BY SPNW Staff 07:47AM 05/04/2012

# 28: Reeling Mariners Back Home To Face Twins

Minnesota appears to be the worst team in the American League, but after six losses in a row, the Mariners might give them an argument for the title.

Minnesota's Joe Mauer, due at Safeco Field for a weekend series, is a career .377 hitter against the Mariners. That's Mauer's highest average against any American League team. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Twins (6-18, 5th AL Central, -7.5 GB) Mariners (11-16, 3rd AL West, – 7.0 GB). GAME #: 28. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 1st. WHEN: Friday, 7:05 p.m., Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Carl Pavano (Minnesota, 1-2, 4.91) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (Seattle, 3-2, 3.38). STREAKS: Mariners L 6; Twins L 3. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

The best thing about the Mariners’ season-high, six-game losing streak is that the Texas Rangers aren’t coming to town. Instead, the Mariners draw the 6-18 Minnesota Twins, an outfit in worse shape than Seattle (just got no-hit by Jered Weaver), upon their return. It’s a three-game set. Too bad it isn’t four: The Twins’ pitching staff has the highest ERA (5.77) in the American League.

The Mariners will open this series with LHP Jason Vargas, seeking to rebound from a decent effort but a lost cause April 29 at Toronto. He’ll oppose veteran Carl Pavano, a pitcher the Mariners tried to acquire a few years ago when he was a free agent. A closer look at the probables:

MARINERS: LHP Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.38 ERA, 1.04 WHIP)

Jason Vargas

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

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, the only lefty in Seattle’s starting rotation, has a career record of 31-41, 4.46 ERA, including 25-33, 4.13 ERA with the Mariners.

  • LAST START: April 29 at Toronto, allowed two earned runs on four hits over 6.0 innings and suffered the loss in a 7-2 setback to the Blue Jays; struck out four, walked three and gave up a home run to Edwin Encarnacion; threw a season-high 111 pitches, 60 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. TWINS: Sept. 20 defeated Minnesota 5-4 at Target Center in a game featuring a 5-for-5 performance by Mike Carp; allowed three earned runs on nine hits over 6.0 innings; fanned four and walked two, throwing 70 strikes among 109 pitches.
  • CAREER VS. TWINS: Has appeared in five games, making four starts; 2-1, 4.68 ERA in 25.0 innings; poor strikeouts (11) to walks (10) ratio; 13 of 15 runs allowed were earned; dinged for three home runs.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 46 appearances, including 42 starts; 17-15 record, 3.57 ERA in 270.0 innings; averages 6.2 K’s per 9 IP; has yielded 25 home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Josh Willingham (0-for-11, .000 BA), Drew Butera (1-for-7, .143 BA), Justin Morneau (1-for-6, .167 BA).
  • HATES TO FACE: Ben Revere (3-for-4, .750 BA), Joe Mauer (3-for-7, .429 BA), Jamey Carroll (3-for-7, .429 BA), Denard Span (3-for-10, .300 BA).
  • CURRENT TWINS VS. VARGAS: 21-for-73, .288 BA, 10 strikeouts, 2 home runs.

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 to Oakland.
  • 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.
  • April 12 (L, 1-1): Allowed four earned runs on seven hits and lost to Derek Holland and the Rangers 5-3 in Arlington; fanned six and walked one; gave up a two-run bomb to Michael Young, who had four RBIs; threw 96 pitches, 63 strikes.
  • April 18 (W, 2-1): Allowed one earned run on four hits over 7 innings, defeating Indians, 4-1; had nine ground-ball outs and nine fly-ball outs.
  • April 24 (W, 3-1): Allowed four runs on six hits, defeating Max Scherzer and the Tigers 7-4 in a game in which the Mariners banged out 15 hits; struck out four, walked one in a 94-pitch effort that included 61 strikes; surrendered two home runs, to Alex Avila and Miguel Cabrera.
  • April 29 (L, 3-2): Allowed two earned runs on four hits over 6.0 innings and suffered the loss to the Blue Jays; struck out four, walked three; threw a season-high 111 pitches, 60 for strikes.

TWINS: RHP Carl Pavano (1-2, 4.91 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)

Carl Pavano

The 36-year-old Pavano, in his 14th major league season and fourth with the Twins, will be making his sixth start and first against the Mariners.

A native of New Britain, CT., the 6-5, 265-pound Pavano was originally selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 13th round of the 1994 amateur draft.

Pavano pitched in the Boston system until 1997, when the Red Sox traded him with a player to be named later to the Montreal Expos for Pedro Martinez.

Pavano made his major league debut May 23, 1998, in Montreal’s 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. He allowed two runs on three hits over 7.0 innings, but took a no-decision.

Pavano pitched for the Expos until 2002, when they traded him to the Florida Marlins in a deal involving nine players. Pavano enjoyed his first substantial success in 2004, when he went 18-4.

After three injury-plagued years with the Yankees (2005-08), with whom he signed as a free agent, Pavano spent one year with Cleveland (2009). The Indians traded Pavano to Minnesota Aug. 7, 2009.

Pavano went 17-11, 3.75 in 2010 and 9-13, 4.30 in 2011. He has a career mark of 107-104.

  • 2012: Pavano pitched into the seventh inning in three of five starts and into the sixth in a fourth; has allowed four or more earned runs in three starts; pitched his best game—and only win –April 16 at New York when he checked the Yankees on three earned runs over 7.0 innings in a 7-3 Twins win.
  • LAST START: April 27 at Target Field, took a no-decision in a 7-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals; worked 6.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits, including two home runs; threw 83 pitches, 55 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: May 23 took a no-decision in an 8-7 Minnesota loss to the Mariners at Target Field; allowed four earned runs on nine hits over 7.0 innings; gave up a home run to Jack Cust.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: 1-2, 3.97 in five games, all starts, covering 34.0 innings; strikes out 6.1 batters per nine innings, and has allowed six home runs.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 1-2, 2.35 in three games, all starts, covering 23.0 innings; averages 5.5 strikeouts per 9 innings; one home run.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Miguel Olivo (1-for-13, .077 BA), Justin Smoak (1-for-6, .167 BA).
  • HATES TO FACE: Chone Figgins (6-for-18, .333 BA), Ichiro (5-for-16, .313 BA, 2 RBIs).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. PAVANO: 22-for-81, .272 BA, 13 K’s, 2 HRs.

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 17 8 .660 8-5 9-3 5-5 Lost 2
Athletics 13 13 .500 4.5 6-7 7-6 6-4 Won 2
Mariners 11 16 .407 7.0 3-6 8-10 4-6 Lost 6
Angels 10 16 .385 7.5 7-7 3-9 4-6 Lost 1

MARINERS / STATS NOTES

  • CURRENT HOMESTAND: Three vs. Minnesota Friday-Sunday and three vs. Detroit Monday-Wednesday. Mariners swept the Tigers in Detroit April 25-27. This will be Detroit’s only visit to Safeco Field in 2012 . . . Promotions: Friday — Smoakamotive Train Night (first 20,000 fans); Saturday — Dustin Ackley T-Shirts; Sunday — Little League Day (Brandon League poster); Monday — BECU Family Night; Tuesday — Military Special Night; Wednesday — Early Mother’s Day Celebration (Mariners Necklace).
  • MARINERS VS. TWINS: Mariners are 203-194-1 all-time vs. the Twins, including 110-86 in Seattle and 35-25 at Safeco Field. Mariners won the 2011 series 5-3, splitting two games at Safeco Field. The Mariners outscored the Twins 31-25. Twins also play in Seattle Aug. 17-19. Mariners play in Target Center Aug. 27-30 . . . Mariners have not swept a three-game series from Minnesota at Safeco Field since July 27-29, 2001. Twins have never swept three games at Safeco.
  • LATEST: During the four-game Tampa series, the Mariners went 4-for-23 with RISP and left 29 runners stranded . . . Tampa won all four, the first time either team had swept a four-game series from the other . . . Mariners started the 10-game trip going 15-for-46 with runners in scoring position. Since then, have gone 4-for-45 (.088) . . . Mariners batting .216 overall with RISP, lowest among all Mariner teams that lost 95+ games . . . Mariners outscored 29-12 during the six-game losing streak . . . Six-game skid is longest since a 17-game slide in July, 2011 . . . Mariners fanned 46 times during Tampa series . . . Since being dropped to the No. 7 slot in the batting order Wednesday, Justin Smoak has gone 1-for-7 and is hitting .189. . . With his 0-for-3 Wednesday (3 K’s), SS Brendan Ryan extended his hitless streak to 0-for-26. Ryan did not play Thursday . . . Chone Figgins is 0-for-18 (0-for-4 Thursday) since hitting a leadoff homer April 29. Figgins is hitting .189 . . . John Jaso, catching his first game as a Mariner, had his second multi-hit game Thursday, going 2-for-4 (also April 11) . . . Dustin Ackley went 2-for-16 in Tampa . . . Jesus Montero’s passed ball in the fourth inning Wednesday was the seventh of the season for the Mariners and a total that leads the AL (Olivo 4, Montero 3).
  • SERIES/STREAKS: Series Record: Won 3, split 0, lost 5; Sweeps: 1; Swept: 1. Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27). Longest Losing Streak: 6 (April 28-May 3).
  • BATTING: Mariners rank ninth (AL) in runs (102), fourth in hits (222), eighth in triples (3) and eighth in home runs (25) . . . Rank 13th in batting average (.237), 13th in on-base percentage (.288), 11th in slugging (.375) and 13th in OPS (.663) . . . batting 49-for-227 (.216) with runners in scoring position . . . out-homered 32-25 . . . left 167 men on base, opponents 167 . . .scored 102 runs, opponents 115 . . . scored 62 of 106 runs in the first four innings . . . batted around three times: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th) . . .shut out four times (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs Oakland, April 21 vs. Chicago, April 27 at Toronto).
  • BATTING EXTRA: Jesus Montero and Miguel Olivo share Seattle’s longest hitting streak: 8 games, Montero March 29-April 14, Olivo April 22 until he went on DL list May 1 . . . Mariners have recorded four bases-loaded walks (Kawasaki, Ryan, Montero, Smoak) . . . Kyle Seager’s single in the fourth inning April 17 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 . . . Montero’s 13 RBIs in April were the most by a Mariners’ rookie since 1986 . . . Three Mariners, Ichiro (March 28 vs. Oakland), Justin Smoak (April 17 vs. Cleveland) and Jesus Montero (May 1 at Tampa) have four-hit games.
  • PITCHING: Mariners rank 10th in ERA (4.17), 10th in hits allowed (221), 10th in runs allowed (115), 10th in home runs allowed (32), fifth in walks (73), fifth in strikeouts (175) . . . By pitching eight innings of one-run ball Monday, Felix Hernandez has 17 career no-decisions while throwing 7.0 or more innings and allowing one or fewer runs . . . Closer Brandon League has two blown saves after not blowing his first save of 2011 until May 10.
  • ICHIRO (1-for-4 Thursday) has 763 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 . . . Three-hit game April 30 marked the 226th of his major league career . . . Ranks No. 101 on career hits list (2,463), three behind No. 100 Harry Hooper (2,466) . . . Since 2001, has recorded 99 outfield assists. Only Jeff Francouer, with 100, has more . . . With 96 career home runs, needs four to become the 12th Mariner with 100. Breakdown: 94 as a leadoff hitter, one batting second, one batting third.
  • ODDS/ENDS: Mariners do not have an off day until May 10, after which they will play 20 consecutive days, making for a 37-day stretch including 36 games . . . Mariners have three more bobblehead nights: May 25 (Dustin Ackley), June 15 (Felix Hernandez), July 28 (Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson).
  • DEBUTS: Four Mariners, Hisashi Iwakuma, Munenori Kawasaki, Lucas Luetge and Erasmo Ramirez, have made their MLB debuts this season.
  • DISABLED LIST: Miguel Olivo (15-day, May 1, strained right groin), George Sherrill (15-day, April 13, strained flexor bundle), Franklin Gutierrez (15-day, March 28, torn pectoral muscle), Adam Moore (15-day, March 28, fractured wrist).

2012 RECORDS / MILESTONES

  • April 24: Catcher Miguel Olivo matched the franchise record  when he was charged with three passed balls in a 7-4 win at Detroit. Jerry Narron let three balls get by him Oct. 4, 1980, and Jeff Clement did likewise Aug. 10, 2008 (Clement was catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey).
  • April 27: Michael Saunders joined Donnie Scott (April 29, 1985) and Jimmy Presley (April 8, 1986) as the only Mariners to hit two home runs in a game in the ninth inning or later (solo homer in the 9th, grand slam in the 10th).
  • April 30: When both Miguel Olivo and Jesus Montero homered, it marked the first time in franchise history that two players had homered in the same game as a catcher.

MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN

Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
11-16 3-6 8-10 1-6 9-11 8-14 3-3 9-7 2-9

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.237 .195 .256 102 25 .288 .375 .663 .216

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
11-16 4.17 239.1 115 110 32 .244 .306 .404

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
5/4 Fri vs. Min Vargas (3-2, 3.38) vs. Pavano (1-2, 4.91)
5/5 Sat vs. Min Hernandez (2-1, 2.23) vs. Marquis (2-1, 6.23)
5/6 Sun vs. Min Noesi (1-3, 7.83) vs. Blackburn (0-3, 6.64)
5/7 Mon vs. Det Beavan (1-3, 4.45) vs. Fister (0-0, 0.00)
5/8 Tue vs. Det Millwood (0-3, 5.34) vs. Verlander (2-1, 2.38)
5/9 Wed vs. Min Jason Vargas (tonight) vs. Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.23)

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 L, 7-3 7-8 W: Sale (2-1); L: Noesi (1-2)
16 4/21 vs. CWS L, 4-0 7-9 W: Humber (1-0); Beavan (1-2)
17 4/22 vs. CWS L, 7-4 7-10 W: Danks (2-2); L: Millwood (0-1)
18 4/24 at Det W, 7-4 8-10 W: Vargas (3-1); L: Scherzer (1-2)
19 4/25 at Det W, 9-1 9-10 W: Fernandez (2-1); L: Wilk (0-3)
20 4/26 at Det W, 5-4 10-10 W: Furbush (1-1); L: Porcello (1-2)
21 4/27 at Tor W, 9-5 11-10 W: Furbush (2-1); L: Perez (2-1)
22 4/28 at Tor L, 7-0 11-11 W: Morrow (2-1); L: Millwood (0-2)
23 4/29 at Tor L, 7-2 11-12 W: Alvarez (1-2); L: Vargas (3-2)
24 4/30 at TB L, 3-2 11-13 W: Howell (1-0); L: League (0-2)

May

Gm. # Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
25 5/1 at TB L, 3-1 11-14 W: Moore (1-1); L: Noesi (1-3)
26 5/2 at TB L, 5-4 11-15 W: Shields (5-0); L: Beavan (1-3)
27 5/3 at TB L, 4-3 11-16 W: Niemann (2-3); L: Millwood (0-3)
28 5/4 vs. Min
29 5/5 vs. Min
30 5/6 vs. Min
31 5/7 vs. Det
32 5/8 vs. Det
33 5/9 vs. Det
34 5/11 at NYY
35 5/12 at NYY
36 5/13 at NYY
37 5/14 at Bos
38 5/15 at Bos
39 5/16 at Cle
40 5/17 at Cle
41 5/18 at Col
42 5/19 at Col
43 5/20 at Col
44 5/21 vs. Tex
45 5/22 vs. Tex
46 5/23 vs. Tex
47 5/24 vs. LAL
48 5/25 vs. LAL
49 5/26 vs. LAL
50 5/27 vs. LAL
51 5/28 at Tex
52 5/29 at Tex
53 5/30 at Tex

YourThoughts

  • notaboomer

    mariners move to sacramento and kings move to safeco and play b-ball outside. win-win