The Game of Throws T-shirt designed by Bremerton’s Eric Wahlquist was voted the winner of a Mariners’ contest. The first 5,000 fans to Tuesday’s game against Boston receives one.
Seattle All-Star pitchers Felix Hernandez and Hiashi Iwakuma are featured on the T-shirt. Ten were for sale on Ebay ($14.99 each). Oops, only eight are left.
All Stars: Puig? Ibanez? Why not?
There’s been a lot of debating about whether Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ wonder kid, belongs in the All-Star game. The fans didn’t vote the outfielder in as a starter, and he didn’t make it as a sub either, but he’s on the list of five NL players competing in the “Final Vote” for the last berth on the team. He should easily win. Who doesn’t want to see this kid from Cuba who hit .436 with 44 hits and and a .713 slugging percentage in his first month? Dude’s 22. Send him to New York and give him an at-bat.
What’s Yasiel Puig have to do with the Mariners? Northing, except the M’s have a 41-year-old dude who has that little white baseball looking like a watermelon right now when he takes a swing at it. You might have heard of him. Raaauuuuuuuul Ibanez. You could argue that he was just as hot as Puig during the month of June. Ibanez had 10 HRs and 22 RBIs last month. Those are Barry Bonds-like numbers. OK, his average isn’t great (.257 through Sunday), but after hitting another home run on Monday, he’s up to 22 bombs (5th in the AL) and 51 RBIs. He’s had eight home runs in his last 12 games. He’s had at least one hit in all 12 of those games. Send Raul to New York and give him an at-bat, too. If Puig belongs, Raul certainly measures up.
Just the numbers
Prior to Monday’s game against Boston, Seattle ranked 6th in the majors in home runs with 104, but only 28th out of 30 teams in runs scored (325). Last time I looked, scoring runs is the stat that really matters. Miami (284) and the Chicago White Sox (314) rank No. 30 and No. 29 in runs scored.
St. Louis (22) and Arizona (28) are the only teams with fewer stolen bases than the Mariners (30).
Seattle was hitting .235, ahead of only Houston (.234), NY Mets (.234) and Miami (.231).
Kyle Seager leads the M’s with a .286 average, which ranks No. 52 in the league. Kendrys Morales ranks No. 65 and is hitting .272 (remember, this was through Sunday). Nick Franklin (.284) didn’t have enough at-bats yet to qualify.
What’s it all mean? The M’s are too dependent on the long ball, but they’ve been better over the last month. In the last 30 games, the M’s have four of the top-100 average hitters in baseball: No. 60 Ibanez (287, 11 homers), No. 75 Franklin (.277, 7 homers), No. 84 Endy Chavez (.275) and No. 90 Seager (.269, 5 homers). Not earth-shaking numbers, but at least the M’s aren’t relying on Seager and Morales and the incredibly-hot Ibanez to carry the load. And Justin Smoak’s starting to do his part, which shouldn’t be overlooked. Smoak’s production could be key going forward for this franchise.
With the arrival of Franklin, shortstop Brad Miller and catcher Mike Zunino, the product on the field is at least more entertaining than the one the club was running out there earlier. And now that they’ve won five of seven against the Rangers, Reds and the AL-best Red Sox, there might be reason to believe that the Mariners just might … ah, never mind. I’m not even going there.