Seattle began the first of a 10 game home stand Monday night with Erasmo Ramirez on the mound. And boy did he give his best Felix Hernandez impression. And by that I meant he went out and dominated but earned zero run support.
I was at tonight’s game, sitting in a row in the 20s almost right behind home plate. I was able to get a pretty good look at Ramirez’s pitches and boy did he impress me. He opened up the first inning striking out the side. He was mixing his pitches well and really painted the black a few times with a fastball that ran up to 96 MPH. In the second Ramirez gave up one huge mistake which proved to cost him the game. After retiring the first batter, Seth Smith stepped up and swung at the first pitch he saw which was a bomb to dead center. Ramirez picked up another strikeout that inning but the homerun would be the deciding factor.
Ramirez cruised through the third, needing only 8 pitches and picking up another strikeout. Ramirez walked a batter in the fourth, but then got an easy double play to get out of the inning and keep the pitch count down. Ramirez cruised through the fifth and sixth as well, picking up two more strikeouts along the way. Ramirez had himself another big inning in the seventh striking out the side. It happened to be the A’s 3-4-5 hitters as well. Ramirez came back to pitch the eighth and that would be his last inning. He gave up a leadoff base hit but was then able to get the next batter to ground into a double play. He got the final out of the inning and the crowd gave him a nice cheer as that proved to be it for him on the day.
Ramirez’s final line on the day was 8IP 3H 1ER BB and 10K. This was a very impressive outing by the rookie and by far the best outing of his career thus far. Ramirez had 103 pitches on the day, 72 of which were strikes. He was very efficient getting 20 first pitch strikes to the 26 batters that he faced. Eight of Ramirez’s strikeouts were swinging which is pretty impressive. His breaking stuff looked good and he really did a good job mixing his pitches up, keeping hitters off balance. He earned a game score of 81. You really hate to see anyone put together a strong outing like this and get the loss, especially when it could have been his first major league win.
Tom Wilhelmsen entered the game in the 9th and he was his usual self. His first pitch was at 97 MPH and he really threw it tonight. He did not allow a base runner and picked up one strikeout.
Another rookie was on the mound today for Oakland in Tom Milone who won the pitchers duel. Milone and the rest of the Oakland pitchers allowed seven hits but scattered them throughout the game. The Mariners had a couple opportunities with runners in scoring position with two outs but were not able to bring the runner in. The team did not pick up an extra base hit today and walked only once, which came in the 9th inning. The team left 6 runners on base.
Jesus Montero was the only Mariner with a multi hit game today, going 2-4 but he did strikeout twice. Ichiro, Gutierrez, Saunders, Olivo, and Ackley each all picked up a base hit today. It’s not that the team didn’t hit today really but they were not able to come up big or put together a few hits all together.
This is one of those games that you just need to move on from, despite Ramirez’s outstanding performance. Seattle will look to take game two tomorrow night with Jason Vargas on the mound. In other news, it looks like Jamie Moyer has signed with the Blue Jays and will be playing at Triple A. Well it just so happens that the Blue Jays AAA team will be in town this week, and I’ve been hearing that Moyer may be starting Thursday which is Danny Hultzen’s Tacoma home debut. Sounds like a great Mariners past vs Mariners future matchup. Will be a good game to see.