Mariners have no answers for Oakland
By Shannon Drayer
After six months, three countries and 55,000 miles, the Mariners and this reporter (yes, I can say that as the only reporter to cover every road series this year) are home for the final three games of the year. It is hard to believe we were in Japan six months ago. Almost as hard to believe that the team wearing green and gold on the other side of the field, you know, the team that just swept the Mariners, is the same team we watched in Tokyo.
What a difference six months can make.
Of course, Shawn Kelley giving up what would be a game-winning home run to Yoenis Cespedes on a bad slider late in the game looked familiar. We saw that in game two in Japan. Tough for Kelley, who admitted after the game that he probably should have thrown a different pitch. Kelley has had his ups and downs this season but remember he is coming off elbow surgery and that first year back usually is about ups and downs. Still, no doubt a bitter pill for him to swallow.
Not a lot to talk about with this one as we pretty much saw the same thing the two games before. Failure to score with runners in scoring position? Check, although this game was particularly spectacular with Franklin Gutierrez failing to advance after a no-out double to start the game, three hits and no runs in the third inning, and then runners on first and third with no outs in the seventh followed by strikeouts by Casper Wells, Kyle Seager and Jesus Montero. The entire game was one big OUCH!
Which reminds me, Gutierrez left the game and is day-to-day with left groin tightness.
Okay, there were a couple of bright spots. The team did get 11 hits and Erasmo Ramirez showed a little something today. Not his best performance by far but he didn’t fall apart when he struggled. He walked four, which is very out of character for him, but only allowed one of those runs to score. Ramirez has been a second-half bright spot and I think it is safe to at least pencil him into the rotation next year. There is not much more he can do at the minor-league level and as Eric Wedge said before the game, it is time for him to be in the big leagues.
Beyond that, a very frustrating series in Oakland and Texas is up next. After that we will dive into end-of-the-year and what next type things. Heads up: I am planning to do an online chat Thursday and will have more details about that in the next couple of days.
For now, it is good to be home.