The Miley we need

Miley vs astros
Miley was effective in a 2-1 loss to Houston on July 4th.

If today’s 2-1 loss to the Astros didn’t go quite the way we’d like it, at least there was a silver lining. The return of a functional Wade Miley, if he can continue, is a welcome reinforcement to the starting rotation.

Yes, Miley gave up both Astro runs. But his line was a respectable 6.2 innings pitched, 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts and 2 earned runs. To be clear, the last appearance when pitched six or more innings was June 7th, a 7 inning 7-1 victory over Cleveland at Safeco.  Four of his previous five outings were of the five innings or less variety.  So today’s start was a breath of fresh air and a relief for this team.

Miley’s outing added a bit more buoyancy to a  pitching staff that is still gasping for air as they try to align their bullpen, wracked by too many injuries and too many games with three, four and five innings to fill. Tom Wilhelmsen came in and pitched a perfect inning, and David Rollins provided some excitement for the final out in the eighth.

If the M’s didn’t win, it’s hard to pin this one on the pitching. Lance McCullers is a fine pitcher who pretty much kills the Mariners.  His line going into his game against the M’s was 15.1 IP, 2.93 ERA, .182/.297/.236 slash allowed, with a record of 2-1.  Now it’s 3-1 with even better supporting numbers.

But it’s not like the M’s didn’t have their chances. Leonys Martin’s leadoff triple in the first inning was wasted when Seth Smith and Robinson Cano both struck out, and Martin was inexplicably thrown out at home when he tried to advance on a throw to first when Cano’s third strike was in the dirt. The M’s wasted a similar chance in the 7th, when they loaded the bases with no outs and Dae Ho Lee grounded into a double play with  Cano, the runner at third, forced out at home. Not much clutch hitting, and the unforced TOOTBLAN  in the first simply undid the few opportunities available in a tightly pitched game. Unforced baserunning errors and defensive mistakes have cost this team dearly. .

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