Wei-Yin Chen is a serviceable starting pitcher. At his best he sometimes seems like more than that, especially considering that he’s played for some good Baltimore Orioles teams that didn’t exactly feature fearsome rotations. For his career he’s a 4.01 ERA/4.28 FIP pitcher, with very little individual variance from season to season. He’s not bad by any means, but he’s certainly not great. In other words, he’s just one of many, many pitchers who is seemingly predestined to dominate the Seattle Mariners.
Four to nothing. The offense managed only five hits all day, as Chen pitched eight strong frames and effectively performed a single-handed dismantling of a major league baseball team. He walked James Jones to lead off the game, and that was his only free pass on the day. He struck out three, but got twelve outs on the ground. The M’s couldn’t so much as elevate the ball against Chen. That’s a bummer.
Hisashi Iwakuma was brilliant, if you just pretend the third inning didn’t happen. But that inning did happen, of course, so Iwakuma was really just pedestrian, or something slightly less. The Mariners’ number two starter pitched seven innings with five strikeouts and – you guessed it – no walks. He allowed seven hits, five of which came in that third inning. That inning is where all four runs came from, of course.
Ryan Flaherty, Caleb Joseph, and Nick Markakis all singled in short order to open the third, scoring Baltimore’s first run. Then up stepped angry DH and despicable human being Delmon Young, who deposited a first-pitch slider into the bullpen. Nothing quite like Delmon Freaking Young burning a good pitch. The three-run shot was the last run scoring event of the game. After that, it was a long, sad snoozer.
Your Mariners base hits for the night: Stefen Romero, Corey Hart, Kyle Seager!, Dustin Ackley, and… Chris Taylor? The Mariners promoted the top shortstop prospect before the game, and in the fifth inning he singled up the middle for his first career base hit. Chris Taylor is a hard guy not to like, and we’ll have more on him this afternoon. For now, we’ll simply congratulate him on making it to the major leagues while sincerely hoping he’s here to stay.
King Felix Hernandez takes on Kevin Gausman tonight at 7:10 in an absolute must-watch game. Felix is Felix, the best there is, and Gausman has long been regarded as one of the top young pitching prospects in the game. His major league career is off to a nice start, as he’s got a 4.04 ERA and a 3.38 FIP his first eight times through the rotation. Having Felix is the biggest boost possible, but the offense is going to need to come alive in a hurry if this fanbase is to avoid Apocalypse Mode. Please, Mariners, help us avoid Apocalypse Mode.