COOLING DOWN: After winning their home opener, the Seattle Mariners have dropped three of their last four games. Felix Hernandez’s third win of the season propped the Mariners back into first in the A.L. West for a day, but they now trail the A’s after dropping the final two games of that three game set. Still, on the plus side, the Mariners have went 6-5 on a rough stretch to open the season with now three projected starting pitchers out with injury (Iwakuma, Paxton, and Walker). Seattle will now take their act on the road with a seven game road trip: four in Texas and three in Miami. The Mariners, who had three open dates in the first two weeks, will not be off again until Thursday, April 24th.
OFFENSE STALLS: The improved Seattle offense hasn’t been able to keep pace with the scoring mark they set at the beginning of the season. In a sweep at Anaheim, the Mariners scored twenty-six runs. Seattle scored twelve runs on this home stand, including managing only one run in the three losses. In the two shut out losses (Wednesday 2-0 to the Angels and yesterday 3-0 to the A’s), the Mariners only managed four hits total. The Mariners also haven’t been producing runs outside of the long ball. Of the twelve runs scored on this home stand, seven runs were scored coming off of home runs. The offense needs to pick it up a notch going onto the road.
PITCHING CONTINUES TO SHINE: Seattle has gotten off to a 6-5 start because the starting pitching has gotten off to a strong start despite the injuries. Before landing on the DL with a back injury, James Paxton won the home opener to run his record to 2-0 this season. Roenis Elias got a tough luck loss in the 2-0 loss to the Angels on Wednesday, but he has a 2.70 ERA on the season. And, late addition to the team Chris Young threw six shut out innings in his debut as a Mariner starter yesterday. He received a no-decision in the team’s 3-0 loss. Erasmo Ramirez (1-2, 5.63) struggled in two starts against the A’s after a strong start against the Angels, but hopefully facing another team will do Ramirez a world of good.
ROSTER MOVES: The Texas Rangers, Seattle’s next opponent, traded for Hector Noesi after the Mariners designated the pitcher for assignment. Seattle will receive cash considerations from the Rangers in the deal. With Taijuan Walker still on a rehab assignment, Blake Beavan will get the start Tuesday vs. the Rangers. Beavan, who competed for a rotation spot in Spring Training, has put up good numbers against the Rangers in his career (3-3, 2.84 ERA in seven games).