Seattle Mariners win first series of the year against Angels, defeating Jason Vargas

The Mariners won their first series of the season today. They’ve officially exited April with a series win. That’s good news, obviously, but it didn’t necessarily seem likely at points today.

Today on Prospect Insider I posted about Hisashi Iwakuma and missed bats. He was very good in that regard today, missing 17 bats in only 92 pitches, but Jason Vargas gave him hell missing 19 bats in 107 pitches. Vargas came into the game striking less than five batters per nine innings, but struck out seven in eight innings pitched today.

The strikeout issue may become a repeating narrative throughout this season. The Mariners are striking out at a relatively high percentage, and that was mostly before calling up Carlos Peguero. There’s reason to believe that their rate will go down, considering their swing-and-miss rate, but whatever.

Michael Morse hit his first home run in a while. A couple weeks ago there was a huge parade being planned in Morse’s honor. Morse hit his last home run on April 9, against Houston, and that was his only home run to this point. The plans for the parade may still be on hold, but it’s nice to see Morse back in the over-proverbed saddle. Morse has seen his OPS drop more than .400 points since then, and his wRC+ sat at only 104 before today’s action.

After Peguero’s first game of the season in the bigs on Thursday, a game in which he walked, didn’t strikeout, and hit a huge homerun off a pitch he had no goddamned business swinging at, some people called Peguero a changed man. In that at bat he took a breaking ball on the first pitch. Progress!

Yesterday Peguero struck out twice and saw only 13 pitches in four plate appearances.

The Mariners have moved ahead of the Astros and Angels in the division, and are as far out of the lead in the AL West as the Tampa Bay Rays are from the lead of the AL East. Tampa Bay is 12-13, and have outscored their opponents by six runs. Their situation isn’t exactly the same, but the Mariners situation probably isn’t quite as terrible and irreparable as some may have you believe.

The Mariners series record to this point is 1-4-3.

  • maqman

    They really needed to win that series against the Angels to build a little self confidence and momentum. They could still come back and contend yet this year, if they play up to their abilities. That’s still a big IF, but not as big as it was before the Angels landed. Iwakuma is becoming really impressive and a legit #2 instead of a default one.