Do you hear that? That is the collective tension of all of Trident Nation humming over the return of the uncrowned savior. Felix Hernandez returns to the mound tonight for the first time since mid-April to face the Californiheimangeles Angels in this season’s most important series thus far. But before I get to all that let’s talk about the past weekend.
Our return home proved fruitful, taking 2 out of 3 from the New York Yankees. Pitching, both good and bad, was the story of the series. Jared Washburn put on another great performance on Friday night; 8 scoreless innings, 6 K’s and only one walk with 6 hits. No one has stepped up in "34"’s absence like Washburn over the last month. 3 wins is not enough to show for the great work he has done. If he keeps this up i will dissapointed if he is not on the AL all-star squad. Speaking of All-stars, be sure to get some votes out fo catcher Kenji Johjima. He’s hitting .307 and hit a crucial homer in Friday’s win.
The other big pitching performance belongs to Horatio Ramirez. Ramirez looked bad (verrry bad) in his last two starts, giving up big 2nd inning leads to the Red Sox and Tigers respectively. Sunday he helped silence his critics (Me? nah!) with 6 and third innings of one run 5 hit ball to give the M’s the series victory. Crazy Jose Guillen got 2 hits on Sunday to get his average up to .286, dude was on fire during the road trip, looks like he is finally getting healed.
In the aftermath of the Juilo Mateo situation the Mariners made a trade with Cleveland bringing right hander Jason Davis over from the Indians for a player to be named (which in my head translates into Bill Swift All-Star candidate). According to Jim Street of mlb.com Davis has an 18-22 career record with a 4.69 ERA in 114 Major League games. He was 0-0 with a 4.76 ERA in eight relief appearances this season for the Indians. I wonder who will go to Cleveland, Justin Lehr? Hope not.
I am glad I can finally say this: The Jeff Weaver Era is Over! For now anyway. The team put the lord of s*ck on the 15 day DL for "right shoulder tendinitis" which I think means "we don’t know what to do with this guy so we will stick him here for a while so he can’t hurt the team anymore." So he’s on the shelf for now and with any luck we can finally cut ties once he "heals."
Now for the grand finale, the big series with the Angels. We come into the series just 2 games behind the Angels for first in the AL west and we got swepped by them in Anaheim a few weeks back so this is a series that this team needs to win. Tonight’s first game is a pitching duel in waiting, Felix vs. Kelvim Escobar who is 4 and 1 on the year with a 2.21 ERA. Cha Seung Baek and Miguel Batista will also pitch in the series. Cross your fingers everyone things are about to get ill.
Ouch! The Mariners and the Red Sox turned a Thursday night make up game into their version of drunken slow pitch. The two clubs combined for 15 runs, 21 hits and 2 errors. The Sox won a game that should have been decided in the top of the first inning.
The performance of Horatio Ramirez last night was unacceptable,***** near Weaver-esque. I haven’t really said much about this guy because he has missed a lot of time due to the weather. However in major league baseball, even in the AL, a five run lead is pretty much money. There is no excuse for losing a lead of that size. Losing a game after being spotted five runs is enough to make any fan ill. Ramirez has had a Jekyl and Weaver kind of season so far, in his two wins he averages 6 innings and 1 earned run, in his losses he averages 4 innings and 6 earned runs. We already shipped out Pinero and Meche because they were inconsistent; we do not need a repeat of that experience; the guy needs to get a consistent handle on the ball. I expect him to considering his ability.
As much as we’d hate to admit it you have to give the Red Sox a tip of the cap for overcoming that deficit, many teams would have quit.
It’s unfortunate to see a great game by Jose Guillen wasted by such a poor performance on the mound. Super Crazy went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Yuni Betancourt also had a good game with 2 hits and a couple of ribbies of his own.
Mike Hargrove was reported to have been insenced over the miffed missed call on Manny Ramirez’s third strike in the 8th. If I were the skipper I would be directing that anger at the pitching that let the Red Sox back in the game. ManRam should not have had a chance to win it last night.
I have a lot of stuff to get done this weekend so y’all may be temporarily Josh-less until Monday. Big weekend series coming up though. A struggling but healing Yankees team welcoming an exhausted M’s team coming off of a tough loss. Tonight will be the left-right- Far East showdown with Cha Seung Baek facing big money Japanese free agent Kei Igawa. We need this game because Hargrove is once again putting Jeff Weaver out there to pitch to A-Rod, Giambi, Cano and the rest of the modern day murderers row. I expect to be way too hungover to even glance at that impending train wreck.
So it looks like my love for tacos is finally revealed by a mistake in word play (some folks had been reading Tacoman as Taco man, I wish I was that clever). I would be lying if I said that I didnt almost kinda sorta know everyone at the Westgate Taco Bell by name once upon a time. That was back in the days when I was doing the Tacoma, Sea-Tac commute in a 78 F-250 with bad brakes and no AC in July.***** thing even overheated and stalled on me on highway 99 one day, bad times. Anyways big weekend coming up, if you can get out to Cheney to catch the Rainiers play Salt Lake do so it’s a good time, I hope to get a game in before Monday.