The Mariners were blown out in game two today in Pittsburgh by a score of 10 to 1. Gerrit Cole got the start for the Pirates and threw the first complete game of his career.
Cole had the benefit of some great defense and a whole lot of run support. The Pirates were able to score seven runs in just three innings off of Mariners relievers.
Aside from a pair of doubles by Nori Aoki, the Mariners offense couldn’t accomplish much against Pirates ace Gerrit Cole. Gerrit’s fastball was consistently on the corners at 96-97 mph, and he mixed in a few different off-speed pitches, including a pretty good, hard knuckle curveball.
Cole had to throw 20 pitches in the 1st inning after giving up a double to Nori Aoki and hitting Robinson Cano in the leg. He was able to get out of it without any damage though after striking out Adam Lind to end the inning.
It was smooth sailing from that point on by Cole, who hung on to a small lead until the Pirates were able to score four runs in a long 7th inning. Three of those runs came on a bases clearing double down the left field line on the first pitch from Nathan Karns, who replaced newly acquired Drew Storen with the bases loaded and one out. Storen pitched a scoreless 6th, but got into trouble and walked in a run before giving way to Karns.
James Paxton got the start for the Mariners, and pitched pretty well in 4 of his first 5 innings. However, he threw 35 pitches in the 3rd and gave up all three of the runs that he allowed in that inning. Overall, Paxton threw as hard as he has all season long, but he did not have the command he had in Toronto in his last start. Paxton was magical that night, and it really looked like he had some things figured out. Consistency though, has unfortunately been James’s undoing so far in his young career. James has shown a glaring inability to put a few good starts together.
David Rollins came in to pitch the 8th for the M’s, and the Pirates offense continued to pound the Mariners for runs. This time, it was Andrew McCutchen hitting a three-run home run on an 89 mph fastball in the middle of the plate. McCutchen has struggled the past couple of seasons with the bat, hitting close to .200 this season, but had three hits in today’s route. It’s a rough night for Rollins especially, who is out of options and risks being DFA’d if he doesn’t turn things around.
As good as Cole was tonight, he got a lot of help from his defense. Sean Rodriguez made two great plays in the outfield, a jumping catch at the wall to rob Leonys Martin in the 7th, and a diving catch in the gap to rob Aoki in the 8th. I counted five other run-saving defensive plays for a total of seven exceptional plays in the field by the Pittsburgh defense, including the final play of the game when Kyle Seager grounded to Josh Harrison for a double play.
The M’s split the brief two-game series in Pittsburgh after a nice comeback win yesterday. They look to brush off the 10-1 drubbing with a day off tomorrow, and a series starting against the Cubs in Chicago on Friday.
Tomorrow’s Probables: Hisashi Iwakuma pitches for the Mariners tomorrow. Kuma is the only starter for the Mariners who has made every scheduled start this season, a good sign after missing significant time last season and failing a pre-season physical by the L.A. Dodgers medical staff. Kuma has a record of 10-2 and an ERA of 3.69 in his last 12 starts. He faces veteran star lefty Jon Lester, who is 5-4 with a 3.52 ERA lifetime against the Mariners.
Hisashi Iwakuma 11-6, 3.96 ERA vs. Jon Lester 10-4, 3.09 ERA
Mentionables: Taijuan Walker threw a three-inning, 45 pitch simulated game without issue today. and should be back in the M’s rotation in early August. Nelson Cruz got the game off today with a sore foot that he’s been nursing for a while after hitting a ball off of it. Newly acquired reliever Drew Storen struggled with his command today, but looked nasty, throws hard and has an awkward delivery and really good slider.
Mariners Transactions: The Mariners traded Joaquin Benoit to the Blue Jays yesterday for Drew Storen. Storen, who is 28 years old and is making 8.375 million dollars this season, used to be a closer for the Nationals in 2014 and 2015 before falling out of favor in Washington after blowing a save in a playoff game. Like Benoit, he did not meet expectations this season for his new team. The Blue Jays added cash considerations so the Mariners won’t have to pay the difference. (Benoit is making around 7 million).
MLB Transactions: The Texas Rangers acquired starting pitcher Lucas Harrell from the Braves for LHP Dario Alvarez and the Rangers #20 ranked prospect Travis Demeritte. 31-year-old right hander Lucas Harrell made five starts for the Braves, and posted a record of 2-2 and a 3.38 ERA.
Today’s Date in Mariners’ History: Today was a bad day in what has been a pretty good year for the M’s. The opposite of that occurred on today’s date in 2011.
|The Mariners snap their franchise-record 17-game losing streak with a 9-2 victory against New York at Yankee Stadium. The team’s first win in three weeks comes as a result of Seattle’s strong offensive output and Felix Hernandez‘s seven innings of four hit, one-run ball
By Collin Ferguson at Collin-Ferguson.com & EmeraldCitySwagger.com