(Charlie Furbush reacts after giving up three runs to the Rays in the third inning on Saturday. Photo by Associated Press).
You know it’s been a rough night when just about the only thing positive for Eric Wedge to talk about was the fact that starter Charlie Furbush “dug deep” and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning.
“Those are the types of things you look for in a young pitcher in those types of situations,” Wedge said.
Of course, Furbush had already been punished by the Rays, who touched him for eight hits and five runs in three innings. He didn’t look anything like the guy who had shut down the Red Sox last time out.
“Very different, obviously, than his last outing,” Wedge said. “I don’t feel he did the same job with his fastball, and his secondary stuff was up a little bit, particularly his curve ball. He was leaving it up and over a little bit.
“They did a good job with him, too. They took what he gave them. They didn’t try to do too much with it. They were wearing him out back up the middle. He threw a lot of pitches in those three innings.”
Furbush said pretty much the same thing. He is now 0-4 with a 9.13 ERA in four career starts on the road.
“I just wasn’t throwing good enough pitches, leaving the ball up in the zone, and I just wasn’t executing. Physically, I felt fine. No different than last start. I just wasn’t getting the pitches where I needed to today…I was throwing strikes. I just wasn’t throwing good enough strikes. That’s how it went today.”
“Sometimes it’s hard to take any positives from a game like this, but you have to look back at the good things you did, and take those in, and take the things you didn’t do well and work on those in your next start.”
If Jeremy Hellickson wins the American League Rookie of the Year — and he’ s a top contender, along with Michael Pineda, who starts Sunday against Tampa Bay, and Mark Trumbo of the Angels — he can thank the Mariners for their help. Hellickson is now 11-8 with a 3.04 ERA overall, and 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA in three starts against the Mariners. He has held them to a .177 average. Hellickson blanked them for eight innings tonight on six hits.
The Rays are moving in the right direction. They have won four in a row, and nine of 11, to creep within eight games of the first-place Yankees in the AL East. They are 7 1/2 behind the Red Sox for the wild card. They think they can make it interesting, and I think they might be right. There’s a lot to like about this team, particularly with Evan Longoria starting to heat up. Longoria jumped all over a 3-0 pitch from Furbush in the first inning for his 20th homer. Eddie Mathews, a Hall of Famer, is the only other third baseman in history to have 20 or more homers in their first four seasons.
The Mariners, on the other hand, have lost four in a row. They got shut out for the 11th time this season (only Oakland, with 12, has been blanked more. The Rays have also been shut out 11 times).
The M’s played eight rookies tonight for the third time in the last seven days. Four pitched, and four played in the field (and four more stayed on the bench). With 12 rookies on the roster, it’s bound to be an up and down ride the rest of the way.
Tonight was down, way down.
(Luis Rodriguez is day to day with a bruised right elbow. The M’s are hoping Brendan Ryan can play on Sunday, but even though he was activated, he’s still not 100 percent. “I’m anxious to get him back in there, but he has to be able to perform, too,” Wedge said.)