BY SPNW Staff 04:32PM 08/25/2013

Angels Sweep, Leave Mariners Embarrassed

This is a good time for the Mariners to get out of town and let the stench blow out of Safeco Field. Unfortunately for them, they can’t yet. Inept again at the plate, the Mariners scratched out only three hits against Jered Weaver through eight innings and were swept by the Angels, losing 7-1 in the series finale Sunday.

In three games against the fourth-place Angelinos, the Mariners tallied just two runs in 27 innings. Their lone run Sunday came on Dustlin Ackley’s long ball in the third inning, his second of the season and first at Safeco in 13 months. Aside from that, the Mariners managed to get three runners into scoring position.

The Mariners (59-70) are 11-18 since the end of their season-best eight-game winning streak (July 12-23). They have lost seven of their past 13, with an eight-game road trip facing them after a series against Texas starting Monday. Seattle is 7-9 against the Angels with three games remaining in the season series (Sept. 20-22).

The Angels spotted Seattle the Ackley home run and then pounced with four runs in the fourth and three in the sixth. All of the runs scored with two outs, largely the fault of starter Aaron Harang.

“All the runs came with two outs and nobody on,” said manager Eric Wedge, who witnessed his third straight loss, by a cumulative total of 14-2, since returning to the dugout following a minor strike. “He (Harang) has to be able to shut that down and get that final out. He had some bad misses in the middle. They (the Angels) were aggressive against him and did a nice job. But that domino has been a problem of Harang’s. It’s a matter of executing pitches. He had some bad misses and they touched him up.”

Harang’s (5-11, 5.76) woes provided more than enough support for Weaver, who entered the game having given up 13 runs in his past 11 innings but got well quickly. He allowed one run on three hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.

The Mariners offered little resistance again. They finished the series 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. In the last seven games, the Mariners are 10-for-52 with RISP (.192 BA).

The lone bright spot was Ackley, who had the home run and a double and improved his batting average to .330 since the All-Star break.

“It’s been encouraging to see and good for him,” Wedge said of Ackley. “Even in watching him on TV, you start to see him get over the hump and gain some confidence. He’s come a long way. I’ve been impressed with the way he’s handled it and fought through it.”

Angels took the lead in the fourth with Mark Trumbo’s run-scoring double and Chris Nelson’s two-run triple. Grant Green’s infield single plated Nelson.

The Angels tacked on three more in the sixth on a triple by Peter Bourjos and a two-run homer by Kole Calhoun. That chased Harang, who allowed seven earned runs on nine hits in 5.2 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

The Angels had a chance to really bust it open in the eighth when they loaded the bases with one out. But Carter Capps wiggled out of the jam by striking out Trumbo and inducing Hank Conger to ground out.

The Mariners loaded the bases in the ninth with two outs but Justin Smoak whiffed.

The Mariners Monday send LHP Joe Saunders (10-12, 4.91) opposite LHP Travis Blackley (1-1, 4.85), a former Mariner. Following the Texas series, the Mariners embark upon an eight-game road trip through Houston and Kansas City.

NOTES: Catcher Mike Zunino, out of the lineup since breaking a bone in his wrist July 25, took batting practice before Sunday. He could be ready to play as early as next week . . . Nick Franklin returned to the lineup  for the first time since suffering a five-stitch cut to his left knee last Tuesday (not a happy return: 0-for-4 with three strikeouts) . . . Michael Saunders did not play Sunday for the second straight game due to a sore neck . . . Closer Danny Farquhar worked an inning in a non-save situation Sunday and pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts. He has retired 43 of the last 50 batters he’s faced.


  • Trygvesture

    Hoo Boy. That terrible manager Bob Melvin has the A’s in a pennant hunt. The insubordinate Lou Pinella wasn’t a good manager anyway. The crackerjack front office–who wanted to keep Ichi and Griff for another decade or two, have pared the payroll to a ‘lean and mean corporate dream’.
    They actually HAVE managed to drive the franchise into the Regrade mud. The Eternally Irrelevant Ms, unless you are the pseudo- honest, seldom forthcoming, less often truthful Howard the baseball idiot Lincoln, in which case you simply report a new media position to your no-baseball boss and smarm your way to continued corporate favor. And keep your yes-man, the equally incompetent baseball Ed Mcmahon, at your side singing another chorus of ‘Yes sir, Yes sir, Three Bags Full’ in your ear.
    Hoo Boy. They make it so hard to be fan as they sit in their tax-funded gold-plated stadium offices reaping the equity appreciation courtesy of absolutley no measureable comptetence or measureable success whatsoever.
    May Father Time– who determines the hour for golden parachute execs to GO AWAY– help us, soon.
    Ok. I AM fussy about this.

    • art thiel

      You’re entitled, Tryg. Another season sinks into irrelevance despite the promise shown among some younger players. The idea of patience with the plan has worn out an average of two million former fans annually. But the club made an operating profit off last year’s miserable season.

  • jafabian

    Every time I think the club is going to make a run at .500 they take a couple steps back. Youth and inexperience continues to be the culprit though the inconsistency of the #3-5 pitchers this season hasn’t helped either. In their defense the inconsistency at the catcher position hasn’t helped them either. Where are you John Jaso and Miguel Olivo? (And isn’t Adam Moore a free agent right now?)

    I’m wondering if the players are affected in anyway transitioning from Robby Thompson back to Eric Wedge though really, Bob Melvin is a solid manager and has a good team. Wish the M’s could have at least taken one game in this series though. Not a good sign when the M’s got only 1 walk and five hits in today’s game as well as six LOB.

    • Effzee

      Why would you ever think this club is about to make a run at .500? What possible evidence or precedent are you seeing to make you believe in such absurdities?

      • Will

        In sports-speak, the M’s are, “exactly who we thought they are”.

        • art thiel

          Dennis Green made a great contribution to the sports culture. One of the best rants in modern sports.

    • art thiel

      Managers don’t make much difference. Talent does.

  • Effzee

    The players need not be embarrassed. They are trying their hardest and playing the best they can. The problem is that only half of them are major league players. The question is, what in the world will it take to embarrass Howie and Chuckles? They seem to be the only ones who are just fine with how things are going. Is there anything that will make them peek outside of their bubble and admit their product is an absolute atrocity? We’ve already lost 100 more than once, and in fact backed up the worst season ever with one even worse than that. Yet, Chowie and Huckles remain completely unaffected, in every single way. I imagine that if we lost 130 games in a season, they would still find a way to avoid having to justify their continued presence.

    • art thiel

      Trying hard is what parents offer for Little Leaguers who lose. Trying hard is the minimum requirement for professionals.

      But as you point out, the issue rests with ownership. And there’s not much more that can be said about it than has already been said.