BY SPNW Staff 10:17AM 05/08/2012

#32: Mariners Face 'Crown' Winner Verlander

The Mariners scored their first walk-off win of the season Monday, and now get to face a reigning Triple Crown winner, against whom they’ve had surprising success.

2011 American League Triple Crown winner Justin Verlander pitches against the Mariners Tuesday night at Safeco Field. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Tigers (14-14, 2nd, AL Central, – 3.0 GB) vs. Mariners (14-17, 3rd AL West, – 6.0 GB). GAME #: 32. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 5th (Mariners lead 4-0). WHEN: Tuesday, 7:10 p..m, Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Justin Verlander (Detroit, 2-1, 2.38) Kevin Millwood (Seattle, 0-3, 5.34). STREAKS: Mariners W 3; Tigers L 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

It’s not often the Mariners, winners of three in a row following a seven-game losing streak, get a chance to face a pitcher coming off a Triple Crown season, but they will Tuesday when Detroit’s Justin Verlander summits the hill at Safeco Field in the second game of a three-game series.

Verlander led the American League in wins (25), ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (250) in 2011, not only claiming the Cy Young Award, but the AL MVP as well. Ironically, for all the lack of success the Mariners have had in recent years, they are the only club over the past four seasons to beat Verlander five times, going 5-2 against him in seven starts.

Verlander will oppose Kevin Millwood, who has yet to win since joining the Mariners. A closer look at Tuesday’s probables:

MARINERS: RHP Kevin Millwood (0-3, 5.34 ERA, 1.57 WHIP)

Kevin Millwood

The 37-year-old Millwood, in his 16th major league season and first with the Mariners, will be making his sixth start and first against the Tigers.

A native of Gastonia, NC., the 6-4, 230-pound Millwood was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round of the 1993 amateur draft.

Millwood made his major league debut July 14, 1997, collecting a win in relief for the Braves against Philadelphia. During his career, Millwood pitched for the Braves (1997-02), Philadelphia (2003-04), Cleveland (2005), Texas (2006-09), Baltimore (2010) and Colorado (2011) before joining the Mariners.

Millwood twice won 18 games in a season, going 18-7 for the 1999 Braves and 18-8 for the 2002 Braves. Millwood led the National League in starts with 35 in 2000, led the NL in shutouts in 2003 with three, led the American League in ERA in 2005 at 2.86, and the AL in losses in 2010 with 16.

Millwood represented Atlanta in the 1999 All-Star Game.

During his American League career, Millwood made 24 starts against the Mariners, posting an 8-13 record with a 4.91 ERA.

Millwood signed with the Mariners Jan. 24 as a free agent, and earned the fifth spot in the rotation with a strong performance during spring training.

Millwood, who has coughed up leads in two of his past four starts and lost a one-run decision in his last one, has a career record of 163-143, 4.12 ERA.

  • LAST START: May 3 at Tampa Bay, lost a 4-3 decision to Jeff Niemann and the Rays, falling to 0-3; allowed four earned runs on seven in 6.1 innings; struck out five and walked two, throwing 107 pitches, 66 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. TIGERS: Sept. 10, 2010, pitching for Baltimore, came away with a no-decision in a 6-3 Orioles victory; allowed three earned runs on eight hits over 6.0 innings; struck out three, walked one and surrendered a home run (Miguel Cabrera).
  • CAREER VS. TIGERS: 4-5, 4.05 in 15 games, all starts, covering 93.1 innings; has fanned 78 of the 388 batters he’s faced and has averaged 7.5 K’s per nine innings pitched; seven home runs.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 3-9 record with a 5.75 ERA in 15 games, all starts, covering  87.2 innings; 56 of 65 runs have been earned; 12 home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Alex Avila (0-for-4, .000 BA), Brennan Boesch (0-for-3, .000 BA), Ramon Santiago (2-for-11, .182 BA, 3 K’s).
  • HATES TO FACE: Ryan Raburn (3-for-4, .750 BA), Delmon Young (6-for-15, .400 BA), Miguel Cabrera (13-for-35, 3 HRs, 11 RBIs).
  • CURRENT TIGERS VS. MILLWOOD: 39-for-117, .333 BA, 4 HRs, 17 K’s.

Millwood / 2012

  • April 11 (ND, 0-0): Allowed one earned run on four hits over 6 innings; a no-decision in a 4-3 Seattle victory over Texas; struck out seven, walked three; threw 103 pitches, 61 for strikes.
  • April 17 (ND, 0-0): Couldn’t hold an 8-1 lead, but took a no-decision after allowing seven runs on nine hits in four innings in Seattle’s 9-8 loss to Cleveland.
  • April 22 (L, 0-1): Shelled for the second consecutive starts (five earned runs in 6.0 IP) in a 7-4 loss to Cleveland at Safeco Field (first decision as a Mariner).
  • April 28 (L, 0-2): Lost 7-0 at Toronto despite allowing just one earned run on seven hits over 7.0 innings.
  • May 3 (L, 0-3): Dropped a 4-3 decision to Jeff Niemann and the Tampa Bay Rays, falling to 0-3; allowed four earned runs on seven in 6.1 innings; struck out five and walked two, throwing 107 pitches, 66 for strikes.

TIGERS: RHP Justin Verlander (2-1, 2.38, 0.86 WHIP)

Justin Verlander

The 29-year-old Verlander, in his eighth major league season, all with the Tigers, will be making his seventh start and first against the Mariners.

A native of Goochland, VA., the 6-5, 220-pound Verlander was selected by the Tigers in the first round (second pick) of the 2004 amateur draft.

Verlander pitched in the Tigers system at Lakeland and Erie before making his major league debut July 4, 2005 in a 6-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians; Verlander took the beating, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in 7.0 innings.

Fister went 0-2 over the balance of the 2005 season and has been a fixture in Detroit’s rotation since. He has won 18 or more games four times, his best season coming in 2011 when he went 24-5, 2.40, leading the American League in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts (250).

That performance netted Verlander the 2011 Cy Young award. He was also the ML Major League Player of the Year (2011), 2011 AL MVP and the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year.

Verlander has played in four All-Star Games, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Verlander has a 109-58, 3.58 career record.

  • 2012: Verlander has pitched into the eighth inning in four of his six starts, including his only loss on April 11, when he allowed four earned runs in a 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay. He has fanned at least seven in five of his starts.
  • LAST START: May 2 vs. Kansas City, did not factor in the decision in Detroit’s 3-2 defeat; worked eight innings, allowed two earned runs on six hits and fanned seven with just one walk.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: June 9, 2001, at Comerica Park, defeated Seattle and Doug Fister 4-1; allowed one earned run on seven hits over 8.0 innings; fanned 10 and walked just one, throwing 86 of 126 pitches for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: 8-6, 3.34 in 14 games, all starts, covering 97.0 innings; strikes out 8.2 batters per 9 IP; 36 of 38 runs earned; five home runs.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 3-4, 4.44 in seven games, all starts, covering 48.2 innings; 35 strikeouts to 12 walks; two home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: John Jaso (1-for-7, .143 BA), Michael Saunders (2-for-12, .167 BA, 4 K’s), Chone Figgins (5-for-28, .179 BA, 12 K’s).
  • HATES TO FACE: Ichiro (16-for-46, .333 BA, 1 HR, 5 RBIs), Brendan Ryan (2-for-8, .250 BA).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. VERLANDER: 37-for-153, .242 BA, 18 RBIs, 48 K’s.

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 19 10 .655 8-5 11-5 4-6 Won 1
Athletics 15 14 .517 4.0 6-7 9-7 6-4 Won 2
Mariners 14 17 .452 6.0 6-7 8-10 3-7 Won 3
Angels 13 17 .433 6.5 9-8 4-9 7-3 Won 3

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: Tuesday — Military Special Night; Wednesday — Early Mother’s Day Celebration (Mariners Necklace).
  • MARINERS VS. TIGERS: Mariners are 171-197 all-time vs. the Tigers, including 94-86 in Seattle and 29-24 at Safeco Field. Mariners lead the 2012 series 4-0 after sweeping the Tigers at Comerica Park April 24-26 and winning Monday 3-2 at Safeco Field. Mariners have not swept a three-game series from Detroit at Safeco Field since July 29-31, 2003. Tigers last swept at Safeco April 21-23, 2006.
  • LATEST: Mariners recorded first walk-off win of 2012 Monday, their first since Sept. 14, 2011 vs. New York, and their first via a sacrifice fly since Sept. 14, 2007 vs. Tampa Bay (Jose Guillen) . . . Monday win marked the third time in 2012 that the Mariners won when trailing after eight innings (also April 11 at Texas and and April 27 at Toronto) . . . Dustin Ackley went 1-for-4 Monday, extending hitting streak to five games . . . Kyle Seager has driven in 10 runs in his past six games. In his past 11 games, Seager is hitting .333 (14×42) . . . Jesus Montero, who had a ninth-inning, RBI double Monday, is batting .425 when he catches (17×40) and .200 (13×65) when he DHs. Montero caught Monday . . . Hisashi Iwakuma fanned five Monday, most this season by a reliever . . . John Jaso has hit successfully in seven of the eight games he’s started, batting .320 . . . Since being dropped to the No. 7 slot in the batting order, Justin Smoak has gone 2-for-20 and is hitting .175.
  • SERIES/STREAKS: Series Record: Won 4, split 0, lost 5; Sweeps: 1; Swept: 1. Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27). Longest Losing Streak: 7 (April 28-May 4).
  • BATTING: Mariners rank eighth (AL) in runs (119), sixth in hits (248), third in doubles (55), sixth in triples (5) and ninth in home runs (27) . . . Rank 12th in batting average (.236), 13th in on-base percentage (.289), 12th in slugging (.375) and 12th in OPS (.664) . . . batting 59-for-251 (.235) with runners in scoring position after going 1-for-3 Monday . . . out-homered 34-27 . . . left 190 men on base, opponents 192. . .scored 119 runs, opponents 122. . . scored 67 of 119 runs in the first four innings . . . Mariners 12-4 when scoring 4+ runs . . . Mariners have homered in 10 of last 14 games . . . 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 seventh in ERA (3.79), fifth in hits allowed (241), ninth in runs allowed (122), 10th in home runs allowed (34), seventh in walks (86), seventh in strikeouts (217) . . . In his past four outings, Felix Hernandez has allowed 15 hits and two earned runs, dropping his ERA to 1.89. Against the Twins Saturday, Hernandez set them down 1-2-3 in seven of eight innings . . . 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-3 Monday) 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 Thursday, after which they 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: Munenori Kawasaki (April 7), Lucas Luetge (April 7), Erasmo Ramirez (April 9), Hisashi Iwakuma (April 20).
  • 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.
  • May 2: Ichiro set a club record for most putouts by a right fielder in a nine-inning game, registering 10 in a 5-4 loss at Tampa.
  • May 3: The Mariners featured a lineup at Tampa Bay that included seven left- handed hitters and two switch-hitters. It marked only the third time in club history that the Mariners used an all left-sided lineup. Others: Aug. 13, 1983 at California and Aug. 9, 1983 at Oakland.
  • May 5: Combined one-hitter by Felix Hernandez and Steve Delabar vs. Minnesota was the 13th in Mariners history. Ten have been thrown by one pitcher, three combined. Most recent combined: Michael Pineda, Jeff Gray and Brandon League vs. Tampa, July 30, 2011. Most recent by one pitcher: Jarrod Washburn, July 6, 2009

MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN

Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
14-17 6-7 8-10 2-6 11-12 11-15 3-3 11-7 3-10

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.236 .206 .256 119 27 .289 .375 .664 .235

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
14-17 3.79 275.1 122 115 34 .234 .298 .383

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
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 L, 3-2 11-17 W: Pavano (2-2); L: Wilhelmsen (1-1)
29 5/5 vs. Min W, 7-0 12-17 W: Hernandez (3-1); L: Marquis (2-1)
30 5/6 vs. Min W, 5-2 13-17 W: Noesi (2-3): L: Blackburn (0-4)
31 5/7 vs. Det W, 3-2 14-17 W: Delabar (1-0); L: Dotel (1-1)
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

    mariner ticket resellers are delusional asking for double ($8) the price of a division-leading cleveland indians ticket ($4) for tonight’s game on stubhub. reality check, seattle!