Let’s get this out of the way real quick: the Seattle Mariners lost to the New York Yankees last night. They lost 4-2 to rookie phenom Masahiro Tanaka, who struck out eleven in a complete-game win. There was more to this game than that, of course, but what’s most interesting to me is that Tanaka almost had himself a shutout. He lost the shutout in the ninth inning in the most satisfying way possible.
For the longest time, Robinson Cano had less than three home runs on the year. He now has exactly three, and while that’s still not a lot, it’s more than two. Cano’s ISO finally starts with a one and not a zero, though that only makes his ISO Brad Miller‘s ISO. Cano’s got the same slugging percentage as Michael Saunders, though the former’s doing it with a 62-point advantage in OBP. In short, Cano’s stats still look a little messy. But he’s been the best hitter on the team regardless, and now he boasts one more home run than he did yesterday.
With one out and a runner on first, Tanaka threw Cano a pitch that was supposed to sink. Brian McCann set up with his glove low and away, but that’s not where the pitch went. It dribbled into the middle of the zone, and never made it to McCann’s glove. Cano put good wood on it and drilled the ball out to left-center. While not the deepest part of the ballpark, it’s still a very deep part, and this was Cano going opposite field (if only barely). More importantly, it’s his first home homer as a Mariner, and it came in June. But at least it happened, and against a legit Cy Young contender, too.
Chris Young sucked. Five innings, two walks, two strikeouts, and a three-run homer from Mark Texiera. And another run earlier. Young vs. Tanaka was always going to be a brutal mismatch, but it’s now been a week and a half since Young proved himself decent. A guy like Young is walking a thin line between acceptable and completely not, and so he has to prove his worth every time out. He didn’t today, and don’t think the coaching staff doesn’t notice how bad he’s been beneath his ERA. He’s smart, successful beyond his means, and a fun story. But if there’s a way to sustainably keep this up, it would be to his benefit to find it soon.
Michael Saunders is going to join Justin Smoak on the DL, and it looks like he’ll be replaced by… Jesus Montero? Seriously? Montero still has no defensive position, and his AAA OPS is .800. That’s… not good, at all, especially considering that the PCL boosts offensive numbers. Boost him up a level and take him out of a hitter’s paradise, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster, which, incidentally, is what Montero’s been since becoming Mariners property. Gross. Logan Morrison is the first baseman and Jesus Montero is the DH. What a world this is.
Roenis Elias vs. Chase Whitley at 7:10, as the M’s try to avoid a sweep at the hands of their current closest Wild Card competitor. Whitley’s nobody, and it’s be nice to see this bare-bones offense do something against him. All it took was two straight losses to realize that this M’s team isn’t the playoff lock that we so, so desperately want them to be. The offense sucks, and is only worse now that Saunders is out. Endy Chavez starts every day. Fourth outfielder Cole Gillespie hit cleanup. So yeah, this would be a particularly neat sweep to avoid.