BY SPNW Staff 07:12AM 04/18/2012

#13: Mariners Gag; Vargas Vs. Lowe Wednesday

Despite a six-run inning and a seven-run lead, the Mariners couldn’t withstand a Cleveland rally and fell to the Indians 9-8 in the first game of a three-game series.

Ichiro is a .342 career hitter against the Cleveland Indians, who face the Mariners in the second game of a three-game series Wednesday at Safeco Field. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

GAME: Indians (5-4, 2nd, AL Central, -2.0GB) at Mariners (6-6, 2nd AL West, -3.5 GB). GAME #: 13. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 2nd (Indians lead 1-0). WHEN: Wednesday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Derek Lowe (Cleveland, 2-0, 1.98) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (Seattle, 1-1, 3.44). STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Indians W 4. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

It’s not often the Mariners find themselves with a seven-run lead, and even rarer when they blow such an advantage. But having done that Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians, the Mariners (6-6) will attempt to regroup Wednesday when they contest the Tribe in the second game of a three-game series at Safeco Field.

The Mariners will trot out left hander Jason Vargas (1-1), who will make his fourth start of the season, to battle RHP Derek Lowe, a Mariner briefly in 1997 before an ill-advised trade sent him to the Boston Red Sox.

After the Vargas-Lowe duel, the Mariners will close out the Cleveland series Thursday and then commence a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox Friday-Sunday. The White Sox series will conclude a 10-day, nine-game home stand. The Mariners then head out on the road for series in Detroit, Toronto and Tampa.

A closer look at Wednesday’s probable starting pitchers:

MARINERS: LHP Jason Vargas (1-1, 3.44 ERA, 0.98 WHIP)

Jason Vargas

The 29-year-old Vargas, in his seventh major league season and fifth with the Mariners, will be making his fourth start of 2012 and his first against the Indians.

A native of Apple Valley, CA., the 6-0, 215-pound Vargas was selected in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft by the Florida Marlins.

He made his debut with Florida July 14, 2005, pitching one inning of relief in a 13-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mariners acquired Vargas as part of a three-team swap Dec. 11, 2008, when the New York Mets sent him along with Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera, Endy Chavez, Maikel Cleto and Aaron Heilman to the Mariners. The Mariners sent Sean Green, J.J. Putz and Jeremy Reed to the Mets.

The Mariners also sent Luis Valbuena to the Indians. The Mets sent Joe Smith to the  Indians, who sent Franklin Gutierrez to the Mariners.

Vargas, currently the only lefty in Seattle’s starting rotation, brings a career record of 29-40, 4.50 ERA into the game, including a 23-32, 4.16 ERA with the Mariners.

  • LAST START (April 12): Allowed four earned runs on seven hits and lost to Derek Holland and the Rangers 5-3 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington; fanned six and walked one; gave up a two-run bomb to Michael Young, who had four RBIs; threw 96 pitches, 63 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. INDIANS: Aug. 22 received a no-decision in a 3-2 victory at Progressive Field; allowed two runs on seven hits in 7 IP; had two strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter (Chance Ruffin got the win in relief).
  • CAREER VS. INDIANS: Four starts; 1-2 record with a 6.75 ERA over 21.1 IP; has allowed a high number of earned runs — 16 — in 21.1 IP; fanned nine.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: Has pitched in 45 games, including 41 starts, covering 263.0 innings; has a 16-15 record with a 3.63 ERA; 178 strikeouts vs. 73 walks; allowed 25 home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Michael Brantley (0-for-9, .000 BA), Matt LaPorta (0-for-6, .000 BA, 1 K), Jason Donald (0-for-5, .000 BA, 1 K).
  • HATES TO FACE: Ezequiel Carrera (2-for-3, .667 BA), Asdrubal Cabrera (5-for-10, .500 BA, 1 HR), Lou Marson (3-for-6, .500 BA).
  • CURRENT INDIANS VS. VARGAS: 20-for-70, .286 BA, 2 HRs.

Vargas / 2012

  • March 29 (ND, 0-0): Pitched well enough to win in Tokyo, but after he departed the game, the bullpen imploded, surrendering three home runs, greasing Seattle’s 4-1 defeat.
  • April 6 (W, 1-0): Threw 91 pitches, 58 for strikes, finishing with an in-game ERA of 2.31 in a 7-3 victory over Oakland, Vargas’ first win.

INDIANS: RHP Derek Lowe (2-0, 1.98 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)

Derek Lowe

The 39-year-old Lowe, in his 16th major league season and first with the Indians, will be making his third start and his first against the Mariners.

A native of Dearborn, MI., Lowe was selected by Seattle in the eighth round of the 1991 amateur draft. After pitching in the Mariners’ system from 1991-96, Lowe made his major league debut April 26, 1997, absorbing a 4-3 loss at Toronto.

Lowe went 2-4, 6.96 in 12 games (9 starts) for the Mariners in 1997 before he was traded, along with C Jason Varitek July 31 for reliever Heathcliff Slocumb.

Lowe pitched for the Red Sox from 1997-04, for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2005-08, and for Atlanta from 2009-11 before signing with the Indians.

Lowe had his best statistical season in 2002 when he went 21-8, 2.58 for the Red Sox. He led the National League in wins in 2006 with 16 (Dodgers) and also led the American League in saves in 2000 (42).

Lowe, a two-time All-Star (2000, 2002) has a career record of  168-146.

  • 2012: Lowe has worked into the seventh inning in both of his starts, pitching his best game April 8 vs. Toronto, when he allowed two runs, none earned, on five hits in a 4-3 victory.
  • LAST START: April 13, at Kansas City, allowed three earned runs on 11 hits in 6.2 innings, recording an 8-3 win in a game in which former Mariner Asdrubal Cabrera went 2-for-5 with a home run.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: June 29 for Atlanta, outdueled Felix Hernandez 5-3 at Safeco Field; allowed one earned runs on four hits while striking out five and walking three.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: Has appeared in 21 games with seven starts; 6-4 record, 3.15 ERA covering 68.2 IP; has allowed six home runs and walked 24.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 10 games, four starts, 3-2 record, 3.72 ERA, covering 36.1 innings; has fanned 24, walked 11 and yielded three home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Justin Smoak (0-for-3, .000 BA), Dustin Ackley (0-for-2, .000 BA), Miguel Olivo (3-for-19, .158 BA, 7 K’s).
  • HATES TO FACE: Ichiro (9-for-24, .375 BA, 1 3B, 3 RBIs), Chone Figgins (6-for-23, .261 BA, 1 RBI).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. LOWE: 20-for-80, .250 BA, 4 RBIs, 13 K’s).

WEDNESDAY PROMOTION (Grand Slam Family Package): Fans can get a ticket, hot dog and Pepsi for as low as $15/person for families of 4 to 12 thanks to Safeco Insurance. Field level tickets and Wells Fargo Terrace Club OF tickets are also available at a  discount. View Level $15, Main Level $30, Wells Fargo Terrace Level $35. Must purchase between 4 and 12 tickets to receive the discount. Add $2 per ticket day of game. Available most Wednesday nights. Each ticket includes $8 in TicketPlu$ credit good for a discounted hot dog and Pepsi soft drink from any Rolling Roof Refreshment stand.

LAST GAME

Indians 9, Mariners 8

AT SEATTLE (April 17): Jason Donald’s tiebreaking single off Seattle reliever Tom Wilhelmsen in the top of the seventh capped a Cleveland rally from a seven-run deficit to beat the Mariners. Mariners reliever Charlie Furbush (0-1) allowed a hit by Travis Hafner and a walk to Shelley Duncan before striking out the next two in the seventh and being replaced. However, Wilhelmsen could not close the inning, giving up Donald’s hit to right field.

Cleveland reliever Rafael Perez (1-0) pitched a scoreless sixth inning to pick up the victory. Chris Perez got his third save in four tries, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth when John Jaso flew out to right field on a 2-0 pitch.

After falling behind 1-0, the Mariners scored twice in the third and six times in the fourth to take an 8-1 lead. But the Indians came back with seven runs in the top of the fifth, the big blow a three-run homer by Carlos Santana off Seattle starter Kevin Millwood.

Justin Smoak had a career-high four hits for the Mariners and Ichiro drove in two runs. John Jaso, who started at catcher as Miguel Olivo got the night off, hit his first home run.

“It’s always hard to swallow when you lose — especially a close one like that,” said Smoak. “It’s one of those things where we had a game plan and we had that big inning and put up some runs and really weren’t able to do much after that.”

Millwood allowed six earned runs on nine hits in 4.0 innings and received a no-decision.

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 9 2 .818 5-2 4-0 8-2 Won 5
Mariners 6 6 .500 3.5 2-2 4-4 5-5 Lost 1
Athletics 5 7 .417 4.5 3-4 2-3 4-6 Won 1
Angels 4 7 .364 5.0 2-3 2-4 3-7 Lost 1

MARINERS / STATS NOTES

  • The Mariners and Indians will meet eight times in 2012 (Game 2 Wednesday). Seattle is 158-202 all-time vs. the Indians, including 80-99 in Seattle and 21-33 at Safeco Field.
  • Milestones: Kyle Seager’s single in the fourth inning Tuesday was the 50,000th hit in Mariners’ history, and Brendan Ryan’s walk in the same frame scored Justin Smoak with the 25,000th run in franchise history.
  • Ichiro, 1-for-5 with two RBIs Tuesday, has a career batting average of .342 (138×403) vs. the Indians, the third-highest against the Tribe among all active players.
  • Mariners starters have thrown at least 7.0 innings in three of the past four games (Felix Hernandez, Hector Noesi, Blake Beavan). The Mariners had not tossed 7.0+ innings in three consecutive games since a four-game streak June 29-July 3, 2011.
  • Jesus Montero, who had his eight-game hitting streak snapped against Oakland Sunday, had another hit Tuesday (1-for-4). During the streak, Montero hit .370 (10×27). He has recorded a hit in 9 of his 11 games this season.
  • The Mariners have been shut out twice in 2012 (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs Oakland). They didn’t suffer their second blanking of 2011 until May 7.
  • Seattle’s bullpen has given up nine homers in 12 games after leading the AL with just 32 allowed last season.
  • Through 12 games, the Mariners are batting 25-for-86 (.291) with runners in scoring position. The Mariners went 6-for-14 with RISP Tuesday.
  • Despite John Jaso’s home run Tuesday (first as a Mariner), the Mariners have been out-homered through 12 games, 16-8.
  • Ichiro (1-for-5 Tuesday) has 755 multi-hit games, which ranks fourth among active players, and No. 1 since his debut in 2001. Ichiro’s 47 games with four or more hits leads all active players.
  • Through 12 games, the Mariners have left 68 men on base, their opponents 76. The Mariners stranded 10 Tuesday.
  • Through 12 games, the Mariners have been outscored, 51-48.
  • Three Mariners, Munenori Kawasaki, Lucas Luetge and Erasmo Ramirez, have made their MLB debuts this season.
  • The Mariners have batted around three this season: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and again Tuesday vs. Cleveland (4th). Justin Smoak had two hits in the fourth, a pair of singles.
  • The Mariners are 5-0 when out-hitting their opponent (out-hit Tuesday 13-10).
  • Mariners on the DL: Mike Carp (15-day), sprained right shoulder; Franklin Gutierrez (15-day), torn right pectoral; Adam Moore (15-day), fractured right wrist; George Sherrill (15-day), strained flexor bundle.
  • According to Stats Inc., the Mariners had an average age of 28.33 when the Opening Day rosters were set, the second-youngest American League roster and the fourth-youngest in the majors.
  • The Mariners roster features 7 rookies: RHP Steve Delabar, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, LHP Lucas Luetge, RHP Erasmo Ramirez, C/ DH Jesus Montero, INF Alex Liddi & INF Munenori Kawasaki. Last season the Mariners used 18 rookies, and had a club-record 12 players make their MLB debuts.
  • According to The Associated Press, the Mariners have the 18th-highest payroll in the majors, at just under $82 million. That’s down from $94 million in 2011. Of the $82 million, Felix Hernandez, Ichiro, Chone Figgins, Franklin Gutierrez and Brandon League take up slightly more than $58 million of that total (the Yankees have baseball’s top payroll for the 14th consecutive year, $198 million).
  • Series Records: Won 2, split 0, lost 1.
  • Longest Win Streak: 2 (April 6-7, April 14-15).
  • Longest Losing Streak: 2 (April 9-10, April 12-13).

MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN

Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
6-6 2-2 4-4 0-1 6-5 6-5 0-1 4-3 2-3

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.236 .200 .252 48 8 .281 .354 .635 .291

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
6-6 4.16 106.0 51 48 16 .247 .300 .406

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
4/18 Wed vs. Clev Vargas (1-1, 3.44) vs. Lowe (1-0, 0.00)
4/19 Thr vs. Clev Hernandez (1-1, 3.80) vs. Tomlin (0-1, 8.31)
4/20 Fri vs. CWS Noesi (1-1, 5.73) vs. Sale (0-1, 3.09)
4/21 Sat vs. CWS Beavan (1-1, 2.70) vs. Humber (0-0, 1.69)

MARINERS 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS

March

Gm.# Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
1 3/28 at Oak W, 3-1 1-0 W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)
2 3/29 at Oak L, 4-1 1-1 W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)

April

Gm. # Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
3 4/6 at Oak W, 7-3 2-1 W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)
4 4/7 at Oak W, 8-7 3-1 W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)
5 4/9 at Tex L, 11-5 3-2 W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)
6 4/10 at Tex L, 1-0 3-3 W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)
7 4/11 at Tex W, 4-3 4-3 W: Luetge (1-0); L: Nathan (0-2)
8 4/12 at Tex L, 5-3 4-4 W: Holland (1-0); L: Vargas (1-1
9 4/13 vs Oak L, 4-0 4-5 W: Colon (2-1); L: Hernandez (1-1)
10 4/14 vs. Oak W, 4-0 5-5 W: Noesi (1-1); L: Milone (1-1)
11 4/15 vs. Oak W, 5-3 6-5 W: Beavan (1-1); L: Godfrey (0-2)
12 4/17 vs. Cle L, 9-8 6-6 W: Perez (0-1); L: Furbush (0-1)
13 4/18 vs. Cle
14 4/19 vs. Cle
15 4/20 vs. CWS
16 4/21 vs. CWS
17 4/22 vs. CWS
18 4/24 at Det
19 4/25 at Det
20 4/26 at Det
21 4/27 at Tor
22 4/28 at Tor
23 4/29 at Tor
24 4/30 at TB

YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    It seems as though every time Derek Lowe’s name is mentioned in Seattle media the words “ill-advised trade” always follows.

  • jafabian

    It seems as though every time Derek Lowe’s name is mentioned in Seattle media the words “ill-advised trade” always follows.

  • RadioGuy

    I saw Derek Lowe pitch the home opener in Bellingham in 1992 and what impressed me about Lowe was that even though he didn’t seem to throw as hard as you might think a 6’6″ guy would, he was ALWAYS around the plate.

    And, yes, that WAS an “ill-advised” trade.  I can remember where I was, what I was doing and even what time of the morning it was when I first heard it on the radio (decency prevents me from repeating the four-letter word I shouted, but it wasn’t “GOOD!”).  I give Woody Woodward credit for some of the good deals he pulled off, like Darren Bragg for Jamie Moyer and Ken Phelps for Jay Buhner, but this was the worst trade in Mariners history.

  • RadioGuy

    I saw Derek Lowe pitch the home opener in Bellingham in 1992 and what impressed me about Lowe was that even though he didn’t seem to throw as hard as you might think a 6’6″ guy would, he was ALWAYS around the plate.

    And, yes, that WAS an “ill-advised” trade.  I can remember where I was, what I was doing and even what time of the morning it was when I first heard it on the radio (decency prevents me from repeating the four-letter word I shouted, but it wasn’t “GOOD!”).  I give Woody Woodward credit for some of the good deals he pulled off, like Darren Bragg for Jamie Moyer and Ken Phelps for Jay Buhner, but this was the worst trade in Mariners history.

  • Bayviewherb

    It was a very chilly night at the ball park. The long wait to get out in the 5th inning was probably the pitcher’s downfall.

  • Bayviewherb

    It was a very chilly night at the ball park. The long wait to get out in the 5th inning was probably the pitcher’s downfall.

  • Pixeldawg13

    @ Humancockroach (not a very self-complimentary handle, there.)
    As I see it, the reason Tate may get fined isn’t that Lee was ‘defenseless’–Tate was in front of him–but that Tate was leading with his helmet and hit Lee pretty much square in the face.  That does violate a league rule.

    But it was a delightfully wicked block.  

    • skeletony

       Actually he hit him in the chest, not the head/face. Look at the replay more closely. The contact with the crown of Tate’s helmet occurs after Tate lays into Lee with that vicious hit.

    • Artthiel

       Photos at impact show Tate hitting Lee’s chest, and below the helmet.

  • effzee

    I wonder if the defenseless player rule only applies to certain situations, like after a turnover or if the player is in the air or something? Yes, he didn’t see Tate, but he was running full speed after Wilson, going for the tackle, so I see it as a legit block. Tate even said afterwards that he tried to be seen by Lee before making contact but the dude just didn’t look at him.

    • Artthiel

       Wasn’t blind side. It was an angle, but within reasonable view.

  • Humancockroach

    And yet every single dive, block or hit on the inside on running plays have the same contact on nearly every play. A FB makes that block on an off tackle run and there is no question about fines, how defenseless, or how he lead with his head… There is no ref or league that would fine them for making that block. IMHO it was clean, and the only person responsible for Lee getting lit up like that was Lee. He knew Tate was there ( as he was covering him). What was Tate supposed to do? Stand there and let Lee hit the QB? Using your helmet, pads or arms to block aren’t against the rules, a wr coming back and blocking isn’t against the rules, there isn’t even a rule against blocking against a defender by hitting him in the head, that rule simply doesn’t exist….. ( as for the name it’s a nickname I got when I was working excessive hours ” cockroaches and I can’t be killed” LOL)

    • Artthiel

       Rule No. 1 upon entering the football field of play: Put your head on swivel.

  • Bayviewherb

    I waited for Sportscenter to talk about the game. They even had a feature about some of the rookie QB’s winning. Nary a word about the Seahawk-Coqboy game or our rookie QB.

    • Artthiel

       You need to stay up later, after the World Series of Poker.

    • Jamo57

      I said to my son the only time ESPN doesn’t spend a lot of time on the Cowboys is when they get drilled by the Seahawks.    Watching Chris Berman give a summary of the game on The Blitz was hilarious as you could tell he did not have the facts of the game right.   In fairness to Chris with the game being a West Coast afternoon affair, he was probably getting the details of the game for the first time and was probably summarizing in real time.   But it was short and wrong.

      Further fuel for us ‘east coast bias’ conspiracy theorists.   LOL.

  • skeletony

     You see that from every team’s fans when they lose or get embarrassed. All of a sudden one of the blocks was an “illegal hit”. If the positions were reversed Dallas fans would be clowning us hardcore if we came to their forums and whined about that hit. But Dallas is a big market team so we will have to see if sanity prevails here or they take the safe route and fine Tate to keep whiners from rioting.

  • Artthiel

     Need to get a title done before the Mayan calendar hits the expiration date.

  • Artthiel

     It’s fans’ privilege to look from their side. I don’t think the NFL will play politics on this.