BY SPNW Staff 10:42PM 06/24/2015

Game recap: Royals 8, Mariners 2

Takeaway

Another disappointing homestand came to a frustrating end as the Kansas City Royals hammered the Mariners 8-2 Wednesday night (box score) . A seven-run fourth inning took any drama out of this one, leaving Seattle with a 4-4 mark. The good news is that the Mariners have been better on the road (16-17) than they have at home (17-23) as Seattle prepares for an 11-day trip.

Essential moment

Mariners starter Roenis Elias was in a groove from the outset, retiring nine consecutive batters before a leadoff single in the fourth got the ball rolling for Kansas City. When 3B Mike Moustakas drilled a two-run homer off Elias on the next at-bat, it took whatever confidence Elias carried through the first three innings and hammered it into oblivion. Seattle’s 26-year-old southpaw fell apart after that, and the game was over by the time the Mariners picked up their bats for the bottom of the fourth.

Pitchers

Elias is making it hard for the Mariners to evaluate his long-term potential. He turned in his first bad outing in 10 starts this season on June 14, then bounced back with one of his better performances his last time out. He was dominant again through the first three innings of Wednesday’s start, but Kansas City rocked him for five hits and seven runs the second time through the order. Elias has failed to get out of the fourth inning in two of his past three starts.

Hitters

OF Franklin Gutierrez made a triumphant return with a third-inning single and Seattle’s first RBI of the night on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, but most of the Mariners’ offense came too late to matter. Seattle had nine hits, with CF Austin Jackson going 2 for 4 but an 0-for-5 performance with runners in scoring position continued a season-long trend for the Mariners. It also marked the 13th time in 23 games played this month that Seattle has been held to two runs or fewer.

Words

“He was throwing a whale of a ball game and just fell apart in the fourth inning. We couldn’t get him back together.” – Manager Lloyd McClendon on Elias

Noteworthy

OF Franklin Gutierrez was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma before Wednesday’s game. He made his first start with the Mariners since Sept. 27, 2013, having taken the 2014 season off to deal with ongoing health problems . . . Nothing to do on a Mariners’ off day? RHP Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to make his second rehab stint Thursday at Tacoma . . .Royals CF Lorenzo Cain sat out Wednesday’s game with what manager Ned Yost called a “very slight” hamstring strain . . .Kansas City starter Danny Duffy was making his first start since May 16, having spent about a month on the disabled list with biceps tendonitis.

Next

After an off-day Thursday, the Mariners open a three-game series at Anaheim Friday. RHP Taijuan Walker (5-6, 4.94 ERA for the season; 4-1, 2.04 ERA over his past five starts) is scheduled to start. RHP Matt Shoemaker (4-5, 5.20 ERA) is on tap for the Angels, marking the fourth game in a row that Seattle will face a starter with an ERA above 5.00.

 


YourThoughts

  • Rj Smith

    So the M’s get clobbered again en route to having their 1 game winning streak snapped, why am I not surprised? Why is it everytime they start a 1 game winning streak, the SP gets bombed the next day? Unreal. On the bright side though, a couple pleasant surprises….. The M’s actually got a SAC fly for once instead of a strikeout! Gutierrez hasn’t been here long enough, he’ll get it right & strike out regularly with a runner at 3rd with less than 2 outs, the other M’s hitters will make sure he knows that’s what they do here. And Wilhelmsen actually pitched a full scoreless inning! Before you know it, maybe they can win TWO in a row?! Probably not, that’s asking way too much from this sorry group.

  • Lodowick

    Well, it’s not early anymore but it’s also not too late. Last year the Angels won the division playing close to .600 baseball. This year they have more issues and let’s face it, Houston could slide a little. It’s possible. .540 could win the division this year. Something tells me the wild cards may both be above that mark. But the M’s just haven’t looked good on the field or at the plate. Not in April, not in May or June. They’re suddenly going to turn it around in July? That would be flying in the face of the law of averages. But, it’s baseball, where weird things really do happen. I just wouldn’t bank on it.

    • Long-Time Mariners Fan

      Just to flesh out your math a bit – if you say that the division could be won by a 0.540 team this year, that’s 87 victories. (Yes, 0.537 – I’m rounding optimistically.) 87 victories, and today, we have 33. We need to win 54 games over the next 89 – that’s a percentage of 0.607. To date, only one team in all of MLB is playing over 0.600 – Those St. Louis Cardinals.

      Would it be a miracle? The word “miracle” implies that there was no hope. The “Miracle Mets” won their division in 1969. Or….. did the Chicago Cubs LOSE the division in 1969? Personally, I would like to see this team win on its own and not rely on the misfortune of others.

      • Lodowick

        Even 1995 relied on some horrible misfortune down in Anaheim. And a 60% win rate over only half a year has been done a lot in baseball history. But if you evaluated this Mariners roster in terms of gut and grit and zeal and I’m-going-to-do-this-even-if-it-kills-me winning attitude….just for fun I looked back at the 1995 roster. Look at these names:

        Randy Johnson, Norm Charlton, Bill Krueger, Jeff Nelson, Dan Wilson, Tino Martinez, Mike Blowers, Joey Cora, Alex Rodriguez, Jay Buhner, Ken Griffey, Vince Coleman, Edgar Martinez. Wow. We’re not in Kansas, Toto. And this is definitely NOT 1995. Grit and zeal. Plus Lou.

  • Larry Gahlhoff

    The level of futility is magnified by the lack of alternate relevant news on the Seattle sports front. Sounders, Storm, or the latest on the RW contract negotiations until Seahawks come back to Renton and the M’s can fade away just like every other year. Next year they will trot out a new assortment of quickly forgettable names in the FO and probably a few on the field. Mobility with players will be heavily weighted by their ability to work around a few large contracts. What would the priority for a new regime be? Would they try to stock the farm system or salvage the current situation? Whatever options taken, we will be asked to be patient as we watch a new five year plan unfold. Who knows, they could surprise everyone next year and win more than they lose. Either way, from the current perspective, it looks a lot like deja vue it’s Groundhog day again

  • jafabian

    You’re going to have to bring your A game to beat the defending AL champs. They lead their division for a reason and considering they lost James Shields and Billy Butler in the offseason that makes where they are even more impressive. Not an easy thing to do to win back-to-back against them.

    At least we got to see Guti make a solid debut. Asssuming they platoon him rather than playing him every day he could last the season. Also good to see Zunino get two hits. I’m not expecting Edgar to solve the M’s hitting woes overnight but it’s good to see Z getting a multi-hit game, or even a hit or a walk. Not bad the team getting 9 hits but not good to not get a single BB. The Royals however only had one despite chasing off Elias. They’re the kings of small ball, something that Jack should have aspired to build when he was putting together a team that plays in Safeco Field.

    • Lodowick

      Right on the money. Small ball field, pitcher’s park. But the failure of small ball specialist Chone Figgins may have worried them. Who knows? Maybe, just maybe, they were thinking of buts in seats. And “everybody loves a star”, as Sly Stone sang.

      • jafabian

        If you look at how the Royals play and how it works for them, and the Rays are the same way as well as the A’s as usual, it’s amazing the M’s don’t follow the same blueprint. However once the rotation settles things will get better. Cano is coming around and possibly Zunino also.

  • Rj Smith

    Worst team in AL = Seattle Mariners. This is what Trader Jack Z told us the 7 year process was all about. He has destroyed this franchise, it’s going to take years to rebuild this disaster. Thanks Z. I’m all for dealing the “King”, but not letting that clown do it.

    • Trygvesture

      Naw– Bavasi helped a lot. Z just extends the tradition with wayyy more smarm. But the sole culprit is Lincoln. He has zero in the way of baseball acumen. He is a baseball idiot, and an old school corporate dictator. Still governs rather than leads. Clear spoken and savvy baseball people can not stand him and leave. As an organization, they are masters of corporate ass covering techniques, top to bottom. So, smarm wins out over competence. It’s the Lincoln Hiway.

  • Rj Smith

    Remember this off season when Trader Jack Z was trying so hard to trade for Ian Desmond of the Nationals? Well……. Desmond would have been a perfect fit for the M’s it turns out. He’s hitting about .215 with 5 hr’s. Just think, Z actually entertained the idea of moving Walker or Paxton for that guy.

    • Trygvesture

      Z=Peter Principle.