Mariners minor league report, April 22 — Peterson exits High Desert game for precautionary reasons

Quick note: DJ Peterson, the Mariners’ top pick from last year’s draft, was lifted in the third inning of last night’s game for Class A High Desert. According to Chris Gwynn, the Mariners’ director of minor league operations, Peterson had a tight glute muscle and was pulled for precautionary reasons.

Class AAA Tacoma got a pair of home runs from Chris Taylor and a home run from James Jones, who just returned from the big leagues, in a rain shortened 8-5 win.  Here’s the highlight of Taylor’s second homer. Taylor has hit safely in his last 10 of his last 11 games with 7 multi-hit contests, batting .477 (21×44) with 11 runs scored, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 9 RBI, 3 walks and 4 stolen  bases. Overall he is hitting .364 (24×66) with 13 runs scored, 8 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 12 RBI, 5 walks and 4 stolen bases.

Tonight’s Rainiers game has been postponed because of weather.

Class AA Jackson had the extra innings special last night, going 18 innings and losing 7-4. Here’s Josh Lemon’s game story from the Jackson Sun.

Even with Peterson leaving early, Class A High Desert scored a season-high in runs in a 14-9 win.

Joe DeCarlo had a big eighth-inning RBI triple to help Clinton to an 8-7 win over Quad Cities. 

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Astros 5, Mariners 2 — eight is not so great as the losing continues

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So who here had heard of Collin McHugh before tonight?

(My hand is not raised).

Well, Collin McHugh  is a 26-year-old right-handed pitcher that was called up in place of an injured Scott Feldman. And he was dominant against the Mariners, pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, striking out 12 and walking noe.

The 12 strikeouts were the most by any pitcher in their Astros debut.  The record had been held by Clemens, who struck out nine in his debut against the Giants on April 7, 2004. McHugh is also the first Astros pitcher to strike out 12 batters and not walk anyone or allow any runs since Randy Johnson in 1998.

“He was a little different than the scouting report we got, he was throwing 93-94,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He had pretty good cut fastball and command. He pitched exceptionally well tonight.”

There was nothing about McHugh’s background that suggested such a showing. He spent most of the 2013 season in the minor leagues. Coming into the game, he’d made 15 major league appearancesf in his career (eight starts) and was 0-8 with a 8.94 earned run average. The Mariners wish they could have seen that version of McHugh, not the guy, who was throwing his fastball on the outside corner with precision.

McHugh struck out the side in the first and third inning and was hit hard only a couple of times.

“We’ve got to have better at-bat as a team as a whole,” said first baseman Justin Smoak. “He was in and out with a little cutter and a change-up and a curveball. His fastball away was running a little. But it was nothing haven’t seen before.”

“We’ve got to have better at-bat as a team as a whole,” said first baseman Justin Smoak. “He was in and out with a little cutter and a change-up and a curveball. His fastball away was running a little. But it was nothing haven’t seen before.”

It wasn’t till he left that the Mariners finally mustered some offense.

After striking out Robinson Cano for the second out of the seventh inning, Astros manager Bo Porter lifted McHugh in favor of lefty Raul Valdes. The move didn’t work so well Valdes walked Kyle Seager and then served up a two-run homer to Justin Smoak, who hammered a 2-2 curveball deep into the left field stands.

“I was just trying to battle,” Smoak said. “He hung a slider out over the plate and I put a good swing on it.”

But that was it for Seattle, which has scored two runs or fewer in seven of its last 10 games. It was the second straight game they struck out 14 times.

“It’s still early and we all know that,” Smoak said. “But at the same time, it’s time for all of us to make a little bit of an adjustment.”

This may have been Erasmo Ramirez’s last start in the rotation. As you can tell in the video, Lloyd McClendon was not pleased.

He gave up a pair of homers on 0-2 counts … or as we call them “Noesis”

These were problems that irked McClendon and spring training and they’ve carried over into the regular season with the exception of his first start in Anaheim.

“He did not make quality strikes when he needed to, particularly ahead in the count and it cost him tonight,” McClendon said.

Even with Ramirez rallying to retire  14 of his last 17 batters faced after the Carter homer, McClendon still wasn’t that impressed.

Did Ramirez make some adjustment for the later success?

“For me, I think he has to pitch better than he pitched,” McClendon said. “If you saw an adjustment that was good, then that’s a probably you should ask him.”

Ramirez didn’t have an exact description for the change.

“It’s something I have to work on,” he said. “I have to try and better pitches in that situations. I tried to use every pitch I’ve got.”

McClendon has been unhappy with Ramirez for the last handful of starts. If there had been a viable option in Class AAA Tacoma, Ramirez would’ve likely traded place with him. But McClendon wouldn’t rule it out. General manager Jack Zduriencik was waiting his office. And the fact that he even addressed it means he’s considering it, strongly.

“That’s something that Jack and I will sit down and talk about,” McClendon said. “The fact is this club is struggling and you need to go out and throw strikes and put up zeroes. And he didn’t do that early.”

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Game thread: Astros at Mariners — April 22, 2014

 

  • Umpires: HP Scott Barry (87), 1B Jeff Nelson (45), 2B Marcus Pattillo (18), 3B Laz Diaz (63)
  • Mariners game notes: 04.22.14 Game Notes
  • Astros game notes: Astros Game Note 0422_at_SEA
  • Updated team and MLB stats: 04.22.14 Stats
  • TV: Root NW
  • Radio: ESPN 710, Mariners radio network

First inning

Perhaps in honor of Hector Noesi being DFA’d by the Rangers today. Erasmo Ramirez decided to pull a Noesi and walk Dexter Fowler and then  leave a hittable pitch up in the zone on a 0-2 count to lefty-swinging Jason Castro, who hit drove the ball to left field for a two-run homer.

Almonte strikes out swinging, Almonte strikes out looking and Cano strikes out swinging against Collin McHugh.

Astros 2, Mariners 0

Second inning

Noesi tribute sequel — Ramirez  gives up a massive homer into the upper deck of left field off the bat of Chris Carter.

While this isn’t exactly to perfectly to scale … it’s still not good.

 

Corey Hart gets thrown out trying stretch a single into a double. And that’s about it.

Astros 3, Mariners 0

Third inning

Ramirez strikes out the side, but also mixes in a single and a walk in there as well.

Saunders strikeout, Zunino strikeout, Miller strikeout. McHugh’s career high in strikeouts is nine. He has six in three innings.

Astros 3, Mariners 0

Fourth inning

Ramirez gives up a lead-off single, but gets three outs and out of the inning.

The Mariners get a lead-off single from Almonte, a one-out single from Cano. But Hart pops up and Seager strikes out.

Astros 3, Mariners 0

 Fifth inning

Hey, a 1-2-3 inning for Erasmo.

The highlight of the inning was the strikeout, throw-out double play to end the inning.

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