(Trayvon Robinson after striking out with the bases loaded to end the game. Photo by Associated Press)
Hector Noesi made his first start for the Mariners tonight since July 4. There may well not be another one, even though he’s listed as the scheduled starter on Sunday against the Rangers. Manager Eric Wedge didn’t exactly give Noesi a ringing vote of confidence, and he wouldn’t commit to another start.
Wedge clearly wasn’t happy with Noesi’s outing, and why should he have been? Noesi got just four outs, and gave up eight hits for seven runs (six earned).
“He just really struggled,” Wedge said. “When he did get ahead, he gave up two-strike hits. It looked like he was in the middle of the plate. You keep hoping to try to squeeze him through, because the last thing you want in the first game of the series is to have to go to the bullpen in the second inning. It makes for a long evening and a long couple of days.
“Our bullpen did a great job all things considered. Hector has to be better than that. It wasn’t a good day at all for him.”
The Mariners had to use four relievers. But what was most troubling to Wedge is that Noesi made the same mistakes that plagued him early in the year.
“You send him down for a reason,” he said. “You’re hoping to see something better than that. When you make mistakes up here and you don’t execute pitches, you get knocked around, and that’s what happened.”
Here’s what Wedge said when asked if Noesi would start Sunday:
“I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s something we’ll have to talk about. Carl (Willis, the pitching coach) and I will sit down and we’ll figure that out. I’m not sure right now.”
I know a lot of you are down on Noesi, and I even heard from people who think the Mariners should release him. I think it’s a little soon to write him off. He’s a young guy with good stuff still learning his way. A lot of guys who turn out to be fine pitchers struggle early in their career before they figure things out. I don’t know if that will be the case for Noesi, but I think it’s too early to close the book on him. That said, I’m not sure there’s anything to gain by letting him start again this season.
“I think I was trying to do too much, to get back so they could see me good,” Noesi said. “I started missing my pitch up…I was just thinking too much. It was on me. It’s nobody’s fault; it was on me.”
Meanwhile, the game was another chance for Chris Tillman and Adam Jones to rub the Erik Bedard trade in the Mariners’ faces. Jones had three hits and scored four runs while raising his career average against the Mariners to .325. Tillman is now 4-0, 0.98 against Seattle in four starters, and 3-0, 0.83 this year. But he said he doesn’t get extra motivated for the Mariners.
“No, not for me personally,” Tillman said. “Every game, you’ve got to go out and give your team the best chance to win the game. It’s nothing different for me facing this team, or whether it be another team. I’m glad it goes that way but, no, it’s nothing personal.”
The Orioles are an amazing story. After 14 years in a row under .500, and six straight years with more than 90 losses, they stand 83-64. They are just one-half game behind the Yankees in the AL West, and currently are in the playoffs as the second wild-card team. They were 69-93 last year.