BY SPNW Staff 06:59AM 04/20/2012

#15: Mariners Waste Felix Gem; Gear For White Sox

Tied with Oakland for second in the AL West after a 2-1 loss to Cleveland Thursday, the Mariners begin a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox Friday night.

Jesus Montero, who has split time between catcher and DH, owns Seattle's longest hitting streak in 2012 -- eight games from March 29-April 14. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

GAME: White Sox (6-6, 3rd, AL Central, – 2.5 GB) at Mariners (7-7, 2nd AL West, – 4.5 GB). GAME #: 15. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 1st. WHEN: Friday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: LHP Chris Sale (Chicago, 1-1, 3.09) vs. RHP Hector Noesi (Seattle, 1-1, 5.73). STREAKS: Mariners L 1; White Sox L 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

Having wasted a 12-strikeout, zero earned-run night by Felix Hernandez with Brandon League’s first blown save since last August, the Mariners will seek to ease the pain when they commence a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox Friday at Safeco Field.

The Mariners will send RHP Hector Noesi (1-1) in search of his second win, hillward to face LHP Chris Sale (1-1) in the first of nine meetings between the Mariners and White Sox in 2012.

After this series, the teams meet June 1-3 and again Aug. 24-26 in a pair of series in the Windy City. Following Sunday’s game at Safeco Field, the Mariners hit the road, with stops in Detroit, Toronto and Tampa Bay.

The lowdown on Friday’s probables:

MARINERS: RHP Hector Noesi (1-1, 5.73 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)

Hector Noesi

In his second major league season, and first with the Mariners, Noesi, 25, is making his third start of the season and the first of his career against the White Sox.

A native of Esperanza, Valverde, Dominican Republic, the 6-3, 200-pound Noesi was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Yankees in 2004.

Noesi made his major league debut May 18 against the Baltimore Orioles. The fifth Yankees reliever that day, he collected the win by working four innings, allowing four hits, no runs and fanning four.

Noesi became a Mariner Jan. 23 when he was traded by the Yankees, along with Jesus Montero, to Seattle for Jose Campos (minors) and Michael Pineda, an All-Star starter.

Noesi, who appeared in 30 games for the 2011 Yankees, making two starts, has a career record of 3-3, 4.68 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. This will be Noesi’s fourth start in a regular season game.

  • LAST START: Noesi pitched much better in his second start than his first, working 8 innings in a 4-0 Seattle victory over Oakland in a game in which Jesus Montero went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs; allowed no runs on five hits.
  • LAST VS. WHITE SOX: Aug. 4; did not factor in the decision in a 7-2 Yankees victory over Chicago; came on in relief of Ivan Nova, worked one inning and allowed one earned run on one hit, a home run (Adam Dunn); threw 14 pitches, 10 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. WHITE SOX: Has appeared in one relief appearance; worked one inning and gave up one home run.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: Has made two appearances with one start (his last start); is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA covering 10.1 IP; has allowed seven hits and struck out seven while facing 37 batters.
  • LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Only four White Sox batters have faced Noesi; Adam Dunn is the only batter to get a hit.
  • CURRENT WHITE SOX VS. NOESI: 1-for-4, .250 BA, one home run. one strike out.

Noesi / 2012

  • April 9 (L, 0-1): Shelled for seven earned runs in 3 innings in an 11-5 loss to the Rangers
  • April 14 (W, 1-1): Collected his first win as a Mariner by working 8 IP, allowing five hits and no runs in a 4-0 win over Oakland; fanned six, issued just one walk and recorded 17 fly-ball outs vs. five ground-ball outs; 10 pitches, 68 for strikes.

WHITE SOX: LHP Chris Sale (1-1, 3.09 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)

Chris Sale

The 23-year-old Sale, in his third major league season, all with the White Sox, will be making his third start  and first against the Mariners.

The 6-6, 180-pound Sale was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round (13th pick) of the 2010 amateur draft.

He began his pro career with Winston-Salem in the Carolina League and had a stop at Charlotte in the International League before making his major league debut as a reliever Aug. 6, 2010, against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards (one inning, no decision).

Sale pitched in 21 games as a rookie in 2010 and went 2-1, 1.93 while working out of the bullpen. He made 58 appearances in relief (no starts) in 2011, finishing 2-2, 1.79 ERA, with eight saves. He fanned an impressive 10 batters per nine innings in his first full MLB season.

Sale, who yields an average of 6.2 hits per nine innings, has a career record of 5-4, 2.63.

  • 2012: Sale allowed just eight hits and four earned runs in two starts while compiling a 1-1 record and 3.09 ERA; defeated Cleveland 4-2 in his first start April 9, allowing one earned run on three hits over 6.2 innings.
  • LAST START: Lasted 5 innings, allowed three earned runs on five hits, including a home run, in a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers April 15; faced 25 batters, got seven ground-ball outs and eight fly-ball outs; threw 102 pitches, 68 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: Aug. 26; allowed one hit in 1 inning, did not permit a run and recorded his fifth save in a 4-2 White Sox victory at Safeco Field; faced four Seattle batters and whiffed two.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: Two games (no starts) and has yet to cede a run in 2.1 IP; 0-0 record against Seattle, with one save; has yet to walk a Mariner batter.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: Has an 0-0 record, 0.00 ERA and one save in one appearance Aug. 26 when he relieved Jake Peavy.
  • LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Only two of eight current Mariners hitters have collected hits off Sale, Franklin Gutierrez (DL) and Ichiro, 1-for-1.
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. SALE: 2-for-8, .250 BA, no extra base hits, three strikeouts.

LAST GAME

Indians 2, Mariners 1

AT SEATTLE (April 19): Former Mariner Jack Hannahan’s two-run single off Brandon League in the top of the ninth inning gave Cleveland a 2-1 series victory over the Mariners and cost Seattle starter Felix Hernandez a chance at a victory after a dominating outing.

Hernandez fanned 12, walked one and allowed five hits, but came away with a no-decision after League loaded the bases in the ninth and gave up the hit to Hannahan, who played in 51 games for the Mariners in 2009.

“When you dodge a guy like Hernandez and you’re able to win the ballgame, whether you beat him or not, you feel like you did something right,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said.

Indians starter and winner Josh Tomlin just about matched Hernandez. Tomlin threw 8.0 innings, surrendering one run on five hits. He struck out seven, walked none and threw just 96 pitches.

“It was a great a game, both sides,” Hernandez said. “The other guy threw a pretty good game, too. It just gets exciting.”

“Obviously, everybody knows that Felix is a stud, and he showed that tonight again,” Acta added. “But you know, I couldn’t be prouder than I am of my little cowboy. He went toe-to-toe with Felix for eight innings and that’s what we ask these guys when we face guys like Felix.”

In the ninth, League (0-1) walked Shelley Duncan, loading the bases, before Hannahan’s first-pitch single scored Santana and pinch-runner Aaron Cunningham to give the Indians a 2-1 lead. It was Leagues first blown save since Aug. 23, 2011, also against Cleveland.

Seattle scored its only run in the fifth when Michael Saunders doubled, went to third on a sacrifice and scored on a high throw to home plate after a John Jaso ground ball to second base.

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 11 2 .846 5-2 6-0 9-1 Won 7
Athletics 7 7 .500 4.5 3-4 4-3 6-4 Won 3
Mariners 7 7 .500 4.5 3-3 4-4 4-6 Lost 1
Angels 4 9 .308 7.0 2-5 2-4 3-7 Lost 3

MARINERS / STATS NOTES

  • Chicago, which opens a three-game series against Seattle Friday, won the 2011 series 7-2, outscoring Seattle 41-19. The Mariners are 183-212 all-time vs. the White Sox, including 104-92 in Seattle.
  • The Mariners have not swept a three-game series from the White Sox in Seattle since Aug. 17-19, 2007.
  • Seattle’s longest home winning streak vs. Chicago is seven games, from June 15-Oct. 4, 1992.
  • Kyle Seager has hit safely in all seven games he has played against Cleveland, recording multiple hits in five of the seven (1-for-4 Thursday).
  • Miguel Olivo’s single (1-for-2) Thursday raised his batting average 18 points, from .125 to .143
  • Ichiro, has a career batting average of .339 (139×410) vs. the Indians, the third-highest against the Tribe among all active players.
  • Ichiro 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.
  • Ichiro has hit 96 career home runs and needs four to become the 12th Mariner with 100. Breakdown: 94 as a leadoff hitter, one batting second, one batting third.
  • Through 14 games, the Mariners are batting 27-for-102 (.265) with runners in scoring position. The Mariners went 1-for-9 with RISP Thursday.
  • Through 14 games, the Mariners have been out-homered 16-10.
  • Through 14 games, the Mariners have left 80 men on base, their opponents 92. The Mariners stranded four Thursday.
  • Through 14 games, the Mariners scored 53 runs, their opponents 54.
  • Closer Brandon League had been 5-for-5 in save opportunities heading into Thursday’s game, but blew his first save since Aug. 23, 2011, also against Cleveland.
  • Seattle’s bullpen has given up nine homers in 14 games after leading the AL with just 32 allowed last season.
  • The Mariners have four bases-loaded walks (Kawasaki, Ryan, Montero, Smoak), which leads the American League and is tied (w/SD) for the MLB lead. The Mariners recorded 13 bases loaded walks last season, ranking T2nd in the AL.
  • The Mariners are 6-0 when out-hitting the opponent (out-hit Thursday 7-5).
  • Reliever Tom Wilhelmsen has appeared in eight of the Mariners’ first 14 games, matching the club record.
  • The three former Mariners in Cleveland’s lineup Thursday – Shin-Soo Choo (0-for-4), Casey Kotchman (0-for-3) and Jack Hannahan (2-for-4)– combined to go 2-for 11. Hannahan’s hit off Hernandez improved his BA against the Seattle ace to .500 (8-for-16).
  • Milestones: Kyle Seager’s single in the fourth inning Tuesday marked 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.
  • Two Mariners, Ichiro (March 28 in Tokyo vs. Oakland) and Justin Smoak (April 17 vs. Cleveland) have four-hit games in 2012.
  • Jesus Montero owns Seattle’s longest hitting streak of 2012: eight games, from March 29-April 14.
  • The Mariners have been shut out twice in 2012 (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs Oakland).
  • Three Mariners, Munenori Kawasaki, Lucas Luetge and Erasmo Ramirez, have made their MLB debuts this season.
  • The Mariners have batted around three time: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th). Justin Smoak had two hits in the fourth vs. Cleveland, a pair of singles.
  • Mariners on the DL: Mike Carp (15-day), sprained right shoulder; Franklin Gutierrez (15-day), torn right pectoral; George Sherrill (15-day), strained flexor bundle. Gutierrez is still not ready to go out on a minor league rehab assignment, but Carp is about to begin a rehab assignment with the Tacoma Rainiers.
  • C Adam Moore underwent surgery Thursday to repair a right medial meniscus tear. Moore had to be removed from a Tacoma Rainiers game Monday after suffering the injury in the second inning. The Mariners have not announced how long Moore will be sidelined.
  • Series Records: Won 2, split 0, lost 2.
  • 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
7-7 3-3 4-4 0-1 7-6 7-6 0-1 5-3 2-4

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.233 .205 .252 53 10 .283 .360 .643 .265

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
7-7 3.77 124.0 54 51 16 .238 .295 .382

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
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)
4/22 Sun vs. CWS Millwood (1-1, 6.30) vs. Danks (1-2, 4.82)

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 W, 4-1 7-6 W: Vargas (2-1); L: Lowe (2-1)
14 4/19 vs. Cle L, 2-1 7-7 W: Tomlin (1-1); L: League (0-1)
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

    League will get traded before the deadline.  Jack Z. has shown he doesn’t believe in investing heavily in closers as that he’s had JJ Putz, David Aardsma and League as the closers during his time as GM for the M’s.  Wilhelmsen has potential and I’m sure Sherrill was brought in specifically to be the closer if necessary.  The M’s could get something decent for League if they choose to move him.

  • jafabian

    League will get traded before the deadline.  Jack Z. has shown he doesn’t believe in investing heavily in closers as that he’s had JJ Putz, David Aardsma and League as the closers during his time as GM for the M’s.  Wilhelmsen has potential and I’m sure Sherrill was brought in specifically to be the closer if necessary.  The M’s could get something decent for League if they choose to move him.

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  • Matt712

    I think a huge key to the game and an X factor for the Hawks is one my very favorite (and IMO most under-appreciated) players, Michael Robinson – one of the toughest, and probably the smartest player on the team. (Graduated from Penn State in three years with two degrees where he played tailback, split end and QUARTERBACK!, was the Big Ten offensive player in ’05, leads the Seahawks this year in coverage tackles (as well as a forced fumble) as a special teams captain, and… oh yeah, he’s a Pro Bowl fullback.)

    The X-factor he represents won’t just be his run blocking against a (so far) poor run defense; it will be his role in helping contain Clay Matthews on passing plays, because Green Bay’s game plan will be to stack the line and make this game ‘Aaron Rogers vs Russell Wilson.’

    • art thiel

      Good point, Matt. Robinson is underrated, as was Mack Strong in the same position until 2005. Matthews is the defensive game-breaker.