J.A. Happ To Pittsburgh, Taijuan Walker Pitches Gem


Wow, what an exhausting day of sports-liking! We woke up to the Russell Wilson news, then got right into the thick of the MLB trade deadline. While the Seattle Mariners were largely expected to stand pat, they instead made three seperate deals – Dustin Ackley to the Yankees, Mark Lowe to the Blue Jays, and J.A. Happ to the Pirates.

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We discussed the Ackley trade here, and got into detail about the Lowe swap here. We didn’t yet discuss Happ, so that’s what we’ll do right now before talking about the awesome game the Mariners just played.

So the Mariners traded J.A. Happ, just one day after he pitched an absolutely atrocious game that dropped the team to eleven games under .500. After a solid first half, Happ fell apart over the last month or so, and leaves Seattle with a 4.64 ERA and a 4.04 FIP. Hey, it was a pretty good first half! But ultimately Happ’s current season-to-date numbers are worse than his hilariously underwhelming career numbers, and you won’t miss him and I won’t miss him.

In exchange the Pirates gave the M’s Adrian Sampson, a starting pitcher at the AAA level who has been having a nice season to date. On the year he’s got a 3.98 ERA/3.28 FIP in 124.1 innings at AAA. He’s probably Tacoma’s best starter at this point. I, for one, am just glad he’s a warm body, and yes, I think the Mariners won this trade. They “won” all their trades. I’m completely flabbergasted that this is how I feel.

The Mariners made three deals and they were all fine. They’re down a bad starter, a somehow-good reliever, and whatever Dustin Ackley is. Ack made his NYY debut pinch-hitting for Carlos Beltran and playing left tonight. He made two outs. I can’t imagine him sucking without a beard, but maybe he’ll still suck for New York. Guess we’ll have to wait and see! Lowe didn’t get into the Jays game tonight, perhaps unsurprisingly. So we’ll have to watch out for that impending debut, or just forget he was ever here.

Teams don’t just swap players around – they actually play games, and that’s what the Mariners did tonight. Taijuan Walker started and dazzled – he threw a complete game one-hitter, that being a solo home run by prodigal slugger Miguel Sano. Other than that… one walk. And nothing else. Eleven strikeouts! This was probably the best game of Walker’s career. I’m sorry for saying the Mariners should trade him for Carlos Gomez. They didn’t, and I was kidding. Totally joking! Just kidding, you guys!!

Ketel Marte made his major league debut, batting leadoff and reaching base once on a walk. He played second and really had an unremarkable game overall. First big league hit coming tomorrow, okay?? The Mariners beat the Twins 6-1 and Jesus Montero had two hits, including a big home run. Nelson Cruz homered, too, as part of a four-hit output. He’s nuts. His average is up to .314. What a freak.

And that’s it. Deadline day is done, the Mariners don’t have to play Ackley ever again, not even out of pity, and J.A. Happ is a Pirate and Mark Lowe is a Blue Jay and the farm is freshly loaded with arms. And Ramon Flores. Oh yeah, and the Mariners didn’t send Rob Rasmussen or Jose Ramirez to the minors after all, opting to stick both of them right on the big league roster. Which will be fun. Okay, now that’s it. Goodnight, baseball!