguer to hit two home runs in an inning in almost three years. Mark Trumbo of the Los Angeles Angels did in on April 15, 2016, at Texas. Seattle also got homers from Daniel Vogelbach, Dylan Moore and Jay Bruce.

Roenis Elias (1-0) picked up the win, pitching three scoreless, hitless innings of relief. Royals starter Homer Bailey (0-1) gave up seven runs on eight hits, including three home runs, in five-plus innings.

DINGERS! Get your red-hot dingers here! DINGERS!

 

QLE Posted: April 09, 2019 at 03:56 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin encarnacion, home runs, mariners

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Felix turns back the clock, and the Angels, in 2019 debut | The Seattle Times

The bar is set pretty low.

The Mariners weren’t supposed to be 6-1 at this point, and Felix wasn’t supposed to be able to compete.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 02, 2019 at 06:03 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Mariners get Connor Sadzeck from Rangers for minor leaguer

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have acquired hard-throwing right-hander Connor Sadzeck from the Texas Rangers for minor league pitcher Grant Anderson.

The trade announced Monday came after Sadzeck didn’t make the Texas roster at the end of spring training and was out of minor league options. He was designated for assignment after allowing seven runs on four hits with eight walks and 11 strikeouts in eight Cactus League games.

 

QLE Posted: April 02, 2019 at 04:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: connor sadzeck, mariners, rangers

Monday, April 01, 2019

Hunter Strickland out “at least a couple months” with lat strain

Mariners closer Hunter Strickland has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 lat strain, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. Manager Scott Servais said that Strickland will be out “at least a couple months.” The club will go with a closer-by-committee for the time being.

Strickland said, “It sucks, but you have to find the positives. At least I’ll be back at some point this season.”

In case you’ve ever wondered why closers are so fungible….

 

QLE Posted: April 01, 2019 at 08:10 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: disabled list, hunter strickland, mariners

Friday, March 29, 2019

Ichiro from start to finish

Transcript from the interview following Ichiro’s last game.

tl;dr - Ichiro is awesome.

Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 29, 2019 at 03:59 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, interviews, japan, mariners

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Mariners back to exhibition games after trip to Japan

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais didn’t need long to come up with one immediate advantage to playing exhibition games after having already opened the regular season.

“Yeah, the fact we’re 2-0 is not a bad thing,” Servais joked.

Servais could joke because the atmosphere around the Seattle clubhouse was relaxed, if not a little jet-lagged still, before beginning an awkward two-day stretch on Monday night with the first of two exhibition games against the San Diego Padres.

After the fanfare and excitement of traveling across the Pacific to Japan, opening the season with a pair of victories over Oakland, and bidding farewell to the professional career of Ichiro Suzuki, the Mariners returned home for a pair of games with little-to-no meaning that don’t count in the standings.

In case you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to return to the pre-season after your regular season has already begun….

 

QLE Posted: March 27, 2019 at 01:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: exhibitions, japan, mariners, opening day

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ichiro announces retirement after emotional finale

TOKYO—Ichiro Suzuki bid farewell to baseball and his Japanese fans in fashion on Thursday in a touching tribute that brought goosebumps to an entire nation and tears to the 45-year-old’s eyes.

Mariners manager Scott Servais sent the legendary right fielder out to his position in the bottom of the eighth inning of Seattle’s 5-4, 12-inning victory over the A’s in the Opening Series at the Tokyo Dome, then pulled the rest of his defenders off the field to allow Ichiro to come off on his own as he was replaced by rookie Braden Bishop.

ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:44 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro, mariners

Ichiro Forever

It’s hard to picture baseball without Ichiro. Every MLB season since 2001, from the moment he arrived in Seattle having already become a star with seven NPB all-star seasons under his belt, there he was. Already half-out of the batter’s box, as he connected with his inimitable slap swing. Wildly rounding third as he went first-to-home on a double. In right field, making the frozen-rope throw to third that never stopped catching runners by surprise, no matter how many times they’d seen it. That, at least never, deserted him.

It’s telling that in this, his final game, even as it remained tied, the Mariners were never tempted to remove Ichiro for defensive purposes. He was still the best right fielder they have. Again, he is 45.

For that he can thank his insane training methods and commitment—he once claimed he swore off taking vacations after a weeklong trip to Italy in the winter of 2004 threw off his exercise schedule. Again, it’s kind of hard to believe that’s true—but Ichiro apocrypha is one of baseball’s treasures. We expect foreign players to arrive attached to legends too good to check, but Ichiro created his own myths, even here, before our eyes and cameras and notepads. How he was reliably a beast in batting practice and could’ve hit 40 home runs a year if he wanted to be that type of player. (Barry Bonds once said Ichiro could win the Home Run Derby.) How he could instantly discern a good bat from a bad bat by tapping the barrel once with his fingernail. How he had no idea who Tom Brady was. How he would ####-talk opposing players in their own language, English or Spanish. Were these stories true? Does it matter? For Ichiro as for no other player, certain things felt possible.

28 seasons in one of the two top professional leagues in the world.  4367 hits. 2078 runs scored.  A .322 career average, .311 in MLB.  The all time single season hit record of 262.  And that’s just the on the field product.  He was one of the most influential players in the last 40 years of baseball, proving that position players could come to MLB and not only play, but be superstars.  We were so, so lucky to live in a time where we could watch him.

 


Mariners beat A’s 9-7 with help from homers, a bat flip, and endless love for Ichiro

The first pitch of the 2019 MLB season was thrown at 5:36 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, or 6:36 p.m. local time in Tokyo. Ladies and gentlemen, we have baseball.

There were a lot more 2019 firsts on the way to the Seattle Mariners’ 9-7 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday morning. A’s starting pitcher Mike Fiers threw the season’s first strike. Seattle’s Jay Bruce got the season’s first hit. Fiers’ teammate Stephen Piscotty scored the season’s first run and hit 2019’s first home run at the same time.

We’ll have to wait for our first pitcher’s duel, though. The crowd at the Tokyo Dome was treated to a bash fest, with 16 hits and five home runs between both teams. Seattle’s starter Marco Gonzales had a rough start, allowing four runs in his first three innings, but settled down and managed to throw three more scoreless innings.

After all those posts leading up to the game, it would be indecent not to link to an actual account of the game itself.

QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, japan, mariners, neutral site games, opening day

Sunday, March 17, 2019

‘Rookie’ Kikuchi in spotlight in major league debut in Japan

TOKYO -Talk about a pressure situation.

Just as he was adjusting to life in the United States, Yusei Kikuchi is back in Japan getting ready to make his major league pitching debut in front of a sellout crowd at Tokyo Dome.

From his new teammates, to his Japanese fans to his family and friends, everyone will be expecting Kikuchi to come up with a dominant performance when he takes the mound for the Seattle Mariners on Thursday in Game 2 of the season-opening series against the Oakland A’s.

So, how well do you suppose that you’d do, under these circumstances?

QLE Posted: March 17, 2019 at 07:23 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, mariners, yusei kikuchi

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Mariners’ Felix Hernandez has reason to be upset, but he also has an opportunity | The Seattle Times

When will they just release him?

These weren’t scorched-earth reactions that will drive an immediate wedge between Hernandez, his teammates and Servais. Regardless of the $27 million Felix will receive in this final year of his contract, everyone understands that regression still hurts.

In the past five years, Hernandez’s ERA has ballooned from 2.14, to 3.53, to 3.82, to 4.36 to 5.55. Throw in the seven earned runs he allowed in three innings Sunday, and a 2019 resurgence seems closer to impossible than it does improbable.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 13, 2019 at 09:26 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Monday, March 11, 2019

Mariners, Athletics name starters for Tokyo series

The Mariners and Athletics will kick off the regular season a week before the other 28 teams with a two-game series in Tokyo, Japan March 20 and 21. The clubs have announced their starters for both series.

For the Mariners, Marco Gonzales will start the first game, followed by Yusei Kikuchi. For the A’s, Mike Fiers will start the first game, followed by Brett Anderson.

In other news, it sure doesn’t feel like the regular season should begin by the end of next week….

 

QLE Posted: March 11, 2019 at 09:42 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, japan, mariners, opening day

Sunday, March 10, 2019

‘What do you want me to say?’: Unhappy Felix Hernandez struggles in final Cactus League start for Mariners | The Seattle Times

But could this current acrimony lead to disruption? Hernandez has never been malicious, but he also hasn’t always been mature. It’s certainly something that will be monitored. At what point is his presence a diminished value? The Mariners won’t hinder the progress of top prospect Justus Sheffield for the sake of loyalty and nostalgia.

His $27 million salary is a sunken cost. Even if he somehow performs above expectations and becomes of value to another team, it’s a dollar figure that no GM would assume — or even half of it. But if a change-of-scenery trade presented itself, the Mariners would be interested.

And if Hernandez continues to struggle with wandering command, run-filled innings and shortened starts, the cost of walking away will be the same as burying him in the bullpen.

There is no “if” pertaining to the end of the relationship between the Mariners and Hernandez. It’s now just when.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 10, 2019 at 10:14 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Mariners’ Seager to see hand specialist after rolling wrist

PEORIA, ARIZ. — Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager will see a hand specialist after rolling his left wrist during a spring training game.

Seager was pulled Friday night after jamming his glove into the ground diving for a hard grounder by the Chicago Cubs’ Javier Baez. Seager removed his mitt and favored his wrist and hand while Baez ran out a double. He left the game after one more batter.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 10, 2019 at 07:32 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle seager, mariners, wrist

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Felix Hernandez’s historic opening day streak is coming to an end

All good things must come to an end.

For longtime Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, that includes his decade-long streak of making opening day starts.

According to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, manager Scott Servais has informed Hernandez that he will not be getting the ball when the Mariners open up the regular season against the Oakland Athletics on March 20 in Japan. The Mariners have not decided who will make the start. They just know that for the first time since 2008, it won’t be “King Felix.”

The King appears to be facing the threat of being deposed.

 

QLE Posted: March 09, 2019 at 03:32 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners, opening day

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Mariners can’t wait to see reaction for Ichiro in Japan

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Jerry Dipoto never met Ichiro Suzuki in person until the day he was reintroduced as a member of the Seattle Mariners during spring training in 2018.

Suzuki’s one request for the hoopla that surrounded his return to the Mariners was the news conference and ensuing activities be kept, in his words, “casual.”

“The entourage arrived, and it looked like the CIA arrival for the president. It was dark windows, suburbans, and Ichiro rolled out and he walked into my office in what I can only describe as something off the runways type of suit,” Dipoto, the team’s general manager, recalled. “It was like a $5,000 suit that looked as crisp and clean as you can imagine. Impeccable knot in his tie with the dark sunglasses. My first reaction to him was not to shake his hand and introduce myself or the like, I slapped him in the chest and said, ‘I thought we were going casual?’ He said to me, and this was my intro to Ichiro, he said to me, ‘To me, this is casual.’”

 

 

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, japan, mariners

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Seattle’s analytics team is changing the game

The new in-crowd in Seattle.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2019 at 06:47 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Brock: What I learned at Mariners spring training – The Athletic

Will they release him?

2. Felix Hernandez, in the final year of his contract, has looked rusty. That isn’t all that uncommon for pitchers at the outset of camp, though I wonder how much throwing he did before arriving in Arizona. Last week, he hit Ichiro in the foot with a breaking ball and his command has been amiss in early workouts and live batting practice sessions. It’s still February, but the Mariners clearly want to see marked improvement. There’s a job in the rotation for him to win. He allowed four runs in 1 1/3 innings in his spring debut Saturday, but don’t read too much into that. It’s one outing. Remember, he doesn’t figure in the bullpen plans moving ahead. No matter his impressive lineage, he won’t be handed a starting job if he doesn’t earn it.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

All eyes on Kikuchi during his spring debut for Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Yusei Kikuchi felt the nerves Monday that would normally accompany taking the mound in front of tens of thousands of fans in a major ballpark, not the few thousand who showed up for a spring training game in the desert.

“I’ve been pitching in Japan for the last nine years and I wanted to test what I was doing in Japan against major league hitters and I wanted to see how they reacted,” Kikuchi said through an interpreter. “So I was really kind of excited and also nervous about that.”

Kikuchi made his debut for the Seattle Mariners throwing two innings against the Cincinnati Reds in a start that featured a little bit of everything, from moments of dominance to Kikuchi working out of a jam.

 

 

QLE Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:41 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, spring training, yusei kikuchi

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Mariners’ Hernandez gets off to shaky spring start

Felix Hernandez says he’s all set for a bounce-back season.

Now pitching entirely from the stretch, King Felix made his spring training debut Saturday, giving up four runs in 1 1/3 innings as the Seattle Mariners lost to the San Diego Padres 6-4.

The six-time All-Star allowed four hits, only one of them solid. He didn’t walk anyone, but hit a batter and threw just 23 strikes in 42 pitches.

The King hopes that this is small sample size in action….

 

QLE Posted: February 24, 2019 at 08:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners, spring training

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Suzuki starts likely last spring opener with a hit for M’s

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki still felt the nerves of competition at age 45.

Suzuki started what may be his final spring training with a two-run, two-out single in the third inning Friday of the Seattle Mariners’ opening 8-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Batting seventh and playing left field, Suzuki fouled out in the second inning against Liam Hendriks and singled in the third off left-hander Ryan Buchter. Suzuki then was replaced by a pinch runner. He did not have any chances in the field.

Ichiro could appear in another twenty or thirty spring trainings- if he wanted to….

 

QLE Posted: February 23, 2019 at 05:12 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: ichiro suzuki, mariners, retirement tour, spring training

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