Once again, Pineda throws a masterpiece as he shuts down the Padres with a 4 - 0 victory. The Padres were recipients of nine K's on just 3 hits through 7 innings as Pineda cruised all night long. Pineda lowered his ERA again from 2.45 down to 2.16 on the season. Watching Pineda is an exciting thing, it amazes me that he has such a calm demeanor out there on the mound.
Pineda started out throwing 93 in the first inning and left the game in at the end of the seventh throwing his fastball for 96 and striking out the side. David Pauley struck out the side in the 8th inning and Jamey Wright struck out the first batter of the ninth inning for seven straight K's by M's pitchers. Then it got interesting.
Jamey Wright gave up a one out single and a walk before getting a strikeout and a pop-out to end the game. The shutout intact, yet again the M's pitching staff finishes the day with an interesting ninth inning but only allowing four hits on the night. The Mariners have only allowed 27 hits in their past 6 games. An average of 4.5 per game with an ERA of 0.33. Masterful!!!
Pineda at the plate looked like something out of a horror movie standing about three feet taller than the umpire and a foot or so above the catcher. His first swing probably put a bit of fear into the pitcher. Clayton Richard watched Pineda's first swing as he almost came out of his shoes and when Pineda finally did connect it dribbled out in front of the mound and Richard couldn't make a play on it. Pineda was safe at first base on an error. It was definitely a sight to see. I can't wait to see him really get a hold of one though. I would be scared to pitch to him.
The top of the order continues to struggle, although Ichiro got one single and Smoak got a double, Ichiro and Figgins failed miserably when runners were in scoring position. Most of tonights production came from Mike Wilson who hasn't played in a week. He hit an RBI single in the second and his next trip to the plate he knocked an RBI double into the gap. He had a great night and one that makes me wish I could see him play everyday. DH position maybe??? Just a thought.
The bottom of the order produced like mad once again. Aside from Mike Wilson, Brendan Ryan got a single and a walk, scoring twice and terrorizing the base paths. Jack Wilson went 2 for 3 with a RBI and a run scored and Adam Kennedy came in as a pinch hitter for Pauley in the ninth and hit a double. Franklin Gutierrez got his first hit of the year and scored a run for the team as well.
Good offense always compliments great pitching, I could get used to this. After tonights loss to the Phillies it puts the Rangers in a tie for first with the Angels pending their outcome and brings us within a game and a half of first place. Just when you thought the M's didn't have a chance, we're reminded, we're in the wild, wild west.
Let's GO MARINERS!!!!