BY SPNW Staff 08:01AM 05/19/2012

#42: Vargas Has Tough Act To Follow Saturday

Following the sparkling game Friday from Kevin Millwood, Jason Vargas, who has an 18.00 ERA at Coors Field, will try to make it two in a row.

Jason Vargas is going for his fifth victory of the season when the Mariners and Rockies meet in the second game of a three-game series. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Mariners (17-24, 4th AL West, – 8.5 GB) at Rockies (15-23, 4th, NL West, 10.5 GB). GAME #: 42. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 2nd (Mariners lead 1-0). WHEN: Saturday, 1:10 p.m., Coors Field, Denver. PROBABLE PITCHERS: LHP Jason Vargas (Seattle, 4-3, 3.28) vs. LHP Christian Friedrich (Colorado, 1-0, 1.38). STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Rockies L 2. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

In the 1,440 games played at Coors Field since 1995, only four opposing pitchers have held the Rockies to two hits or less while shutting them out. That Kevin Millwood managed to do it Friday ranks as the pitching highlight of the Mariners’ season and serves as an impossibly tough act to follow for Jason Vargas, who gets the call Saturday when Seattle and Colorado play the second game of a three-game series.

Vargas, coming off a dousing administered by by Jon Lester and the Red Sox, will oppose rookie Christian Friedrich, who will be making his third major league start. The kid has been impressive so far, throwing 197 pitches, a whopping 130 for strikes. A closer look:

MARINERS: LHP Jason Vargas (4-3, 3.28 ERA, 1.04 WHIP)

Jason Vargas

The 29-year-old Vargas, in his seventh major league season and fifth with the Mariners, will make his 10th start and first against the Rockies.

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 32-42, 4.42 ERA, including 26-34, 4.09 ERA with the Mariners.

  • LAST START: May 14 at Fenway Park, lost to Jon Lester and the Red Sox 6-1; allowed five earned runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings; struck out three, walked three and gave up two home runs.
  • LAST VS. ROCKIES: June 14, 2009, at Coors Field, lost to the Rockies 7-1; blasted for seven earned runs on 12 hits over 4.2 innings; struck out four and walked two.
  • CAREER VS. ROCKIES: 0-2, 16.55 ERA in three starts, covering 10.1 innings; has nine strikeouts to seven walks; three home runs.
  • AT COORS FIELD: 0-2, 18.00 ERA in two starts, covering 8.0 innings; has allowed 16 runs, all earned, and surrendered two home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Marco Scutaro (0-4, .000 BA), Troy Tulowitzki (0-for-3, .000 BA), Tyler Colvin (0-for-3, .000 BA).
  • HATES TO FACE: Todd Helton (2-for-5, .400 BA), Michael Cuddyer (4-for-11, .364 BA), Dexter Fowler (1-for-3, .333 BA).
  • CURRENT ROCKIES VS. VARGAS: 7-for-29, .241 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBIs.

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.
  • 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.
  • May 4 (ND, 3-2): Took a no-decision in Seattle’s 3-2 loss to Minnesota at Safeco Field; allowed one earned run on four hits over 6.1 innings, but lost a chance to win on Wilhelmsen’s throwing error.
  • May 9 (W, 4-2): Defeated Detroit 2-1 at Safeco Field; allowed one run on five hits over 8.0 innings; struck out six and didn’t issue a walk; threw 90 pitches, 66 for strikes.
  • May 14 (L, 4-3): At Fenway Park, lost to Red Sox 6-1; allowed five earned runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings; struck out three, walked three; twohome runs.

ROCKIES: LHP Christian Friedrich (1-0, 1.38 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)

Christian Friedrich

The 24-year-old Friedrich, in his first major league season, will be making his third start and first against the Mariners.

A native of Evanston, IL., the 6-4, 215-pound Friedrich pitched for Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond before the Colorado Rockies selected him in the first round (25th pick) of the 2008 amateur draft.

Friedrich pitched in the Colorado system for four years (2008-11) and started the 2012 season Colorado’s AAA affiliate, Colorado Springs, where he went 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in five starts before the Rockies summoned him.

Friedrich made his major league debut May 9, defeating the San Diego Padres 6-2. He allowed one earned run on five hits over 6.0 innings, striking out seven and walking one. He threw 93 pitches, 60 for strikes.

According to the Denver Post, Friedrich’s starts have constituted the “best-pitched, back-to-back” games for a Colorado starter this season.

In those two games, Friedrich threw 197 pitches, 130 for strikes.

“And what about his tempo? He works like he has dinner reservations in the ninth inning,” said The Post.

  • LAST START: May 14 at San Francisco, did not factor in the decision in Colorado’s 3-2 loss to the Giants; allowed one earned run on six hits over 7.0 innings; struck out a career-high 10 and walked just one; 69 of 93 pitches went for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: No record.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: No record.
  • AT COORS FIELD: Home debut. Friedrich’s first major league starts were on the road at Petco Park in San Diego and AT&T Park in San Francisco.
  • LOVES/HATES TO FACE: Friedrich has never faced a member of the Mariners.

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 25 15 .625 11-9 14-6 5-5 Won 1
Athletics 20 20 .500 5.0 9-10 11-10 4-6 Lost 1
Angels 18 22 .450 7.0 11-10 7-12 5-5 Won 1
Mariners 17 24 .415 8.5 7-8 10-16 3-7 Won 1

MARINERS / STATS NOTES

  • CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Three in New York, two in Boston, two in Cleveland, three in Colorado (Friday-Sunday).
  • MARINERS VS. ROCKIES: Mariners 14-12 all-time vs. the Rockies, including 5-7 at Coors Field. Mariners last played the Rockies at Coors Field in 2009, losing all three. Seattle has never swept a three-game series at Coors Field.
  • LATEST: Mariners are 2-6 on 10-game road trip . . . Mariners started the season winning eight of first 12 on the road, but are 2-12 since April 28 . . . Mariners scored four times Friday, but have scored two or fewer runs in 15 of 41 games . . . Kevin Millwood’s 2-0 shutout Friday was his first in nearly nine years. He did not surrender his first hit until there were two outs in the sixth . . .The complete game also was the first by a Mariner this season . . . Dustin Ackley, 0-for-4 Friday, saw the end of his 13-game hitting streak, longest by a Mariner in 2012 . . . Over their past 14 road games, the Mariners are 9-for-102 (.082) with runners in scoring position. . . Ichiro followed up his 0-for-6 Thursday by going 2-for-4 Friday with a run scored . . . The Mariners had two triples Friday (Kyle Seager, Michael Saunders), the second time this season they produced two in a game (also April 6 at Oakland) . . . By the time the Mariners return to Seattle May 21, they will have played 28 road games vs. 15 at home . . . Mariners do not expect OF Franklin Gutierrez to return to the team until at least mid-June.
  • SERIES/STREAKS: Series Record: Won 5, split 0, lost 8; Sweeps: 1; Swept: 2. Longest Win Streak: 4 (April 24-27). Longest Losing Streak: 7 (April 28-May 4). Vs. AL East: 2-10; Vs. AL Central: 8-9; Vs. AL West: 6-5; Vs NL West: 1-0.
  • BATTING: Mariners rank 12th (AL) in runs (148), 12th in hits (319), eighth in doubles (66), fourth in triples (7) and 11th in home runs (34) . . . Rank 13th in batting average (.231), 14th in on-base percentage (.286), 13th in slugging (.363) and 13th in OPS (.649) . . . batting 71-for-328 (.216) with runners in scoring position after going 1-for-6 Friday . . . out-homered 44-34 . . . left 250 men on base, opponents 252 . . .scored 148 runs, opponents 169 . . . scored 80 of 148 runs in the first four innings . . . Mariners 14-6 when scoring 4+ runs . . . Mariners have homered in 15 of last 24 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: Dustin Ackley has Seattle’s longest hitting streak at 13 consecutive games (May 3-17). Jesus Montero and Miguel Olivo had eight-game hitting streaks, Montero from March 29-April 14, Olivo from 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 . . . Walk-Off Wins: May 7, 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); Walk-Off Losses: May 17, at Cleveland, Carlos Santana bases-loaded single off League in 11th.
  • PITCHING: Mariners rank eighth in ERA (4.01), fifth in hits allowed (328), eighth in runs allowed (169), 11th in home runs allowed (44), seventh in walks (122), seventh in strikeouts (290) . . . Felix Hernandez has 17 career no-decisions while throwing 7.0 or more innings and allowing one or fewer runs . . . Closer Brandon League is 0-3 with two blown saves.
  • ICHIRO (2-for-4 Friday) has 766 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 97th on career hits list (2,475) and needs 15 to tie No. 96 Fred McGriff . . . 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: The Mariners will play 11 games in the next 11 days. Their next day off is May 31 . . . 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; plantar fascitis), Adam Moore (15-day, March 28, fractured wrist).
  • EX-MARINERS VS. CURRENT MARINERS: April 19Jack Hannahan, Indians, 2-run single in ninth off Brandon League in Tribe’s 2-1 win; April 28Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays, one earned run over 7.0 innings in 7-0 win; May 11, Raul Ibanez, Yankees, 3-run homer off Felix Hernandez in 6-2 win; May 12Raul Ibanez, Yankees, solo homer off Hector Noesi in 6-2 win; May 15, David Ortiz, Red Sox, solo homer off Blake Beaven in 5-0 Red Sox win; May 16, Shin-Soo Choo (3), Asdrubal Cabrera (2) and Jose Lopez (1) combine for 6 hits in 9-3 Cleveland win; May 17, Casey Kotchman (2), Cabrera (2), Jose Lopez (1), Choo (1) six of Cleveland’s 10 hits, plus 5 RBIs, in a 6-5 win.

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.
  • May 9: When John Jaso batted leadoff against Detroit, it marked the first time since 1978 that a catcher had hit first for the Marines (Bob Stinson). Oddly, lefty Jaso led off against Tiger lefty Drew Smyly.

MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN

Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
17-24 7-8 10-16 3-9 13-17 12-22 5-3 13-10 4-14

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.231 .205 .244 148 34 .286 .363 .649 .216

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
16-24 4.01 361.2 169 160 44 .242 .309 .394

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
5/19 Sat at Col Jason Vargas (4-3, 3.28) vs. Christian Friedrich (1-0, 1.38)
5/20 Sun at Col Blake Beavan (1-4, 4.58) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (2-1, 4.85)

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 L, 6-4 14-18 W: Verlander (3-1); L: Millwood (0-4)
33 5/9 vs. Det W, 2-1 15-18 W: Vargas (4-2); L: Putkoen (0-1)
34 5/11 at NYY L, 6-2 15-19 W: Kuroda (3-4); L: Hernandez (3-2)
35 5/12 at NYY L, 6-2 15-20 W: Hughes (3-4); L: Noesi (2-4)
36 5/13 at NYY W, 6-2 16-20 W: Millwood (1-4); L: Pettitte (0-1)
37 5/14 at Bos L, 6-1 16-21 L: Lester (2-3); L: Vargas (4-3)
38 5/15 at Bos L, 5-0 16-22 W: Beckett (3-4); L: Beavan (1-4)
39 5/16 at Cle L, 9-3 16-23 W: Jimenez (4-3): L: Hernandez (3-3)
40 5/17 at Cle L, 6-5 16-24 W: Smith (4-1); L: League (0-3)
41 5/18 at Col W, 4-0 17-24 W: Millwood (2-4); L: White (0-3)
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. LAA
48 5/25 vs. LAA
49 5/26 vs. LAA
50 5/27 vs. LAA
51 5/28 at Tex
52 5/29 at Tex
53 5/30 at Tex

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