BY Anthony Dion 07:14PM 06/19/2014

Ramirez nearly flawless, Mariners bats futile

Erasmo Ramirez and the Mariners deserved a better fate Thursday at Petco Park. Unfortunately for them, the Padres didn’t care. San Diego pulled off a 4-1 win and emerged with a 2-2 split as the teams concluded their season series. …

Erasmo Ramirez and the Mariners deserved a better fate Thursday at Petco Park. Unfortunately for them, the Padres didn’t care. San Diego pulled off a 4-1 win and emerged with a 2-2 split as the teams concluded their season series.

Ramirez continued the Mariners’ pitching dominance over the light-hitting Padres with six scoreless innings and two hits allowed. Over the four-game series, Seattle starters pitched 26 innings and allowed two runs, good for a sparkling 0.69 ERA.

But a funny thing happened — manager Lloyd McClendon decided to end Ramirez’s night after those six innings and a total of 70 pitches by pinch-hitting for the right-hander with an eye on building the team’s minuscule 1-0 lead.

The questionable move proved unwise immediately. Not only did pinch-hitter Stefen Romero ground out, the Mariners came up empty in the inning, then watched relievers Dominic Leone and Joe Beimel surrender four runs on four hits and a walk.

It started with Wednesday night’s hero, Tommy Medica, hitting a one-out triple off Leone. Cameron Maybin tied the score with a triple of his own. After Carlos Quentin walked, Chris Denorfia singled home Maybin for the eventual winning run. A subsequent two-RBI single by Everth Cabrera only added to the Mariners’ pain.

For Leone, who took all four runs against his ledger, the outing snapped a streak of 7.2 scoreless innings and hiked his ERA to 2.35 from 1.19.

That left Seattle’s (37-36) offense with two innings to score three runs, a task it could not manage against the second-best bullpen (trailing Washington) in the majors with a 2.60 ERA. Huston Street picked up his 20th save for San Diego (31-42) in as many chances.

Ramirez (1-4, 4.62 ERA) showed much better command and an ability to change speeds by using his change-up and slider more effectively. It helped him limit his walks to two and minimize his pitch count.

Robinson Cano was 3-for-4 and provided the Mariners with their only run on a two-out RBI single in the fifth. They managed five hits against Padres’ starter Jesse Hahn, 24, making his third start of the season.

Hahn (2-1, 2.16 ERA) utilized a 12-6 curve to keep the M’s offense at bay. He pitched seven innings, struck out seven and walked two.

Notes

Cano extended his road hitting streak to 20 games . . . RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (stiff neck) will make Friday’s start in Kansas City against the Royals.

 


YourThoughts

  • 1coolguy

    LOVE to be a fly on the wall of Lincoln’s place to hear his convulsions watching this wretched, offensive display of “offense”.
    We have the pitching but can’t even beat San Diego???
    Oh, BTW JZ and Howie, noticed the A’s record? Leading the league!

    • art thiel

      They’re getting there, one decade at a time.

  • dinglenuts

    This is what happens sometimes when you put AL managers in a situation that requires NL strategy. Things often go sideways. I’m not saying the McLendon isn’t competent. He simply isn’t faced with the question “Should I pinch-hit for the pitcher here?” on an almost daily basis, so he has no sample size to help his choice.

    Then again, pulling a guy who’s mowing ‘em down through six and has only thrown 70 pitches is a bad decision 7 days a week.

    And for crying out loud AL, can we get rid of the DH? Thanks.

    • Deuce Kidalow

      Well, come on now. You can’t have it both ways. If you ditch the DH several things happen:

      1. Pitchers are pulled more often and sooner, so what McClendon did last night would be move-du-jour.

      2. Pulling pitchers more frequently necessitates adding quality arms to the rosters of 15 teams. Good luck with that, unless you like ‘em with sky high ERAs.

      3. The Mariners’ problem is not pitching, it’s the wimp-ass hitting. It won’t improve with one less attempter in the line-up. (Though it’s pretty clear this year’s DH-by-committee makes Mario Mendoza looks like Babe Ruth. Or at least Jose Offerman.)

      • dinglenuts

        1. That was in no way move-de-jour. That was move-de-merde. At 70 pitches, unless the guy is on a pitch count, you run him back out in the 7th. He’s throwing a freaking shutout for crying out loud. It was a brain-dead move.

        2. Not sure what you’re getting at here. Do NL teams require that many more quality pitchers than AL teams? I don’t think so. And I’m not sure that adding 15 pitchers to MLB rosters is going to water down the talent pool significantly. Besides, if you’re not pitching to a guy whose only job is to mash baseballs and chew sunflower seeds on the bench, wouldn’t ERAs go down?

        3. I submit that a pitching team like the Mariners benefits from no DH, particularly when the DH is, well, below average.

    • jafabian

      McClendon was a coach for the Pirates from 1996-2000 and their manager from 2000 to 2005. He knows how to manage in the NL. I don’t fault him for pulling Ramirez. It was about hitting, not that he thought Ramirez needed to be pulled. And also about the batting order. If he didn’t do it then he might have been forced to have a relief pitcher hit later on. Usually in the NL it’s about the 7th inning when starters are pulled.

      • dinglenuts

        Well, he clearly lost some NL instincts the last 10 years. You simply don’t pull your starter who’s throwing a shutout through 6 with only 70 pitches. Unless he’s on a strict pitch count, that’s not an option.

        Have a relief pitcher hit? No. Only in the most dire of circumstances. You’d have to plow through all of your pinch-hitters before doing that.

        It was a lousy move. He out-thought himself.

    • art thiel

      McClendon scuffed this one, but in his defense, he trusts his bullpen more than Ramirez, which made sense until this game.

  • Dos Kidanya

    “Over the four-game series, Seattle starters pitched 26 innings and allowed two runs, good for a sparkling 0.69 ERA. Robinson Cano was 3-for-4 and provided the Mariners with their only run on a two-out RBI single in the fifth.”

    And there you have the 2014 Seattle Impotents in a nutshell. Lincoln and Zjack spent $240 million on one hitter, and effectively they just got one-hit by the stankiest team in the National League. Twice.

    • art thiel

      So you’re not happy with the adds of Logan Morrison and Corey Hart?

      • Effzee

        Ack.

  • jafabian

    It’s one thing to waste a great pitching performance by Felix or Kuma, but another by one of the other pitchers who don’t always get an opportunity to keep the team in the game. The players need to start finding ways to score runs. The word is out on them that they don’t make adjustments and its spreading.

    • art thiel

      Also aren’t especially talented hitters, period.

    • Effzee

      “The Word” being out on them is not new. Not much has changed in a decade-plus. I’m pretty sure its not a mystery that other teams are solving, series-by-series.

  • ollie swensen

    this team offers the fan little suspense for a wild card spot. but, after after injuries to Iwakuma, Walker, Paxton, Hart, Morrison, etc, they still find themselves a game over .500.
    with a patchwork rotation, a lineup that defies production, today they rank, 19th in Runs(290), 27th in BA(.238), 29th in OBP(.297), and 27th in Slugging(.366), and they still have won as many as they have lost.

    • art thiel

      At least they do one thing well, and in today’s game it’s the most important.

  • Michael Bragg

    It’s disgusting to see this team night in and night out having guys in the lineup batting below .190 and only a few hitting over .260 even losing games when Felix pitches…Jack Z’s gotta go!

  • poulsbogary

    It’s simple. No need to overanayze it. The Cano addition has made them a .500 team. It did not make them a world series contender.

  • Big

    It is what it is, up and down around .500. How can an organization go 10 plus years with out producing a slugger? Could it be bad trades? Heavy marine air? Big ball park? Hey, we are talking about being one game over .500. Who would have thought?