BY SPNW Staff 10:49PM 06/05/2015

Game recap: Rays 1, Mariners 0

Takeaway

On the seventh day, the streak didn’t rest. Fernando Rodney was in the center of the maelstrom again, having given up the game-winning homer in the top of the ninth inning of Friday’s 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay, but he wasn’t the only goat for the Mariners. 2B Robinson Cano is getting plenty of chances to play the hero, but he failed again on several occasions Friday – most noticeably, during a routine groundout with the bases loaded in the seventh. Afterward, Cano was greeted with a chorus of boos like he hasn’t heard since his last trip back to the Bronx.

Essential moment

There was an eerie sense of anxiety when Rodney came out to open the top of the ninth inning. Restlessness turned quickly turned to boos when he served up a leadoff homer to  2B Logan Forsythe. The solo shot broke a scoreless tie and added evidence to the Dump Rodney campaign. But Lloyd McClendon is not in that camp, and he’s the only one who matters.

Pitchers

Starter J.A. Happ turned in another strong outing after rebounding from some shakiness in the top of the first. But he had to settle for his fifth consecutive no-decision. Happ threw seven scoreless innings before handing the game to the Seattle bullpen with a 0-0 score. Then Fernando Rodney happened. Again.

Hitters

Not even an injury to Tampa Bay’s starter, Jake Odorizzi, could wake up the Seattle bats. Eight scoreless innings were bad enough, but getting a leadoff triple in the ninth and leaving the runner at third was the worst blow of all. Cano certainly hasn’t been earning his Bill Gates-ian paycheck as of late. He had another frustrating performance Friday (0 for 4, six runners left on base). New addition Mark Trumbo grounded out to end a first-inning threat, struck out his next two times up and grounded into an inning-ending double play in the eighth. Welcome to life as a Mariner, Trumbs.

Words

“Hitting can be contagious. We just need somebody to step up and get a big hit” — Lloyd McClendon, Mariners manager

Noteworthy

Odorizzi cruised through four shutout innings before coming out with a strained left oblique muscle . . . CF Austin Jackson wasn’t in the lineup Friday because he was supposed to be resting the ankle that put him on the disabled list for three weeks in May. But Jackson came on to pinch-run in the seventh and tripled in the ninth  . . . RHP Hisashi Iwakuma is getting closer to making a rehab stint, the next step toward coming off the disabled list. Iwakuma, who has been on the DL since April 24, came out of his Thursday bullpen session well and could throw again Sunday . . . 1B Logan Morrison was back in the lineup Friday, when he batted leadoff for the third time in his career. All three games have come during the homestand . . .  J.A. Happ was the fourth consecutive left-handed starter to face the Rays. That streak will end Saturday, with RHP Felix Hernandez on the mound for Seattle.

Next

Hernandez certainly didn’t look like a king his last time out (4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 BB, 7 ER), but he has a history of success against the Rays. His perfect game Aug. 15, 2012, came against Tampa Bay; Hernandez’s only two complete-game shutouts since then came earlier this season. Hernandez (8-2, 2.63 ERA) is scheduled to go against the Rays and RHP Alex Colome (3-2, 5.05 ERA)  Saturday.

 


YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    Winning heals all wounds. Yes, Rodney gave up the winning run however he’s always been questionable in non-save situations. But where else are you going to use him? Being scoreless at home should not happen. IMO, this loss is on the players. I hope Jack Z. watches this series and realizes that a team can win when it’s built around pitching and defense. That’s been the Rays philosophy the past 8-10 year and it’s served them very well.

    • Long-Time Mariners Fan

      You wrote: “Yes, Rodney gave up the winning run however he’s always been questionable in non-save situations.”

      If this is true (and I happen to agree with you,) it doesn’t say much for him as a pitcher, much less a closer. The ball is the same, the distance to the plate is the same, the mission is the same: Get The Runner Out.

      You also wrote: “But where else are you going to use him?”

      Hey, how about anywhere else? Take him back to basics. Remind him…. in the ninth inning or the seventh or the eighth: The Ball Is The Same, The Distance Is The Same, The Mission Is The Same: Get The Runner Out.

      Next time we have a good lead and our starter has given us some quality innings, bring Rodney in to get the final out or two in the sixth. If he gets them out, he learns the lessons above without being under a great deal of pressure. If he fails, we know that his ego is interfering with his pitching and we start shopping him around before July 31.

      An out is an out, no matter if your “closer” gets it or someone else. An out is an out, no matter if you’re paid seven million dollars or $480,000.

      • jafabian

        I believe it’s a focus issue with Rodney, and to a lesser extent Cano. Rodney’s career has shown when he has a good or great year he doesn’t build off of it the next year and takes something of a step back. I’m sure Lloyd was aware of that fact. The M’s could have had Joe Torre and Mel Stottlemeyer running things and I believe Rodney would still be having issues. It’s all upstairs at this point. Ditto for Rodney. Both are pressing. The question is how long do you let them try and work things out? Do you have something better behind them? I don’t see that. Wilhelmsen close? He failed at that. There’s no 2B prospect to call up. He plays for Tampa now. Might as well just stay on course which is what Lloyd pretty much said in his press conference.

        • RadioGuy

          Well, Ackley actually was the best 2B we’ve had the last three years (neither Franklin nor Cano have handled the position as well defensively as Dustin did and that’s not even his natural position), but everyone’s down on Ackley and there’s no way Cano is going to sit with that contract. We’re stuck with Robbin’-some at second.

          As for Wilhelmsen failing as closer, that’s true. But I wouldn’t exactly call Rodney a success in that role right now and the Bartender has pitched well this year. Even so, I go back to the above paragraph: Who’s got the big contract? Besides, Mac changes his mind about as often as GW Bush used to, which is to say “never.” Rodney’s his closer. Period.

          • art thiel

            As I mentioned above, what happens if Carson Smith fails as closer? You’re killing to relievers with one stone.

        • Long-Time Mariners Fan

          I don’t know (he said, laughing to himself) – Torre and Stottlemyre had it pretty easy in the closer department. There was That One Guy with That One Pitch and, of course, he’s going to Cooperstown.

        • art thiel

          There’s few words a veteran manager can say to a 38-year-old closer. It is ALL up to Rodney.

      • art thiel

        Would that it were that easy.

    • sdbpacnw

      Where else are you going to use him? How about Tacoma? Or perhaps since he’s so good at serving up the gopher ball to opposing teams, he could pitch BP.

  • Long-Time Mariners Fan

    OK, this is addressed to the Seattle Mariners – the 40-man roster, the coaching staff, the front office… everyone. Listen up:

    This is The Low.
    This is The Rock Bottom.

    How low? They scored one. We scored none.
    How low? RISP, LOB…. blah, blah, blah.
    How low? Jackson on third with nobody out.
    How low? We are seven games below .500. Last year, we were never lower than six games below .500 and that was after the loss on April 22.

    This is The Low.

    Not “A” Low.

    This is “The” Low.

    Make It So.

    Make This “The Low.”

    Make.
    It.
    So,

    Every single one of you…. (in the words of Dave Valle) – What are you going to do to make sure that this is The Low for the 2015 season? Every single one of you…. I’m in your face…. What Are You Going To Do To Turn Things Around? What Are You Going
    To Do To Help This Ballclub Win Ballgames?

    Now, really listen up…..

    I am pissed. What am I pissed about? I’m pissed that it’s me…. just a fan in the stands… that has to say this to you’all. I’m pissed that these words have to come from the stands and not from the clubhouse. I hate to lose. I want to hear you say the same thing. I want to hear each and everyone of you say, “I Hate To Lose and This Is What I’m Going To Do To Turn It Around.”

    This is The Low. Win Tomorrow and (in the words of Satchel Paige)… Don’t Look Back.

    I Will Repeat:

    This Is The Low. Make It So.

    • Lodowick

      Yeah. Vin Scully had a great quote for times like these: “and then the wheels came off”. But it’s not quite as dark as it looks now. And it was never as bright as it looked to some in March. I could never understand those who predicted 95 or 100 wins. A sports talk show host yesterday said they could make the playoffs with 84 wins. What!? There’s parity but not THAT much.

      I predicted 88 wins. Vegas predicted that. They could still make it. And that MIGHT win the division. They have to go 64-43 to get there. That means playing the way Houston has played all year (.607 win pct.) all the way through to October. And the only team with that win percentage so far, other than Houston, is St. Louis. So starting tonight, you need to be better than Washington, L.A., Detroit, Kansas City, San Francisco, the Angels…better than any of those teams have been so far this year.

      Start it up. Make it so. No excuses. And after tonight the schedule gets tougher.

      • art thiel

        Playoffs will be hard, but hardly impossible. Remember these guys had a 6-3 homestand followed by a 6-3 road trip to get to .500. These are not the 80s-era M’s.

    • art thiel

      You go, LTMF. You didn’t even mention they lost twice in five days to former Mariners pitchers.

  • Talkjoc

    @jafabian:disqus Just a curious question, are you Rodney’s agent?

  • coug73

    Seattle Mariners writing a new chapter for epic loses in sports lore. I’m a half glass full guy, but I also know when to say no.

    • art thiel

      Remember this when they’re two up in the final week of September.

      • coug73

        That would be epic.

  • Rj Smith

    So the pathetic M’s lose once again…… getting shut out in the process. But as people have been brainwashed to believe, they are about to turn this dreadful season around. Not going to happen.They have been under .500 from the first week up until game number FORTY SIX, when that magical feat is reached, they wet the bed & lose 8 of the next 9 & most likely at least one more between today/tomorrow. The division is out of reach now, as to win 90 games, they have to play THIRTY games OVER .500. And let’s not compare this anemic squad to the one that made up a 7 game deficit in September to win the division, that roster was filled with all stars & HOF’ers, not has beens & never will/haves like this one. It will takes these guys another month and a half just to get back these games they choked away in the last week. By the end of June, even the last wild card will be a pipe dream. Watching the M’s now is just for the entertainment of watching how goofs like Mr single Cano or gas on the fire Rodney will screw the game up.

    • art thiel

      Fine vent.

  • Larry Gahlhoff

    An idea that I find gaining some traction goes back to the configuration of Safeco field. There is an interesting article from July 7, 2003 by John Levesque in the PI titled “Batters Calling the Shots at Safeco” that addressed the issue of a perceived glare from the outfield wall by hitters including KG Jr., also Ichiro and Mike Cameron talked to Mariners president Charles Armstrong resulting in the rotation of trees in and out, painting of the outfield wall and even exploring covering the wall with a honeycomb surface from Home Depot. The upshot of the article was that it was up to the players to adjust as the outfield is the same for the opposing team as well as the Mariners. The M’s finished 2003 with a team batting average of .273. They also had much better hitters. Including Boones 35 Hr’s 16 SB, Edgars’ 24 HR’s and Ichiro’s 34 SB. Looking at the sample size of futility from then until now it is an interesting argument of not a player/front office issue but a fundamental problem with Safeco Field.
    As for right now? We’re screwed.

    • Rj Smith

      It’s definitely NOT the park, it’s the pathetic players. Other teams come into Safeco & can win. I guarantee in the history of the park, the M’s have been outscored in total, have allowed 10 plus runs in a game far more times than they have scored & are under .500. The excuses about the park are old & sad, it’s the terrible performance by the pitiful players.

      • art thiel

        Seven below .500 is not pitiful. If you were anytime before 95, you know what pitiful looks like.

    • art thiel

      The CF wall in its current non-reflective surface is satisfactory. And it has nothing to do with getting one less run than the opponents.

      And don’t forget the game of 12 years ago is quite different than today’s pitching dominance.