BY SPNW Staff 11:03PM 08/24/2015

Game recap: Athletics 11, Mariners 5


The Mariners blew a 5-0 lead, but the bullpen wasn’t to blame for an 11-5 loss to Oakland Monday night at Safeco Field. Hisashi “No-No” Iwakuma fell back to earth in the fifth inning as Seattle (57-68) lost for the seventh time in 10 games (box score). The Mariners have allowed six or more runs in five consecutive games and have now allowed double-digit runs five times in 16 days.

Essential moment

The A’s fifth inning was like an open wound. The Mariners could have stopped the bleeding if not for a mental lapse by 1B Jesus Montero. With Seattle leading 5-4 and two outs, Josh Reddick grounded to Montero at first. Rather than flip to Iwakuma for the inning-ending out, Montero tried to win a footrace to the bag – only to get beat by Reddick. Mark Canha scored from second base with the tying run, then Danny Valencia hit a two-run homer.


On the night when Safeco Field commemorated Iwakuma’s no-hitter 12 days earlier, he looked pretty good  again — for four innings. In the disastrous fifth, he was tagged for seven runs on six hits and a walk.

The only real history came when Oakland’s Pat Venditte came to the mound in the seventh – the first switch-pitcher in a Safeco game. Venditte threw eight right-handed pitches to C Mike Zunino and switch-hitter SS Ketel Marte in the seventh, then put hit six-finger glove on the other hand and got lefty 3B Kyle Seager to pop out on four left-handed pitches. He threw 23 pitches over two innings – 10 with his left, and 13 with his right.


Seattle had enough offense in the third – five hits, five runs and homers from Franklin Gutierrez and Mark Trumbo – to win on most nights. But the bats of Seager, Montero and Zunino continue to drag down the offense. Marte had three hits and two stolen bases.


“Montero didn’t quite get that play right at first base, and that hurt us a bit. It opened up the floodgates.” – manager Lloyd McClendon, on Montero’s mental gaffe with two outs in the fifth


A’s starter Felix Doubront took a Robinson Cano liner off his foot in the first inning. He temporarily stayed in the game but had to come out after just two innings of work  . . .  Mariners LHP James Paxton made his first rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma Sunday night, and he came out of it without any health concerns. But Paxton didn’t make it out of the first inning, allowing two hits, a walk and a run on 26 pitches . . . McClendon said before Monday’s game that he planned to use RHP Tom Wilhelmsen as closer – if needed. The decision, he added, was based on matchups, and Wilhelmsen has not been anointed the new every-day closer with rookie Carson Smith struggling . . . Oakland had a familiar face coaching third base. Former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington was promoted from his job as an A’s infield coach to take over. Mike Gallegos was fired earlier in the day.


What’s this? A right-handed starter? Facing the Mariners? It’s true: for the first time in six games, Seattle won’t face a southpaw starting pitcher. Oakland plans to use RHP Jesse Chavez (7-12, 3.75 ERA) Tuesday night. The Mariners have already beaten him twice this season. Seattle LHP Mike Montgomery (4-6, 4.16 ERA) hasn’t won since he beat the A’s on July 5. He’s 0-4 since then, while the Mariners have lost eight Montgomery starts in a row.


  • Rj Smith

    So Montero screwed up a play at 1B in a way I don’t think I’ve ever seen in 30 years of watching stellar M’s baseball, totally predictable ….. So Iwakuma imploded & couldn’t get one lousy out, totally predictable…..
    So the bullpen came in & threw gas on the fire as usual….. So the M’s offense was totally incapable of mounting any sort of comeback as usual….. So after building a 5-0 lead, the pitiful M’s allowed 11 unanswered runs, totally predictable…..

    None of that matters….. we had the “no-hitter celebration”, that makes the rousing 11-5 beating from the nearly just as pathetic Oakland A’s not even matter…..

    I wonder what goes through the minds of the front office when this silliness takes place at Safeco over & over like groundhog day? Besides laughing at the 20-25,000 suckers who continue to spend way too much HARD EARNED $ at that park to watch comically bad hometown baseball. Yes, we know the A’s are technically behind the M’s in the standings, but strange things happen with schedule quirks & all….. the M’s are by far the worst team in the AL. A’s SP Chavez has lost to these clowns TWICE in 2015, a third to nite & he should be banned from baseball Pete Rose style. Thanks Jack, thanks Howie, can’t wait for more 72-90 baseball in 2016.

    • art thiel

      RJ, I feel you bleeding every time I read your comments. Why do you continue to torture yourself by watching? Your points are often valid, but I fear a pending addiction to something unhealthy.

      • Rj Smith

        Naw…. by the All-star break my anger had turned to frustration, now it’s just comic relief. I have to laugh at these goons to keep from crying. I live in Chicago & don’t get to watch all the games due to the time zone difference, but I stopped watching faithfully at the halfway mark. I actually knew they were finished in MAY after that 2-9 homestand. I am thoroughly upset at the M’s though because I’ve been a die-hard since 1986 & the state of the franchise is just sad. I’m pretty sure they’re the only franchise left besides the Expos/Nationals to have never reached a World Series. Thanks Howie. Thanks Jack Z.

  • Lodowick

    When Marte was thrown out at second trying to stretch it with a 5-0 lead I wondered if that would come back to haunt them. It didn’t. Wasn’t one of those one run games. But he made a strange attempt at second the other day and should have been gunned out then but the second baseman missed the tag. Neither time did the announcers question Marte’s judgement. M’s have lacked speed this year so they just let it go. Of course, the announcers never seem to criticize players, do they? Just say “oh boy”.

    • Rj Smith

      Last nite when that play happened, it irritated me when as usual, Blowers/Sims said it was a good play…. it was not a good play. The M’s have been gunned down on the bases all year long. For a team that rarely actually gets on base, poor baserunning described by the announcers as “aggressive” is not good baseball. The M’s obviously don’t like speed, otherwise James Jones would be a priority player to develop. Of course in 2016 we’ll see more award winning OF play from Smith, Jackson, BUMbo & the position switch for the downright awful Logan Morrison. Thanks Jack Z, thanks Howie.

    • Sonics79

      The M’s announcers, both TV & radio, are all employees of the M’s. They don’t criticize the players and bad play because their role is closer to a spin doctor and not an unbiased observer. I wouldn’t be surprised if the broadcast teams roll up under the marketing department. With the decade plus of sorry play it must be extremely difficult to call games with a positive spin night after night. To that extent I feel sorry for the announcers.

      • Lodowick

        Yep. It’s a ‘really big show’. Kind of an Ed Sullivan affair with one whiz bang talent or promo following another and Jacky Z introducing the new acts. The incessant marketing drumbeat is galling but they have done a superb job building a social mecca. I mean a true digitized, bobblehead-ized, amenity filled, glamour loaded MECCA, a pilgrimage site for sun worshippers, beer drinkers, beautiful women, etc. It’s a tad white, frankly. And more than a tad conservative. Maybe they should ship Safeco to Bellevue.

        • coug73

          Bring back funny nose and glasses promotion. The best and truest Mariners promotion of all time.

        • art thiel

          I wasn’t the first to say it, but when when it opened, it was called, and remains today, a mallpark. A good time can be had without watching the game.

      • Trygvesture

        Well, yeah, if their sole task is to put that happy face on excrement, then they are doing their job. But, when Henderson is on—and tHAT’s been awhile, huh?– he pretty much tells it like it is. He often says, “yeah well, you’re in the Big Leagues now and that’s a play you gotta make..”

        • art thiel

          What it comes down to, to me, is a fundamental failure to respect the fans when ownership orders pabulum out of fear that honesty will scare fans away.

      • Joe_Fan

        I’ve thought for years that I’d love to see the whole lot “purged”, along with the ownership group. Not that I dislike Rizz, et al, but to continue to hear their incessant blather and spin about these horrible M’s teams is maddening. The other day Shannon Drayer was actually going on again, if you can believe it, about 1995!! It makes me want to vomit.

        • art thiel

          Larry Stone in the Times made a good point that the epic nature of 95 is being smothered by contempt for current conditions. True.

      • art thiel

        They are paid well enough to not need pity, but it still must feel dirty sometimes.

        • Long-Time Mariners Fan

          Ah, they’re just coasting at this point in the season. Last night on the radio side, Rizz and Goldsmith had an animated discussion about Kevin Cremin’s two thermometers that show the temperature in the booth and the temperature in the ballpark…. the ballpark being all of four feet away.

    • art thiel

      They’re paid to cheerlead, not be honest.

      Baserunning management may be Lloyd’s biggest weakness.

  • Will

    Can there ever be a tipping point for the Mariner franchise? This team, this incredibly bad bunch of faders, (management included) must have been inspiration for the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day – except they’ve never gotten it right (except in the steroid era when they won a disproportionate number of games).

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