Seattle Mariners ace pitcher Felix Hernandez received 21 first place votes to earn the 2011 AL CY Young Award. Hernandez gained only 13 wins as part of the 61-101 Mariners ballclub. The six-year veteran recorded a 2.27 ERA in 249 1/3 innings pitched, finishing second in strikeouts (232) while holding American League opponents to a league low .212 batting average. Hernandez’s 13 victories marks the fewest for a Cy Young starter in a full season.
The Baseball Writers Association of America voted David Price (19-6) of the Tampa Bay Rays and CC Sabathia (21-7) of the New York Yankees behind Hernandez to round out the top three. “I feel like they got it right,” said Price. “Felix, I thought he deserved it, even though he didn’t have a lot of wins. You can’t really control all that. You can’t control the offense and the hitters and stuff like that.” Check back for MLB offseason updates with us at Ace!
John Lackey let up just two hits and one run to lead the Boston Red Sox past the Seattle Mariners 8-6 yesterday at Safeco Field. The near no-hitter gave the impression that Boston would walk away with the easy victory, but Seattle dug in and pushed the contest into extra innings after a five-run ninth inning rally. Boston eventually solidified the W when Eric Patterson blasted a double to score Kevin Youkilis and Mike Cameron. Youk led the offensive campaign with three hits as Marco Scutaro and David Ortiz contributed with two hits apiece.
Adrian Beltre was excited to first re-visit his old playing field as part of the Red Sox two-week west coast road trip. Boston’s newly acquired third basemen spent five years with the Mariners before signing with the Sox back in January. The 31-year old has produced a .271 career batting average, 250 home runs and 912 RBI’s. “I enjoyed my five years here and I played with great guys,” he said. “I spent a lot of times with them and they were great teammates. The five years I played here I gave it my all and it’s in the past now.”
Josh Beckett is scheduled to start on the mound tonight for the first time in over two months. Boston will stay in Seattle for three more games before they matchup with the LA Angels starting Monday, July 26th. Boston Red Sox tickets are now available!
The New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners are currently discussing a deal that could send left-hander Cliff Lee to the Bronx for top prospects Jesus Montero and David Adams. The Mariners have also spoke with the Rays, Twins, Rangers and Reds, but it seems as though New York is the best candidate to reach agreement. Lee, a 2x All-Star has earned an 8-3 record with a 2.34 ERA so far this season.
The Yankees have had a hard time with the Lee over the past few seasons, including their only two losses to the Philadelphia Phillies with him on the mound in the 2009 World Series. Lee is scheduled to start tonight against the Yankees at Safeco Field in the second installment of a four-game series. If the deal progresses it’s possible that Seattle will pull him out of the lineup before game time.
In addition to the Lee contract in the works, New York fans will have more to cheer about knowing outfielder Nick Swisher was just recently voted into the 2010 All-Star game, beating out Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis for the remaining AL spot. “When I finally got the news it was great. All my teammates were excited that it happened. That’s the greatest thing,” said Swisher. “Especially coming on a fan vote like that, it shows how important our fans are. Then again, they’re the reason we are who we are.” Swisher will represent the Yankees alongside Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera. Purchase your 2010 All-Star Game tickets right here at Ace!
The Boston Red Sox just signed free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre to a one-year $10 million contract. The complete deal consists of a $9 million base salary with a $5 million player option or $1 million buyout in 2011. Beltre, a 12-year veteran, hit .265 with eight home runs and 44 RBI’s last season for the Seattle Mariners.
The 2x Gold Glove Award winner is primarily recognized around the league for his defensive abilities. Between Beltre, Kevin Youkilis, Marco Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox are now set to showcase one of the best defenses in franchise history.
This week’s acquisition certainly has Mike Lowell questioning his stay in a Boston uniform. The 35-year old is struggling with injury problems this off-season between his hip and right thumb. League analysts believe Lowell will be dealt before the start of the 2010 regular season. More AL Hot Stove to come! Boston Red Sox tickets are now available!
The New York Yankees continue to dominate the league in the 2nd half of the 2009 season. After last night’s 11-1 drubbing of the Seattle Mariners the Yankees lead the AL East by 6.5 games over the Boston Red Sox. Hideki Matsui provided almost half of New York’s production with 2 homers and 5 RBI. The Yankees also got a solo homerun from Derek Jeter.
It wasn’t all offense for the Yankees however. C.C. Sabathia had one of his best outings of the year, striking out a season high 10 batters. With their loss at home vs the Tigers, New York’s rival Red Sox dropped another game back in the AL East. The Yankees got the best of Boston last week in New York, sweeping the Red Sox in four games. The two rivals will next meet in Boston for a 3 game set starting 8/21 at Fenway Park.
New York Yankees tickets are available for all remaining games including their series at Fenway Park vs the Red Sox.
Nick Green was in the Sox lineup on Sunday afternoon because of his offensive capabilities. Unfortunately, Green’s late defensive error set up the Mariners’ walk-off win. Ronny Ceneno hit a grounder to Green that should have ended the inning and sent it to extras, but Green’s throw over to first sailed over Jeff Bailey’s head. The play was scored a single and an error, which would prove costly. Sox pitcher Ramon Ramirez intentionally walked Ichiro Suzuki, and gave up a single that glanced under the glove of Mike Lowell to give the M’s the walkoff win. The run was only Ramirez’s second in 20 1/3 innings, and the loss was his first with the Sox.
“It just … happens,” Green told the AP’s Gregg Bell. “Obviously it happened at the wrong time. I tried to slow things down. I slowed it down too much. Was lazy.”
The Sox have an off day Monday before hosting the AL East-leading Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. Boston Red Sox tickets are available now for all games!
The Seattle Mariners recently announced that they will be signing back past Mariners legend Ken Griffey Jr. to a one-year $2 million dollar deal plus incentives. Seattle fans are anxious to see Griffey back in a Mariners uniform, as he is one of the most talented players to ever be apart of the franchise. He is the Mariners career leader in home runs (398), slugging percentage (.569), and is second to Edgar Martinez for total games played. He is currently in fifth on baseball’s career home run list with 611.
The 2009 Mariners will plan to keep the DH position open for Jr. If he is able to stay healthy left field will also serve as an option. Griffey first came into the league as a Mariner in 1989 and eventually was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 2000. After agreeing to a contract with the Chicago White Sox in 2008 he is already back on the move but this time to where his career started. He has struggled with injuries lately and is just healing from an arthroscopic knee surgery following the 2008 season.
Griffey is thrilled to be back in Seattle and has always stated that he would like to finish his career as a Mariner. If he can stay injury free the recent acquisition will show as very promising for the Mariners.
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It’s been an ugly couple of months for Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, but the captain has battled through his recent struggles to make sure that his teammates are ready to play day in and day out. In the eyes of manager Terry Francona, this leadership alone will make up for a slump any day of the week and that is why Varitek has consistently been in the line up.
“I won’t hit for him. We need him. I believe in him. I will always believe in him. When times are tough, you don’t waver from that,” Francona said. “If we want to get where we ultimately want to get, the faith in him will bear itself out.”
Francona’s faith paid off Monday night as Varitek connected on his eight homerun of the season off of Seattle’s starting pitcher Jarrod Washburn (4-9) to give Boston a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning. The Sox would tack on two more runs in the eighth inning behind a Jed Lowrie single to left that drove home Coco Crisp and Kevin Youkilis to make the score 4-0, which would be the games final.
“I had a good first two months, then a horrendous month and a half. I mean, some of the toughest time of my career,” Varitek said. “It’s there—I’ve already shown it’s there. I’ve just got to keep stringing it together.”
One player that certainly appreciated the lift from his captain was battery-mate Jon Lester who pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings en route to his eighth victory on the season. Coming into the game, Lester had never pitched very well in his hometown of Seattle. In his two previous starts vs. the Mariners, Lester had allowed nine earned runs in only 10 innings of work for an 8.10 ERA, his worst against any AL opponent.
“Unlike the last couple times here, I didn’t have the distractions or anything,” Lester said after being able to sleep in his own bed and then notching his fifth start of the season without allowing a run, including his May 19 no-hitter against Kansas City.
Lester was able to locate all of his pitches for strikes and was able to get a lot of groundball outs which is always a good sign. He struck out seven, allowed three fly outs and the rest were on the ground.
“It’s nice to come back home and pitch halfway decent,” he said.
With one out in the eighth inning, Willie Bloomquist laced a line drive right off of Lester’s right shin for an infield single that would end his night on the mound. The bases were loaded when he was taken out of the game and he was relived by Jonathan Papelbon who was able to get Raul Ibanez to ground into a double play to end the threat. Papelbon would go on to record his 29th save of the season retiring the side in order in the ninth. This was Papelbon’s first five out save of the 2008 season.
The win keeps Boston 1 ½ games behind the Tampa Bay in the AL East. The Rays also were victorious Monday beating Oakland by the score of 4-0 as well.
Looking ahead, Boston has a big home series coming up this weekend against the New York Yankees. New York has been playing much better baseball as of late, winning their last eight games at Yankee Stadium and are now only 4 ½ games behind the Rays and 3 games behind the Sox in the division standings.
Another reason why the series will be hyped is the return of Red Sox DH David Ortiz. After spending over six weeks on the DL for a wrist injury he suffered on May 31, Ortiz will be ready to go barring any setback in his minor league rehab assignment this week in Double-A Portland. In his four minor league games this week (three in Pawtucket and one in Portland), Ortiz has gone 5-12 (.417 average) connecting on three homeruns and seven RBI’s. The Big Papi is definitely ready to rejoin the Red Sox this weekend.
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Arthur Rhodes woke up with a sore arm. Brandon Morrow pitched four out of the last five days. Carlos Silva threw a side session on Sunday. R.A. Dickey threw over 100 pitches in his last start. With no one left in the bullpen, who would the Mariners pitch in the 15th inning of a 1-1 game?
Third-string catcher Jamie Burke.
Burke was not a complete stranger to the mound. He had thrown 4 innings in the minors, and had the ability to keep the ball over the plate. Unforunately for the Mariners, he did not have that much velocity. Miguel Cabrera hit a double and was replaced on the basepaths by Michael Hollimon. Marcus Thames’ sac fly in the next at bat sealed the win for Detroit. Burke was able to retire Ivan Rodriguez and Edgar Renteria, leaving to a standing ovation from the tired home crowd.
Ichiro Suzuki, Willie Bloomquist, and Adrian Beltre also offered to pitch if the game went past 15 innings.
Three days after firing the General Manager Bill Bavasi, the 25-47 Seattle Mariners fired coach John McLaren. The ’08 Seattle squad’s payroll of $117 million has not translated to success on the field. Despite signing Eric Bedard and Carlos Silva, as well as re-signing Richie Sexson, and the presence of former MVP Ichiro Suzuki; the team has underachieved. Just two weeks ago coach McLaren’s profanity-laden postgame tirade made headlines as he railed against team’s level of play.
Bavasi’s vacancy will be filled by associate GM Lee Pelekoudas. McLaren’s spot will be filled by Jim Riggleman. Riggleman racked up a 486-598 record during the 90′s as skipper of the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs. The M’s will look to end their current losing streak on Friday against the Braves.