Dan Haren went to the mound to face the Mariners with a 1 and 5 record on the year and carrying a 4.37 ERA. Today, he looked like the future American League Cy Young Award winner and made the Mariners look absolutely pathetic at the plate as they went down 14 times via the strikeout. This isn't anything new for the Mariners as they seem to be the team to help opposing pitchers get back on track. If you remember a Philip Humber you would know what I mean. Haren is obviously a great pitcher, but he has struggled this year up until today.
Our offense led a huge hand to Haren as they kept on going after the slider that was consistently low and away. Alex Liddi, the biggest culprit, struck out 4 times today and every Mariner hitter struck out at least once today with the exception of Dustin Ackley.
Ackley had one of the M's 4 hits today along with Ichiro Suzuki, Michael Saunders and Brendan Ryan. Overall, it was one of the most pathetic games the team has had offensively.
The Mariners had an opportunity to score a run in the 7th when Ichiro led off the inning with a double and went to third on a Kyle Seager ground ball. Jesus Montero blew the opportunity with one of his two K's on the day and then Mike Carp finished off the inning by striking out looking. The curse still seems to be alive and well. M's still cannot score when runners are in scoring position. They had Saunders at 2nd with one out in the 6th inning and failed to advance him any further as well.
In watching the Eric Wedge interview after the game, you could tell he was irritated. He stated that the guys needed to be better than that and they needed to adjust to Haren throughout the game and that nobody adjusted. "They just kept doing the same thing"; Wedge said. Jason Vargas seemed a bit irritated himself. After throwing 7 innings and only giving up 3 runs he did make a comment that showed he was irritated by more than just his own game. Vargas said that the Angels could have won the game if he only allowed 1 run. A statement that is 100 percent true, but wasn't a statement about the effectiveness of Haren's pitching.
The M's have a total of just 8 hits in their last two games. Not a sign of turning the corner offensively. They still have no offensive threat in their lineup and are now in last place in the division. The Angels are only going to get better and today, we let them pass us up.
Tomorrow's another day and we can gain that 3rd place spot right back, but even more, we can take the Angels in this 4 game series and continue to win series after series. Do I expect that? Not totally, but it's baseball, and you never know what will happen. So, with that being said, we'll see you tomorrow, rooting on our team through the thick and thin.