24-32: Bay Homers Twice, Wilhelmsen Blows Save

Hannah Foslien

Jason Bay hits two home runs, but Tom Wilhelmsen implodes in the 9th and the Mariners suffer their 6th walk-off loss of the season.

After a while, it doesn't really hurt anymore. It just becomes a low, throbbing pain that you have grown accustomed to. Another celebration, another reliever with his head down, another knowing feeling. Walk it off again.

If the Mariners had managed to win only half of the games they've been walked off on, they would be 27-29. If they managed to win them all, they'd be 30-26. Baseball's seasons for teams with marginal talent are often heavily influenced by swing games like this, and even though the Mariners expected W/L is exactly at 24-32, it feels like there's injustice because of the gut punches. Even though the Mariners don't really deserve any more wins, this makes it feel like they do.

When Tom Wilhelmsen's curveball and command are working he's downright dirty, but on this afternoon he was a total shit show. Wilhelmsen couldn't locate anything after he entered trying to protect a 2 run lead and promptly walked the first 3 batters he faced. All it took was two batters to find wood, and the enemy celebration commenced. Wilhelmsen hasn't struck anybody out in a week and has walked five batters during that span (2 1/3 innings). It was evident right away that he didn't have anything today, but Eric Wedge left him out to battle through it, whatever that means. Hooray for clearly defined roles, and hooray for Eric Wedge. Wilhelmsen will get past this, but Wedge needs to have a shorter leash on him than he did tonight until he starts generating swings and misses again. Tom Wilhelmsen had a WPA of -0.9 today. I'd say that will be noted in the meltdown column.

The Mariners continue to try and win games with death by a thousand solo shots. The Mariners are up to 68 home runs, 4th in the American League, but their team OBP is 14th. It goes without saying that these dingers are fun, but the Mariners need more baserunners. I don't need to say this, but I am.

  • Jesus Montero tore his meniscus down in AAA and is expected to miss anywhere from 4-8 weeks after undergoing surgery. Barely catching as it is, it's reasonable to wonder whether Montero will ever put on catcher's gear again, especially for the rest of the season. The injury is a major setback in the Montero reclamation project simply for the lost at-bats. Since the team has to move somebody off the 40-man roster to make room for Bonderman, they could err on the side of caution and move Montero to the 60-day DL. In order to do so, they'd have to shift him to the MLB club in place of Alex Liddi, then stick him on the Major League DL. He'd be the 3rd player on the 60-day DL, joining Josh Kinney and Stephen Pryor. If the Mariners do this, they'll be paying Montero an MLB salary as opposed to a AAA salary during his rehab, so we'll see if that matters to the organization more than it does potentially losing somebody like Lucas Luetge.
  • Jason Bay has 4 home runs in his last 5 games and now has an OPS of .822. The Mariners should be commended for their usage of him this season, as it's allowed him to be productive in his currently protected role. It's not unlike John Jaso's usage last year, and it's paying dividends. The Jason Bay experiment is actually working.
  • The regression for Aaron Harang (and Joe Saunders) continues, as the two of them have allowed only 2 runs in their last two trips through the rotation combined.
  • Tomorrow is Jeremy Bonderman day for the first time since 2010, and the corresponding moves have yet to be announced.
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