- We've got things to catch up on. No doubt you already know about the flurry of roster moves after last night's extra inning loss. But, if you missed it, the team demoted Danny Farquhar, re-called Roenis Elias and Logan Kensing, and, most headline worthy, DFA'd Fernando Rodney. Fernando's time as a Mariner will go down infamously for many. The lasting memories tend to be the last memories and, well, Rodney's final memories will be a series of high leverage walks, hits, home runs, and a weird ass trip to the woods.
We'll never really know how this season would have gone had the Fernando Rodney of this year been closer to the Fernando Rodney of last year. We don't know how much his months of pitch tipping contributed to his failings. All we know is he was bad. Impossibly, impossibly bad. That's enough, and yet nothing at all. Farewell, Fernando.
- Today saw the Mariner debut of Logan Kensing. Kensing has been in professional baseball since 2003, had made 167 appearances in the big leagues prior to today, I am a baseball blogger and I have never heard of Logan Kensing. This isn't an attempt to trivialize Logan Kensing. I wouldn't have mentioned this at all accept that when Logan Kensing was called in to pitch with two outs in the 6th inning and the Mariners leading 7-4 the people in the Mariner bullpen were effusive toward Kensing. For a guy who's pitched so much in the majors before this struck me as unusual so I did the most basic of researches and found this:
From 2003-2008 Logan Kensing appeared in 102 games for the Florida Marlins. That's 6 years to get used Major League living, quality of life, income, and so on. After the 2009 season he was released by Washington, reported to Spring with Tampa Bay in 2010 and had not one but two elbow surgeries, ending his season. From that point until now Kensing has been with the Yankees, Pirates and Rockies before signing with Seattle January of 2014. In all that time he made one appearance in MLB, June 19th, 2013.
Today, he made it back. The 4th pitch he threw got hit for a 2-run home run by Adam LaRoche. Then he struck Alexei Ramirez out on a slider. He got one more out before being lifted. It was, overall, a mediocre display. But I imagine that wherever he goes to sleep tonight Logan Kensing will feel like he won. He won't be wrong.
- Taijuan Walker started out ok, then pitched really great for 4 innings, and then got really bad. His overall line: 5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 K, 0 BB looks worse than Walker probably pitched. The White Sox bunched up all their damage against Walker in 2 innings, the 1 and 6th. Perhaps most notable was Walker allowing his first home run off a curveball all year. The curveball was bad and the hitter was good. For the day Walker's stuff still erases the majority of his command's mistakes. Watching him pitch the last 3 months has been one of the season's few bright spots.
- In the 6th inning with two on and no out Brad Miller faced Matt Albers. Now Brad Miller has a 127 wRC+ against RHP this year, it was, again, the 6th inning, and the Mariners were in fact ahead 7-6. Brad Miller was told to bunt. He failed and the Mariners didn't score.
I don't have analysis of this because you, an internet baseball reader in 2015, know why this was a very bad idea. I wish the Mariner's manager did too.
- With Carson Smith playing the role of set up man today to "take the pressure off", Tom Wilhelmsen was thrust into the closer role of an 8-6 game. Now, I doubt I'm in the minority when I say that I will always have a soft spot for Tom Wilhelmsen. The back story, the fun-loving personality, the huge curveball, this:
Tom Wilhelmsen is in his 5th season with the Mariners. He has been an effective long-man, set up man, closer, and an ineffective version of all those things as well. He's been sent down to the minors, he's been hurt, the whole gamut. Tonight Wilhelmsen worked a quick and efficient 9th inning, setting down the White Sox in order. His fastball topped out at 98 (!) miles an hour, his changeup got a strikeout and Chicago hitters looked far from comfortable.
The Mariner bullpen is an absolute disaster at present. The team is going to spend the last 6 weeks of this season with, at most, 3 major league quality arms in it. We are going to be slogging, friends. Even more than we have already slogged. With Wilhelmsen arbitration eligible after this season there's a chance that the lovable right-hander is finishing his final days as a Mariner. If that's the case than there are worse story lines to watch than him potentially finishing the year strong as the team's closer.
- Thanks for bearing with us through a light weekend. With staff traveling, meeting, drinking, etc. we've been scrambling around the past 3 days. Back to a normally scheduled series of tearful laments tomorrow.