Category: Gold Nuggets

Gold Nuggets – Welcome to the Sunshine State

Erasmo Ramirez takes his 3-0 record to the mound tonight vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.

Erasmo Ramirez takes his 3-0 record to the mound vs. the Rays.

Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. Today Aaron looks ahead to the series starting tonight vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, and gives a little weather report about the humidity in St. Petersburg .

It took less than a full second after stepping off the plane Monday night to realize we weren’t in Seattle anymore. With humidity thicker than fog and temperatures in the low 90s, the Mariners are most certainly in Tampa to start a three-game series against the second-place Rays.
In terms of opponents’ wins and losses, this nine-game, three-city road trip couldn’t be much more daunting. Tampa Bay, Texas, and Oakland are a combined 52 games over .500 with the A’s and Rays currently holding the top two Wild Card spots. Despite Tampa Bay’s current five game losing skid, they’re still just three games behind Boston in the East.
  • 22-year-old Erasmo Ramirez will make his fifth start of the year tonight — his first since August 3 at Baltimore. The righty has allowed an average of 4.5 runs/game as a starter this year but is 3-0 thanks to receiving a team-best 6.25 runs of support per start.
  • Ramirez will square off against the reigning AL Pitcher of the Month, Chris Archer. With a pair of complete game shutouts against the Astros and Yankees, coupled with a 0.79 ERA for the month, Archer seemed fairly deserving of the award. He features a 95 mph fastball and a dirty slider that’s holding opponents to a .115 average. He’s allowed two extra-base hits to right-handed hitters in 13 starts. Finally, he’s also an avid reader.
  • With 48 days until the post-season, the Rays have 46 games left to play.
  • Happy Birthday to Mariners pitching prospect Taijuan Walker (turns 21) and Mariners Hall of Famer Jay Buhner.
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Gold Nuggets – Happy Felix Day

Felix Hernandez goes for his 12th win tonight vs. the Blue Jays.

Felix Hernandez goes for his 12th win tonight vs. the Blue Jays.

Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. Today he looks back at last night’s tough loss vs. the Blue Jays, the return of Hisashi Iwakuma and King Felix.

Monday night’s series opener against Toronto went about as well as John Gibbons and the Blue Jays could have hoped for. They survived Hisashi Iwakuma’s fifth-straight quality start, received a clutch pinch hit from 38-year-old Mark DeRosa, and  R.A. Dickey had his knuckleball dancing for nearly eight full innings.

Although Game 1 went down as a loss for Iwakuma (his first since July 4 at Texas), it’s starting to feel like he’s moved beyond his only problem all season: the long ball. Only the Orioles have blasted more homers than the Jays all season and Iwakuma kept them in the yard all night. Hisashi has not surrendered a home run since Mark Trumbo on July 14 (four starts, 28.0 innings).

  • #HappyFelixDay. The King has been especially Cy Young-like over his last four starts where he’s 2-0, 0.60 ERA (2 ER, 30.0 IP). Watching Felix this year is all the evidence needed for why wins on a pitcher’s stat line is nothing more than a pat on the back. He has back-to-back no-decisions despite holding the Twins and Red Sox to two runs over 15.0 innings.
  • Justin Smoak since May 1 is .292/.393/.505.
  • With Smoak’s homer Tuesday off Dickey, the M’s and Jays are tied with 138 home runs (only Baltimore has more with 149).
  • Since the Blue Jays are in town, here’s your token Munenori Kawasaki video. The Jays were 37-33 in Energy Boy’s 70 games this season. He was the starting shortstop for Toronto’s 11-game winning streak earlier this year.

Gold Nuggets – The Rise of Danny Farquhar

Danny Farquhar has recorded saves in each of the last two Mariners wins.

Danny Farquhar has recorded saves in each of the last two Mariners wins.

Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. Today he looks at the recent impressive outings by right-handed reliever Danny Farquhar.

After Danny Farquhar worked a season-high three scoreless innings on July 31 at Fenway park, pitching coach Carl Willis said the development of the right-hander’s curveball “raises his ceiling” and will “allow him to pitch more meaningful innings.” It was only three days later that Farquhar collected his first Major League save, and then racked up his second the very next afternoon.

Since going through a rough four-game stretch from July 6-19 (3.1 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 18.90 ERA), the 5-foot-9 Farquhar has given up only two hits over his last 11 2/3 scoreless innings spanning seven outings while walking four and fanning 18 batters.

Talking with Danny after his appearance against the Red Sox, he said that his cutter is still his best pitch. However, he was also quick to point out that adding his 12-6 curveball to his mix more often helps change hitters’ eye levels and thus plays off his cut and four-seam fastball well.

For as impressive as Farquhar was Sunday, retiring the three final hitters on nine pitches, the efforts of Yoervis Medina shouldn’t be lost. His slider was as filthy as we’ve seen it this year, and he looked awfully calm sitting down Manny Machado, Adam Jones, and Chris Davis in order in the seventh inning. The six batters he retired over two innings have a combined 98 home runs this season.

Mariners Update – July 3 (Goldsmith Edition)

Mariners radio broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith checks in with a notes-filled update from Arlington, Texas after last night’s 9-2 win over the Rangers…

Tuesday night started a six-game road trip against two clubs that were a combined 25 games over .500, while the Mariners, at 35-47, were 12 games behind the break-even mark. Add to that a recent series loss to the hapless Cubs, a Rangers team that had won 10 of its last 13, and a Mariners starting pitcher with the most regular season losses in Rangers Ballpark history without a victory (0-7, 9.91 ERA).

The Mariners threw all of that to the Texas wind and thumped the first-place Rangers 9-2 in front of a crowd of nearly 40,000. It marked the most runs the M’s had scored in Arlington since a 21-8 thumping on May 30, 2012 and the first win in Texas in 2013.

Raul Ibanez became the oldest player in baseball history to record 20 home runs prior to the All-Star break.

Raul Ibanez became the oldest player in baseball history to record 20 home runs prior to the All-Star break.

  • With his first-inning home run, Raul Ibanez became the first player dating back to 1916 to record 20 home runs before the All-Star break in an age 40-or-older season. He now has the 6th most homers in MLB history in a 41-or-older season, passing Stan Musial. With 21 home runs, Dave Winfield is next on the list.
  • After back-to-back blasts from Ibanez and Kendrys Morales Tuesday night, the Mariners have gone back-to-back five times this season. Ibanez has clubbed the first homer in four-of-five occasions.
  • I had heard some rumblings through the blogosphere that Brad Miller was rough around the edges defensively at shortstop. While four games doesn’t make a career, he’s looked sharp at short so far and helped turn four double plays Tuesday night. His arm has looked strong, his range has been good, and he seems to be lining up in the right spots (tip of the cap the bench coach Robby Thompson and Brendan Ryan).
  • It really struck me last night that there almost can’t be a Major League team younger up the middle than the Mariners. Miller is the old man of the group at 23, while Nick Franklin and Mike Zunino check in at 22. (Franklin’s beard is well ahead of his years, though.) The trio has played a combined 50 games in the Majors.

King Felix and the M’s face lefty Derek Holland Wednesday night in Game 2. The “Dutch Oven” has an improved slider in 2013 which has accounted for 70% of his 97 strikeouts, compared to 31% last season. Holland is 8-2, 3.39 ERA lifetime against the M’s, but last night should’ve taught us something about that, and the last time he faced the Mariners in Texas he allowed 8 runs in 1.2 innings.

Here is a fun note from the Elias Sports Bureau:

Ibanez_Elias

 

Mariners Update – June 20

Gold Nuggets:
I think it’s now safe to delete the phrase “Safeco Joe” from our vocabulary. Following his eight strong innings Wednesday night in Anaheim, Joe Saunders has a 1.23 ERA (3 ER, 22.0 IP) over his last three road starts in San Diego, Oakland, and Anaheim. An Angels offense that outscored the Mariners 30-4 over the first three games played this season in Anaheim, has suddenly been able to plate only three runs over the last two games.

For as futile as the Halos were against Jeremy Bonderman and Saunders the past two nights, the Mariners have had their share of challenges with Angels starters Joe Blanton and C.J. Wilson. Don’t let Blanton’s 1-10 record fool you. Yes, he’s given up a ton of hits this year (a Major League high 117), but his performance Tuesday night against the Mariners was his seventh quality start in 14 outings.

Wilson, meanwhile, has had the Mariners number. In three starts this year against the M’s, the man with a lifetime supply of Head & Shoulders is 3-0, 1.77 ERA (4 ER/22.0 IP) with 22 strikeouts. He’s the only pitcher this year to collect three wins against Seattle, and is 8-1 with a 2.00 ERA over his last 10 starts vs. the Mariners (since the start of 2011).

When this series is over, what I might remember most is the defensive play of Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos. These two centaurs have made so many crashing/leaping catches over the last three nights that I’ve honestly started losing track. While we haven’t seen them rob a home run, they’ve certainly stolen plenty of extra bases — and at some big times, too – like this catch by Trout up against the wall in left field on a Mike Zunino drive with the tying and go-ahead runners on base last night.

QUICK HITS

  • Trout, who scored the lone run of the game Wednesday night on a wild pitch, has reached base 17 times over the last (I trust you’re already sitting down) five games. The Angels are a mortal 9-26 when he doesn’t score a run.
  • Dustin Ackley is hitting .400 with 34 hits in 20 games with Tacoma.
  • Ramon Morla hit a 3-run home run in his Double-A debut with the Jackson Generals yesterday.
  • DJ Peterson, the Mariners No. 1 draft pick (12th overall) in the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft, made his pro debut for the Everett AquaSox last night and went 0-for-3 with a walk.
  • The CG by Joe Saunders last night was his second of the season, tying Aaron Harang for the team lead…it was the first CG loss by a Mariners starter since current Angel Jason Vargas on Aug. 6, 2012 at Baltimore.
  • In two career starts vs. his former team, Joe Saunders is 0-2 with a 1.93 ERA…and has not received any run support in losses by scores of 2-0 (6/16/12 – ARI at LAA) and 1-0 (last night). Saunders was the Angels first round draft pick (12th overall) in the 2002 June Draft.
  • The Rangers topped the first-place A’s 9-5 Wednesday night in Arlington. Justin Grimm earned the win and became the first Rangers starting pitcher to collect a win since Derek Holland on May 31 against Kansas City.
  • A win tonight against the Angles and the Mariners finish the road trip 4-3 with a series win against the division’s first place team. Happy Felix Day. Here is a statistical preview of tonight’s matchups (Felix Hernandez vs. Tommy Hanson).

QUOTABLE:
“Everything. What’s not to like? He’s been a shot in the arm. Nothing fazes him.” This is what bench coach Robby Thompson told Aaron Goldsmith when asked what he’s liked so far about rookie second baseman Nick Franklin.

PHOTO OF THE DAY:

Mariners first round pick DJ Peterson made his pro debut with Everett last night. (Shari Sommerfeld)

DJ Peterson made his pro debut with Everett last night. (Shari Sommerfeld)

Gold Nuggets – Harang’s 2-Hit Shutout

Aaron Harang threw a 2-hit shutout last night vs. the Astros. (Getty Images)

Aaron Harang threw a 2-hit shutout last night vs. the Astros. (Getty Images)

Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. In this installment Aaron shares some interesting tidbits about the CG 2-hit shutout by Aaron Harang last night vs. the Astros.

I was just finishing up my dinner last night at Safeco Field when the word reached our table that Kendrys Morales was a late scratch from the lineup due to some back soreness. While I didn’t exactly drop my plastic fork mid-bite, I did wonder what the Mariners offense might look like without the threat of Morales.

Well, as it turned out, the M’s were just fine without Kendrys last night. Yes, the Astros offense has struggled at times this year, but few might have predicted that Aaron Harang would deal his second complete game shutout of the season like he did.

Here are some notes from last night and looking forward to the upcoming road trip.

  • At 35 years and 33 days old, Harang became the 5th-oldest pitcher since 1916 to have a shutout with no more than two hits allowed, at least 10 K’s and no walks. Randy Johnson, at 40 years and 251 days old on May 18, 2004, was the oldest.
  • Harang’s 10 strikeouts set a new season-high and marked the 12th time in his career he racked up 10 or more punch outs in a game (last time: April 13, 2012 vs. SD).
  • Get this…in the history of the Mariners, there have only been two pitching performances that featured a shutout allowing 2 or fewer hits, 10 or more strikeouts with zero walks. The Felix Hernandez Perfect Game and Aaron Harang last night. Wow!
  • The Astros never had an at-bat with a runner in scoring position. Harang worked with a runner at first base only three times.
  • Two of Harang’s three wins this season have come on complete game shutouts.
  • Raul (So Cool) Ibanez clubbed his team-leading 13th home run of the year. Ibanez also homered the night before, making it the fourth time this season he has homered in back-to-back games. Here is some great info on Ibanez and his HR hitting prowess as a 41-year-old courtesy of Gary Hill.
  • Every baseball fan should love watching Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. He saw his career-high 11-game hitting streak end last night. In the 8th inning Monday night, Altuve connected on his 300th career hit in what was his 263rd career game. It took Lance Berkman 288 games to reach hit No. 300.
  • A quick look around the A.L. West tells you that it’s the Rangers and A’s…and everyone else. The Mariners now hold a 1.5 game lead over the Angels for third place in the division, 10 games outside of Texas and Oakland.
  • With the upcoming seven-game trip to Oakland and Anaheim, the Mariners have a chance to gain a little ground, but it won’t be easy. The A’s are killing it right now. At 39-17, Oakland has its best record after 66 games since 1992. The Angels, meanwhile, have lost four straight but just got center fielder Peter Bourjos back. All he did Tuesday night was this.

The Mariners have a chance for their first series sweep of 2013 tonight in the finale with the Astros. Hope you can join Rick, me, and Mike Zunino for the first pitch at 7:10.

Blake Beavan threw 6.2 scoreless innings of relief vs. the Yankees.

Blake Beavan threw 6.2 scoreless innings of relief vs. the Yankees.

Throughout the season, Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith will provide content on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Mariners players and organization. In this installment Aaron writes about the sterling relief performance by Blake Beavan last night vs. the Yankees.

If Blake Beavan had started Thursday night’s game against the Yankees — instead of appearing in long relief as he did — it would have been by far his best start of 2013. Beavan was called up prior to the game from Triple-A Tacoma to be the Mariners “long man” out of the bullpen and, wouldn’t you know it, was needed immediately.

“In Tacoma, I got back to the pitcher that I was when I was having success,” Beavan told me prior to the game from the Mariners clubhouse. “I was attacking hitters, using my fastball, and getting ahead.”

Beavan certainly pitched with a nice pace Thursday night against the Yankees, allowing just one hit over six and two-thirds scoreless innings. He joined John Montague (1977) as the only other Mariner reliever to face the minimum 20 batters over over six and two-thirds frames. He also became the first reliever since Jake Westbrook (Indians) on July 19, 2004 vs. Detroit to face the minimum amount of batters in a relief outing of at least six and two-thirds innings (7.0 IP, 21 batters faced).

Beavan recorded half of his outs on ground balls, which is a good sign that he’s back on track.

“When I’m on, I’m getting a lot of outs with my sinker. Everything works off my two-seam fastball.”

One thing I’ll be interested to talk to Blake about later today is how frequently he started a batter off with a first pitch breaking ball. He throws a nice slider and works in a 12-6 curveball, but it was odd to me that he didn’t start more batters off with a fastball seeing how he got away from his fastball prior to being sent down. Now, all that said, what he did against the Yankees was obviously effective, but it was still a little surprising.

Beavan is a quality guy to have in the clubhouse and looked awfully sharp Thursday night. Hopefully this is a sign of more good things to come.

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