Mariners notebook: Astros playing catch-up after long trip to Seattle
Apr 25, 2016, 7:21 PM | Updated: May 4, 2016, 6:50 am
The Mariners arrived back in Seattle on Sunday night at 7 after picking up a 9-4 win over the Angels to complete a 6-3 road trip. A pleasant trip home after a good road trip.
The Astros, on the other hand, had a very different 24 hours as they played a Sunday night game that went 12 innings, lasted over five hours and ended as a 7-5 loss to the Red Sox. That was followed by a four-and-a-half-hour to flight. When all was said and done, the Astros did not get into their hotel until around 5 a.m. Monday.
Three things: Can the Mariners finish April over .500?
Not a fun way to start a road trip. The Mariners did something somewhat similar two years ago in September when they were in contention for a wild card spot flying from Anaheim to Houston after a night game. With the time change, the Mariners ended up landing in Houston at 6 a.m. with a game to be played that night at 7. The team won the first game and then lost the next five games, including the infamous game in which Felix Hernandez gave up eight runs in Toronto. The players agreed, the second day after travel felt worse than the first. Could the travel have a negative impact on the already struggling Astros? We shall see.
One other Astros note, in addition to the late night, the Astros had to make a roster move to replenish their bullpen, and rather than swapping out an arm for an arm they optioned outfielder Jake Marisnick to Triple-A to call up reliever Michael Feliz. As a result, they will be playing with a three-man bench.
Norichika Aoki, LF
Seth Smith, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nelson Cruz, RF
Adam Lind, 1B
Kyle Seager, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Leonys Martin, CF
Ketel Marte, SS
Taijuan Walker, RHP
Before Monday’s game, the Mariners placed Joaquin Benoit on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. Benoit has been day to day since the beginning of the season. While they can make the move retroactive to April 22, Scott Servais said that he was likely to miss at least 2-3 weeks.
In his place, Mayckol Guaipe was called up from Tacoma. Guaipe has been pitching well, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks in six outings. He has struck out six and walked just two.
With Benoit out, Servais said he would mix and match in the eighth inning but that we could see a lot of Joel Peralta late. Guaipe is now designated as the long man in the bullpen, while Mike Montgomery and Tony Zych will be put in higher leverage situations.
• Peralta had a huge ninth inning Friday in Anaheim, sending down the heart of the Angels order in order on his third straight day of pitching. His 10-pitch at-bat against Albert Pujols was both tense and entertaining at the same time as the two had several verbal exchanges. Peralta told me the story of the inning and his history with Pujols on the pregame show Saturday., the audio of which can be found here.
• Charlie Furbush, who did not travel with the team on the road trip, reported that all went well for him the last 12 days as he has progressed to throwing from 135 feet and threw for a third straight day Monday.
• Milestone watch: Robinson Cano is three RBIs from 1,000 in his Major League career and Seth Smith and Kyle Seager, who both homered Sunday in Anaheim, are one home run shy of 100 each.