BY SPNW Staff 06:17AM 05/21/2013

#46: Dope-Slapped Mariners Head To Anaheim

The Mariners begin a two-game series in Anaheim Tuesday and, following a day off Thursday, will return to Safeco Field Friday for a three-game series against AL West leader Texas.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia has been on the hot seat all season due to his club’s slow start. LA and Seattle begin a two-game series Tuesday. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Mariners (20-25, 3rd, AL West, -9.0 GB) at Angels (17-27, 4th, AL West, -11.5 GB). GAME #: 46. SERIES: 1st of 2 games. MEETING: 5th (Mariners lead 3-1). WHEN: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m., Angels Stadium. STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Angels W 2. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network

Three walk-off losses in a four-game span is bad enough, but imagine the grief Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik would be taking today if he’d actually been successful in his pursuit of free agent Josh Hamilton last winter. For a $125 million outlay, Zduriencik would have a .216 OBP free agent bust on his hands. Instead, Hamilton is a headache, one of several  that belong to the Los Angeles Angels.

A year ago, the Angels committed $240 million to free agent Albert Pujols, who went on to hit .285 with 30 home runs. But this year, Pujols is at .241 with seven home runs and a .732 OPS. Kyle Seager has a .795 OPS and Michael Morse, with 10, nearly as as many home runs as Hamilton and Pujols combined (12).

Although Pujols, according to writers who track the Angels daily, will probably never  resemble the player he was in St. Louis, there’s still plenty of time for Hamilton to right himself, although his .216 on-base percentage and .622 OPS are clearly not what the Angels had in mind. A bigger question is whether the Angels have time to right themselves.

Although they’ve won two in a row, most recently a 6-2 decision over the White Sox behind the pitching of former Mariner Jason Vargas, the Angels enter Tuesday’s first of a two-game set against the Mariners 11.5 games out of first in the AL West, a large part of that due to poor pitching.

The Angels rank 13th in the AL in ERA (4.77) and 14th in earned runs allowed (214). With three walk-off losses in Cleveland, two via home runs, the Mariners shouldn’t gloat.

Tuesday, the Angels will go with Jerome Williams, a converted reliever who will oppose Seattle’s apparently mended Aaron Harang.

TUESDAY’S PROBABLES

MARINERS: RHP Aaron Harang (1-4, 7.30 ERA, 1.41, WHIP)

The 35-year-old Harang, a San Diego native in his 12th major league season and first with Seattle, will make his sixth start and second against the Angels. Harang failed to make his last start due to stiffness in his back, and hasn’t pitched since May 7 when he took a 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh. Harang recorded his only win May 1 when defeated Baltimore 8-3, allowing two earned runs over 6.0 innings.

  • LAST START: May 7 at Pittsburgh, lost 4-1; 2 earned runs on 5 hits in 6.0 innings; 6 strikeouts, 0 walks, 0 home runs, 97 pitches, 61 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. ANGELS: April 26 at Safeco Field, lost 6-3; 5 earned runs on 6 hits in 3.0 innings; 1 strikeout, 2 walks, 2 home runs, 58 pitches, 34 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. ANGELS: 0-2, 6.11 ERA in 4 starts covering 17.2 innings; 8 strikeouts, 9 walks, 4 home runs, 2.03 WHIP.
  • AT ANGELS STADIUM: 0-0, 2.25 4.50 ERA in 1 start covering 6.0 innings; 0 strikeouts, 2 walks, 1 home run, 1.66 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Howie Kendrick (0-for-4, .000), Erick Aybar (1-for-5, .200), Mark Trumbo (2-for-8, .250).
  • HATES TO FACE: Pete Bourjos (3-for-5, .600), Mike Trout (3-for-7, .429), Chris Iannetta (2-for-6, .333).
  • CURRENT ANGELS VS. HARANG: 39-for-120, .325 BA, 12 strikeouts, 13 walks, 8 home runs, .380 on-base percentage.

ANGELS: RHP Jerome Williams (2-1, 3.05 ERA, 1.09 WHIP).

The 31-year-old native of Hawaii, in his eighth major league season and third with the Angels, will make his fourth start and first against the Mariners. Williams has also appeared 11 times in relief, including once against Seattle. He has made three consecutive starts, with a win, a loss and a no-decision. He has pitched into the sixth inning in each of his last two.

  • LAST START: May 16 vs. Chicago White Sox, took a no-decision in L.A.’s 5-4 loss; 2 earned runs on 5 hits in 6.0 innings; 3 strikeouts, 0 walks, 1 home run, 74 pitches, 45 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: April 27, worked 1.0 innings of relief in L.A’s 3-2 loss; 0 runs, 0 hits, 8 pitches, 6 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: 3-1, 3.27 ERA in 9 appearances, including 4 starts, covering 41.1 innings; 31 strikeouts, 6 strikeouts, 2 home runs, 0.87 WHIP.
  • AT ANGELS STADIUM: 9-4, 2.98 ERA in 29 games, including 13 starts, covering 117.2 innings; 84 strikes, 20 walks, 13 home runs, 1.03 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Endy Chavez (1-for-7, .143), Robert Andino (1-for-6, .167), Dustin Ackley (4-for-18, .222).
  • HATES TO FACE: Michael Saunders (4-for-10, .400), Jason Bay (2-for-5, .400), Raul Ibanez (2-for-5, .400).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. WILLIAMS: 26-for-114, .228 BA, 37 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 home run, .264 on-base percentage.

MARINERS STATS / NOTES

  • CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Three at New York, four at Cleveland, two at L.A. Angels (Tuesday-Wednesday). The Mariners return to Safeco Field Friday to begin a three-game series with the Texas Rangers.
  • The Mariners’ back-to-back walk-off losses Friday and Saturday were the first by the Mariners May 12-13, 2011, at Cleveland and Baltimore.
  • Seattle has at least one walk-off loss at Progressive field in six of the past seven seasons.
  • According to the Mariners, the club has sustained 282 walk-off losses in franchise history with 25 occurring in Cleveland.
  • In the first three losses of the Cleveland series, the Mariners went 1-for-20 (.050) with runners in scoring position.
  • In the Mariners’ 20 victories, they are batting .298 (48-for-161) with runners in scoring position. In 25 losses, the Mariners are batting .124 (21-for-169) with RISP. The Mariners have no hits with RISP 12 times in 45 games.

UPCOMING PROBABLES

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
5/21 Tue at LAA RHP Aaron Harang (1-4) vs. Jerome Williams (2-1)
5/22 Wed at LAA RHP Brandon Maurer (2-5) vs. C.J. Wilson (3-3)
5/24 Fri vs. Tex LHP Joe Saunders (3-4) vs. RHP Justin Grimm (3-3)
5/25 Sat vs. Tex. RHP Felix Hernandez (5-3) vs. LHP Derek Holland (3-2)
5/26 Sun vs. Tex RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1) vs. TBA

 


YourThoughts

  • Leon Russell

    “The Mariners’ back-to-back losses Friday and Saturday were the first by the Mariners May 12-13, 2011, at Cleveland and Baltimore.”
    The M’s have not lost back-to-back games since 2011? Are you sure of that?

  • Leon Russell

    I find it interesting that you write about the Angels’ bad pitching and high ERA — which is true — without mentioning that a big part of the reason for that is that Jered Weaver has been on the injured list since April 8 with a fractured elbow, after making only 2 starts this season.

    Weaver was 20-5 with a 2.81 ERA last year, and 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA in 2011. Weaver was arguably better than Felix the past 2 seasons, and is the Angels’ ace. He surely would have helped the Angels get off to a better start this year had he stayed healthy.

    Another problem the Angels have is just brutally bad managing. Sciosia left Hamilton in the cleanup spot for about the entire first month of the season, even though Hamilton wasn’t hitting at all, as you point out. Then, when he finally moved Hamilton, it was only down to the number 5 spot. Hamilton should be hitting about 8 on that team until he starts coming around, if he ever does.
    Sciosia also can’t manage a pitching staff, which might be one other reason for the Angels’ high ERA.