Games 68-to-70 + Minors Rewind: Playing Catch-up

00a03524189123_13bea9559c_b== Well, we’re a one-man band ==

  • Game 68 baseball-reference boxscore here.
  • Game 69 baseball-reference boxscore here.
  • Game 70 baseball-reference boxscore here.
  • Mariners affiliates minors scoreboard Saturday here.
  • Mariners affiliates minors scoreboard Sunday here.
  • Mariners affiliates minors scoreboard Monday here.

Sometimes family obligations and The Real Job get in the way, so sorry about that.

I did get to see a great non-Mariners baseball game, so more on that later.

Saturday:

  • The biggest deal on Saturday wasn’t at the MLB level, it was at Tacoma, where Taijuan Walker went into the 7th inning before giving up his first hit.  He threw 94 pitches, and his final line was: 6.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K.
  •  In the majors, another bipolar start from Erasmo Ramirez, who got through 5.0 IP un-scored-upon, but took 89 pitches and walked four.  He got no praise from Lloyd McClendon (big surprise!).  And yet … that changeup.  He threw it 32 times, got 17 swings and 9 of the swings were swing-and-miss.  That’s a devastating pitch.  But he didn’t have command of the strike zone, so it was like frosting without the cake.
  • Even so, the M’s were tied at 3 after the 7th, but the Rangers scratched out a run off Fernando Rodney for the win.
  • Jabari Blash got his 16th homer in the Tacoma game.
  • Stephen Landazuri came off the disabled list for Jackson, but didn’t have it (1.2 IP, 7 ER).
  • Luis Caballero, who was the “player to be named later” when the M’s traded Jack Wilson (remember him?) to the Braves in 2011, had a double, a single and a steal for Everett.

Sunday:

  • Just when it looked like the season might veer off into dumpster land again, here came Hisashi Iwakuma to humiliate the Rangers, and Kyle Seager to take charge with the bat.
  • Kuma: 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K.  Only blemish was a solo homer in the 2nd.
  • Some games a solo homer would be enough to doom the Mariner offense, but Seager wasn’t going to let that happen.  [He’s already responsible, of course, for the season-saving Epic Tide-Turning 11-Pitch At-Bat Home Run back in April that stopped an eight-game losing streak from turning into nine.]  He got a two-run double in the 5th and a one-run double in the 8th, then came around to score.  Final line: 4-for-4, 2 doubles. On the “RE24” scale, he was worth 3.5 runs all by himself.
  • Then in Tacoma, it was Blash Splash No. 17.  His overall HR% is 6.0% (which is huge) but at Tacoma it’s 7.0%, which is about as high as you’ll see in baseball from non-‘roided hitters.
  • And our man Ji-Man Choi returned to Tacoma and drew three walks.
  • Jack Marder continued to pull himself back up the prospect ladder with his 4th homer for Jackson.
  • Our favorite mini-speedball Aaron Barbosa went 4-for-4 with three steals for Clinton (all singles, of course).  Teammate Zach Shank homered and had a double.

Monday:

  • Finally, when the Second Wild Card looked to be falling into the arms of the streaking Kansas City Royals, the Padres came to town to bolster the self-esteem of former teammate Chris Young.  He tied his season-high with six strikeouts, and only allowed four hits (all singles) in 6.0 IP.   Thanks, Padres!
  • And there again was our buddy Kyle, with a home run, two walks and a steal, racking up another 2.0 runs on the RE24 scale.  Young was worth 2.4.
  • Tacoma, oddly, got nothing from Blash in a 9-0 win.  Re-emerging Abe Almonte had a double, a single and two walks.  Choi also had two hits.
  • Abe in June: .327/.389/.469.
  • Encouraging: a scoreless 9th from Carson Smith, who just returned from the disabled list.  The M’s bullpen has been fine, but there are now a host of options at AAA now that Stephen Kohlscheen has finally been promoted as well.
  • And, finally, welcome to Everett, Austin Cousino!  The 3rd-round pick got a home run in his first AquaSox appearance.  He and Barbosa will be competing for glove-first center fielder pecking order, but Cousino is a better hitter.
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