Walter White: Endy Chavez (+.158)
Gus Fring: Hisashi Iwakuma (-.324)
The Mariners can't close one of these series out. Today marks the third W/W/L three game series of the month (CHX and HOU), but this was the most improbable slip of all. Hisashi Iwakuma allowed four runs and barely got through 5 innings before being yanked, giving up more than 3 earned runs for only the 2nd time all season. His ERA balloons (aren't there other things that inflate?) to 2.06.
Sometimes (read: many times) the Mariners play one of these weekend disasters you just choose to forget, especially if you were fortunate enough to spend the day outside with family, or doing anything else than watching this implosion. Depending on how much the father in the equation enjoys baseball, you might have spent the afternoon watching this game at a Red Robin or a Cheesecake Factory, or at least until Beavan imploded and you asked for the check.
Spend this Father's Day watching tonight's 1995 ALDS game 5 replay instead. It's a much happier ending (SPOILER), and you can pretend this afternoon didn't happen. Only retain memories from one baseball game today.
This wasn't what the Mariners had in mind for Tom Wilhelmsen. It seems like an easy solution, take struggling closer away from stressful role, place him in mostly-decided game and let him find his stuff back, repeat two or three times, closer fixed. Not so much. Instead, the Mariners put Wilhelmsen in with runners on, and he coughed up a single and walked a guy home (on a pitch that wasn't even close) before getting the two final outs of the inning. It seemed like a weird way to get him back into the swing of things, as he usually enters the game in the 9th with a clean set of bases. Any way you look at it, Tom Wilhelmsen isn't right yet, and this didn't really help - even though the runs he allowed won't show on his ERA, as a closer it's still his job to prevent them from scoring if he's trying to get into the right mindset.
The Mariners take off for Anaheim tomorrow and get to play four consecutive 7:05 games, starting with Jason Vargas tomorrow. There's a sudden rush of depression after you realize the next three pitchers are Harang, Bonderman, and Saunders. Those pitchers have strung together some good performances lately, but what excitement is there in seeing pitchers that are only around on one year deals? Watching this team trot out an entire batch of rentals as their chances of contention slip from "well maybe" to "shut up idiot" is getting frustrating. It's nothing against these guys, but there needs to be a point sooner than later where the M's not only try to get better, but give their pitchers with an actual future here their cracks. Erasmo, please.
- Endy Chavez is having a weird year. He's got a nice batting average (.293) but his OBP is about the same (.305) and his power is minimal. His fielding has been close to average (-1.3 UZR), and he's right about replacement level (-0.1 WAR). Still, it seems like Endy Chavez has been more valuable to this team than he really has, and maybe that's a reflection on how dreadful Michael Saunders has been and how Franklin Gutierrez has been a fart in the wind. Endy Chavez isn't any good, but sometimes a replacement level player seems plenty valuable when faced with the alternatives.
- John Jaso reached base 4 times tonight, and his OPS is up to .730. John Jaso has replaced his raggedy beard with luscious long hair. I miss John Jaso, and that's not any commentary on the trade.
- Nick Franklin made a ridiculous play at 2nd base in a mostly meaningless 8th, and screamed while shaking his hand afterwards. (see .gif above) While its not really fair to compare a shortstop's arm to Dustin Ackley's, the difference is insane. Franklin demanded to stay in the game, so hope it doesn't mean much. Franklin's got a little 'tude to him, and it's fun to watch. He seems to demand and expect a lot from himself on the diamond, and other unsubstantiated narratives. Wheeeeeeee!
1. What is the worst Father's Day gift you ever received or gave?
2. Did you remember about tonight's ALDS game 5 replay? Are you planning on watching it or recording it?
3. What are some other memorable Mariners games you would like to see ROOT replay if this series continues on?