BY SPNW Staff 04:07PM 06/26/2013

Pirates Trash Mariners Pen, Complete Sweep

Pittsburgh broke open a 2-2 tie in the ninth inning, victimizing relievers Charlie Furbush and Yoervis Medina, and scored a 4-2 win over the Mariners that gave the Pirates a sweep of their two-game series at Safeco Field. The Mariners, who didn’t do much offensively (0-for-5 with runners in scoring position) aside from Raul Ibanez’s 18th homer, wasted another winnable start by ace Felix Hernandez.

The Mariners fell to 34-45, 11.5 games behind the division leading Oakland Athletics. Losers of their past two following a two-game winning streak, the Mariners will take Thursday off before a three-game series Friday with the Chicago Cubs, like the Mariners having a hapless season with no meaningful games left.

The Pirates got to Hernandez for two runs in the fourth inning when, following a rare walk to designated hitter Garrett Jones on a full count, Neil Walker homered to right on a 1-and-1 count. Michael Saunders hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning, slicing the Pittsburgh lead to 2-1.

The Mariners tied it in the sixth on the home run by Ibanez, his 18th of the season and nine in the month of June.The single-season record for home runs by a 41-year-old is 29, by Ted Williams in 1960.

Hernandez departed after seven innings with a no-decision. He allowed two earned runs on six hits, fanned 11, walked two and lowered his ERA to 2.70. The double-digit strikeout game was the 23rd of Hernandez’s career.

Pittsburgh won the game off Seattle’s flammable bullpen. Jordy Mercer hit a run-scoring single off Medina. That run was charged to Furbush, but Medina contributed his own damage when his wild pitch scored Travis Snider, who had been intentionally walked.

Friday, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (7-3, 2.26) will throw for Seattle against LHP Travis Wood (5-6, 2.85). Following the weekend series, the Mariners will embark upon a six-game road swing through Texas and Cincinnati.

NOTES: Dustin Ackley made his first appearance — as a pinch runner — since his recall from Tacoma. He entered the game as the DH and did not have an at-bat . . . Nick Franklin went 2-for-5 and lifted his batting average to .287. He has hit safely in 14 of his past 18 contests . . . Ibanez extended his hitting streak to four games. He has hit six of his 18 homers off lefties.


  • Leon Russell

    Another typically brilliant move by the M’s — send Ackley down for only a few weeks, which is not long enough to make any difference, probably, then bring him back up to sit on the bench. If Ackley is not going to start for the M’s, what was the point of bringing him back up? The M’s are going to bolster Ackley’s confidence by having him sit on the bench for Seattle, instead of feasting on minor league pitching for Tacoma?
    The M’s can never figure out what the heck they are trying to do. They are just a constant muddled mess.

    • RadioGuy

      What Leon said. Why bother rushing Ackley up from AAA only to sit him? Camping on second as a pinch-runner for a couple of minutes barely counts as “playing”…they could’ve drawn a lucky number and had a fan do that. I was at this game, and it was…uhhh…looking for a good word…”somnolent.”
      If there’s any hope to take out of the Pittsburgh series, it’s that the Pirates haven’t had a winning season since Bush the Elder was in office and have at times been downright pathetic Now they’re a good young team that may not fade the way they have the past couple years. I still think Seattle has some good talent, but it just isn’t working out. I love Raul Ibanez and he’s done so much more than provide leadership since he was signed, but a 41-year-old should not be the linchpin of your offense unless his name is Ted Williams (and that 1960 Red Sox team was nothing special either).

  • Long-Time Fan

    Another typically brilliant move by the M’s – TAKE TWO. With two outs in the ninth and Alvarez on second, Snider is intentionally walked and Medina pitches to Mercer, who is batting 50 points higher than Snider. Mercer singles to center, scoring Alvarez. The single was hit hard to center field, setting up…

    Another typically brilliant move by the M’s – TAKE THREE – Saunders air-mails the throw to the plate, nowhere close to a cut-off man, who could have nailed Mercer as he tried for second. And we would have been out of the inning.

  • Trygvesture

    TAKE FOUR: What will it be?How will these stumblebums manage to once again out-do themselves in the Decision Dept? Remember the Stengel Mets? The can’t-any-of-these guys-play-the-game Mets? They left the game as players. Became mentors to the M’s FO clownship because, in Lincoln’s view, Armstrong’s keen baseball mind and Lincoln’s OJT trained them to pick the very best.
    It has come to the point of being worse than bad, worse than a joke, worse than annoying. The franchise has transitioned to a place behind JP Patches’place at the City Dump– they are adding to the trash heap, creating their own stench of absolute incompetence. And they aren’t funny, good-hearted, community-building clowns on a children’s show. They are now an embarrassment to the community, the Game, and anybody else not on the gathering massive-passive equity build as part of the Board or working in the FO.
    No good on the field. No good in Field Management. No good in General Management. No good in PR management. Less than no good in executive franchise management. Far Worse than no good as part of the YLA ownership triumverate.
    They took our money for their park. They take our money under the generous lease terms. They return nothing or nearly nothing to the community– minimal tax revenues due to low attendence, no prestige, no community pride, no community good will, no enhancement of the satus of the Game.
    The stingy, self-serving, mean spirited Steinbrenner was a community and baseball saint in comparison to these deadbeat losers. Seattle deserves better. Even Niehaus would rebel at this point.

    • RadioGuy

      We’ve had worse than this, Tryg. Or would you trade the 2013 season for either 1970 or 1971, when there was no pro ball in Seattle, not even a minor league team? I was 10 when we lost the Pilots and 43 years later, it still hurts. No matter how Bart Giamatti might’ve phrased it, nothing in baseball will break your heart more than no baseball at all. Trust me.

      • Trygvesture

        You’re so right. (I was 20 when we lost the Pilots– and we lost the Rainiers and Sick’s as part of the evolving Seattle baseball fiasco).

        My point is, the franchise is an implied trust given to an ownership group on behalf of a community– to respect and manage with integrity for community benefit and for the endurance of the Game. This franchise ownership, board and execs have failed. In jaw-dropping magnitude. There is both community goodwill and financial penalties (loss of expected tax revenue) that the community absorbs while they profit (via unearned equity appreciation ) while failing us . It’s like being entrusted with a gemstone and given a museum to make it accessible to the community and then keeping it in a grocery sack under the sink. They are pathetic and useless in the realm of franchise stewardship– even as a day-to-day business. They rely soley on equity appreciation for their ROI. Better to have the Rainiers back with authentic baseball sans the mile long screen, hydros, hat tricks, applause demands and the rest of the Clownship Circus at the expense of Baseball.
        The ownership and Board simply don’t ‘get’ baseball, care about baseball, understand the magnitude of the trust they’ve been given via our subsidizing: they deserve to be exorcised from their positions. They blew it and they need to go away.

        Angry and disgusted fans staying away from the park is the only solution.

        I hope. I prefer the Kingdome days with the terrible turf, lousy atmo and authentic attempts to play the game– they weren’t trying to create another Barnum and Baley …

  • jafabian

    The bullpen has taken a step backwards this season. It really needs a veteran lefty who can swing between middle relief and closing. Last year that was supposed to be George Sherrill but he got hurt and for whatever reason he wasn’t replaced this season. Overall there’s too much youth on the club and the inexperience shows at the worst times. It’s interesting that when the veterans started getting more playing time that the ballclub began to improve.

    Also not sure if the club is actually improving under Wedge. Are they learning from their mistakes? Is progress being made so later on they can find ways to win? Will they be able to stand the pressure of a pennant race? Not getting that vibe right now. Also don’t think Jack Z. knows how to handle veteran players. He never should have let Olivo go for example. Especially if he was going to get rid of Jaso.

  • notaboomer

    i actually attended the game. wedge was outcoached. in 0-0 game, ryan batting with blanco on 1st and 0 out in the 3d. obvious bunt situation esp. with BR batting <200. no swinging away and striking out. chavez up next singles what would have driven in a runner from 2nd. score 0 runs in tight, low-scoring game. then wedge goes off on team in media. idiot. pirates 9th leadoff single and tada, sac bunt to get winning run to 2nd who scores.