Things are just not looking good. I was planning on settling down and writing some game recap posts during our two-game implosion in Los Angeles, but…it was a two-game implosion, what else is there really to say? I suffered through both of them, even though I really didn’t want to, especially as both games had the Angels up by like five runs within the first two innings. I couldn’t feel any worse for Aaron Harang or Brandon Maurer if I tried; they got pelted fair and square, and helped seal our fate at 6.5 games out of first place. I haven’t found a whole lot of love for Harange just yet, but I had hoped for big things from Maurer since he made the team out of spring. His 2-6 record makes me cry giant mental tears. Seems like all I have left to do here is deal with June and see if he turns around after the All-Star Break, because as we all “know”, that is something that is supposed to happen. I’m still pulling for both of them, though, because that is what I do.
It looks like Jesus Montero may very well be sent down to Tacoma in exchange for another guy named Jesus. This is one of those can’t-really-lose moves that could pan out well or could totally tank. It seems like there was a point in time where I had more faith in the Triple A guys, but I think my inability to absorb the same amount of news and information I had time for when I wasn’t working is hampering my ability to really know for sure what this move might mean for the Mariners. Obviously, Mike Zunino isn’t ready, but hopefully he’ll make an appearance up here in September. Jesus Sucre’s .253 average and 42.4% throwing out of basestealers is a positive sign. Maybe not so much the BA, but I’m willing to give a catcher a chance. Kelly Shoppach and his .229 average (pulls hair out) can’t handle this all by himself.
It doesn’t seem to me, however, like Montero should be the sole flower picked out of the garden for the team’s recent failures. Now that AL pitchers can see that pitching inside to Mike Morse is a great idea, Morse’s number might be up for the rest of the year. His strikeout rate already sits at 24.6%, and his OPS so far this year is already below where it was for all of 2012 with the Nationals. He still gets on base a fair amount of the time at .310, but (and this is without having looked at it for a while), I am fairly sure his hitting and walk rates have gone down at least a little bit. In general, without being able to compare numbers from April to now as I write this, it seems his overall performance has declined a smidge since the year started, just watching. I’m not giving up hope, I just wish he’d stop swinging and stuff that is low and inside. Ground outs are no fun, especially for a guy we all know can smack the cover off the ball when given the chance. I’m not saying to bench him or anything; more just thinking “aloud” about what I’ve noticed lately.
So with a 6-game losing streak and heading into a three-game series against the frightening Texas Rangers, what else should we do? Dave has some suggestions here, and there really isn’t much we can do. Tacoma hitters aren’t ready, and technically speaking, he’s right about Harang; we simply don’t have the personnel to really do much that would improve the situation greatly at the moment. I would rather chew my own arm off than watch Hector Noesi, but I may not have a choice, so I guess I’ll make myself comfortable and get started. It’ll be a lot more difficult to take pictures and type, but it’ll be the right thing to do.
Going to enjoy another night off before Joe Saunders goes up (again? It feels like we just saw this guy) against Justin Grimm who, for Mariners purposes, has a name that makes great headlines and Twitter jokes. I have seen at least one person refer to Saunders as “Safeco Joe”, but he’s got a better record and ERA/FIP than Aaron Harang, so I’ll take what I can get, as always. Speaking of FIP, it is interesting to me that while Harang has an ERA of over 8, his FIP sits at 5.54. Harang may not be great, but the guys backing him up are not cutting it either. So like Dave says, Harang may not be the worst idea to keep that the Ms have ever had…not this year, at least.