Feb 24, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Jason Vargas poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
By the time I got a chance to tune my radio to this game it was already inning number four and things were officially hilarious. While 4-0 is by no means an insurmountable score, there’s nothing less encourgaing to hear than “the Seattle Mariners just haven’t been able to figure out Jason Vargas yet tonight.” That’s Jason Vargas, as in the Jason Vargas. As in the former Mariner and Angel who has essentially been the definition of league average for the last half decade.
Vargas is a guy who should be figure out-able at all times, especially against his former team (though personnel turnover certainly matters, and the M’s have had a lot of turnover). When a team can’t figure Vargas out, they’re probably going to lose. The Mariners lost.
Brandon Maurer pitched a typical Maurer game – fourteen hits, six runs (four earned), no walks or strikeouts, 7.1 innings… okay, so he got typical Maurer results, but that is a super weird line. He made it up to 97 pitches despite getting hit hard early and often, and really never stopped allowing solid contact.
The only KC starter to not get a hit was Mike Moustakas. Let’s take a moment, as fans of a team ripe with busted prospects, to enjoy the fact that none of our busts have busted nearly as hard as the Royals all-world third baseman. Brandon Wood 2.0. Thank the heavens for Kyle Seager.
Late in the game, after Vargas’s reign of terror had ended, the M’s squeaked a run across. Here’s how that happened: with Brad Miller on first (!!!), James Jones doubled to right. Norichika Aoki blew it on the throw, and Miller scored. And that is all I am going to say about this game. The Mariners played terribly for the second straight night, except this time they didn’t have an unreal pitching performance to save them from their ineptitude. Robinson Cano went 1-4 and has one of the emptier .288 averages you’ll see. Corey Hart‘s another couple of 0-fers away from the Mendoza Line. The youth is no longer inexperienced, but they sure play like they are. Ugh. Enough of this game.
Today’s game should be the most interesting one of the series, since Yordano Ventura‘s pitching in it. Ventura throws harder than most relievers and certainly harder than all starters. He’s started adding good location to his skill set, and with that he’s quickly becoming one of the more exciting young pitchers this side of Jose Fernandez. He strikes out the world and limits walks. He’s been limiting dingers, even, and here’s a reminder that the M’s just did nothing against Jason Vargas. Pitching against Ventura is Chris Young. It might be hard to root for the Mariners tonight, but I for one promise to at least try, for the sake of the greater good. 6:10 start, hour earlier because you love to boogie down on a Saturday night. Go Mariners, and to a lesser extent Yordano Ventura.