Aaron Harang gives up his second of seven extra-base hits allowed in just 3 2/3 innings, a two-run homer by Josh Hamilton in the first inning. Photo Credit: AP
Sometimes, as in what happened this past weekend in Cleveland, there isn’t much a coaching staff or front office can do. Players are the ones who play and when they lose games because of walkoff home runs, or dropped balls, or whatever, that falls under the guise of on-field stuff and we all know that stuff happens.
But sometimes, there are things a team can do to help. The back end of this Mariners starting rotation has been a shaky loose link for most of the season with a few points of stability. Tonight wasn’t one of those stable moments. The Mariners lost 12-0 and were down 7-0 by the fourth inning when starting pitcher Aaron Harang gave an extra-base hit clinic — and not from the side you want to be giving one of those.
Nope, he was on the mound, unfortunately. By the time that inning was done, he’d given up a home run, two triples and two doubles — in the same inning.
That’s not the kind of pitching a winning team needs. The Mariners, unfortunately, need better than that every five days. They need it because the bullpen is going to get torched otherwise before the season is even halfway over and this clu’s shot at a winning record will go out the window as well if it keeps punting games at one or more rotation slots.
Thursday is an off-day, so the front office will no longer have the continuity of games as an excuse for inaction.
They can make a switch and bring back Hector Noesi, or promote Jeremy Bonderman. Neither option is really all that thrilling. But neither is the prospect of watching any more of this.
At this stage, Bonderman makes sense because a DFA of Harang would free up the 40-man roster spot needed to add Bonderman to the roster. The Mariners have to make a call on Bonderman by June 1, or he can become a free agent if not added to the big league club.
Noesi isn’t going anywhere. He got hit hard in AAA tonight and can still be added at any time without 40-man roster worries.
“We’ll have to talk about that,’’ Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “You can’t keep putting this kind of heat on the bullpen. You want to give everybody ample opportunity, but having said that, you can’t keep doing what we’re doing and expect to compete.’’
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