Last season around this time Seattle came to Detroit struggling offensively only to reverse that trend against Tigers pitching. Much like last year, the Mariners are failing to give their pitchers much run support. They’re currently averaging just over 3.5 runs per game and rank 26th in the majors in team batting average at .223. Once again they are using Tigers pitching to try and right their offensive ship. As a team they had 15 hits with every batter reaching base at least once. Most of the names in Seattle’s linuep are not well known, but much like the Royals they are a very young and promising ball club. Ichiro Suzuki is the veteran leader in the clubhouse but rookies Jesus Montero, Alex Liddi, 23 year old Dustin Ackley and 25 year old Michael Saunders form what many baseball experts believe to be a very exciting young core of offensive help. This group were the main culprits in tonight’s 15 hit 7 run win over the Tigers tonight. Hopefully Adam Wilk can do what he failed to do in his last start and what Max Scherzer couldn’t do tonight, keep runners off the base paths. Unlike the Tigers, the Mariners bunt and steal in order to move players into scoring position and, at least against the Tigers, they hit once they’re there as well.
There was some assistance with scoring runners and moving them up on the bases from the Tigers as well. Scherzer appeared to have less than fantastic control this evening, only throwing 63 strikes out of 103 pitches. He allowed 5 earned runs, two walks, and 10 hits in 5 innings. Brandon Inge made two absolute travesty’s out of very make-able plays (the kind that he has to make if he’s going to be on the roster and bat .100) and Colin Balester was bailed out of yet another wild pitch and a throwing error by fortunately hitting the umpire and a runner he was attempting to pick off of 2nd base and amazingly only allowing one run in 2 innings of work. Phil Coke came in for the 8th and 9th and allowed his first earned run of the season on 3 hits in two innings.
Troubling trends so far this season:
1. Tigers hitters are batting .218 as a team in the first 6 innings so far this season which is second to last in the AL.
2.They’ve only scored 42 of their 74 runs on the first 6 innings which ties them for second to last in the AL with the Twins.
3.The trio of 2nd basemen for the Tigers are hitting and combined .345
4. Brandon Inge is playing abhorrent defense for a “defensive specialist” and Ryan Raburn is hitting horribly for an “offensive option” at 2nd
5. 4 stolen bases and one sac bunt as a team so far this season for a team struggling to score runs (compared to Seattle’s 14 sb and 7 sac bunts)
6. Austin Jackson has cooled off considerably and leads the team in K’s despite his new shorter swing (only because Inge has two thirds less AB’s though)
7.Brennan Boesch is still hitting second in the lineup hitting .211 with a .233 OBP and 14 K’s. He is just not the type of player you want and need in the 2 spot. Santiago, Avila, or Dirks would be much more effective choices in that spot because they make more contact, advance runners, and are not players Leyland would hesitate to have bunt to move a runner over.
The best thing about baseball is that these things can all turn around starting tomorrow with adding one to the win column.
About the Author
Written by Brett Decker
I'm a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University with a degree in Social and Political Science. I love talking sports and welcome sports related tweets @decker_brett.