May 22, 2013 at 3:57 PM
Game thread: Angels 7, Mariners 1, bottom 8th
Brendan Ryan finally got the Mariners on the board against C.J. Wilson in the eighth inning, ending a streak of 16 innings without a run by his squad. Ryan reached base on a walk, stole second, then took third when the throw bounced into the outfield.
Ryan wound up scoring on a groundout by Michael Saunders, so it’s now a 7-1 game. Michael Morse later reached on a single and Kendrys Morales doubled with two out. But Justin Smoak swung and missed at a full-count offering down in the zone and that was it.
Hope the Mariners have the jet warm because they need to fly off and hide someplace. They might decide to leave Brandon Maurer right here in his hometown. He gave up a third inning run and now trails 7-0. Maurer tonight has allowed 11 hits, walked a pair and uncorked two wild pitches — in just three innings.
At this rate, Aaron Harang might still be on the team come Friday.
5:09 p.m.: Mike Trout hit a one-out triple and scored on a single to center by Albert Pujols to make it a 6-0 game. Mariners are in all likelihood going to stumble home 2-7 after starting the trip 2-1. The heat will be on GM Jack Zduriencik tomorrow to get some moves done. Problem is, the time for significant moves is in the off-season, not the month of May.
4:46 p.m.: Once again, the Mariners just are not getting adequate starting work from the back end of their rotation. One can argue that Brandon Maurer didn’t catch a break on that blooper that fell between center fielder Michael Saunders and second baseman Dustin Ackley.
But the bottom line is, Maurer allowed the first five batters of the game to reach base and also uncorked a wild pitch. He had a chance to get out of the inning only two runs down but a double to the gap in right center by Alberto Callaspo doubled the score and then a Hank Conger single made it 5-0 after one.
It’s tough for the offense to get going when the starting pitchers don’t keep them in the game beyond even one inning. Maurer has had his moments this year, but he’s also had outings where he’s looked every bit a pitcher who should be learning his craft in Class AAA.
If the Mariners want anybody to take them seriously beyond June 1, they are going to have to start finding more major league pieces to patch up some areas of concern that have been there since Opening Day and gone neglected. Not just on the mound, either. The team has gotten by for a while with stuff it was fortunate not to get burned by. But this rotation, the way it’s designed, is now hurting the team big time. Something will have to be done about it tomorrow. The Aaron Harang DFA will be an obvious move. Not sure the team has a move to make with Maurer. But you can only carry one fifth starter per team. This club has carried two — and sometimes three when it’s on the road — all season so far.
3:57 p.m.: The Mariners enter this afternoon’s road trip finale having dropped five in a row to turn what once looked like a promising trip into a 2-6 nightmare. Brandon Maurer will try to snap the skid today, pitching for the first time in the hometown area where he grew up.
When I spoke to Maurer yesterday, he told me he’d purchased 32 tickets for family and friends. I asked whether he’d been getting calls from folks coming out of the woodwork that he hadn’t heard from in years and he replied that this was indeed the case.
“I told some of them they should uy their own tickets,” he said.