Brandon Moss ripped a three-run homer off Felix Hernandez in the first inning, all the cushion Bartolo Colon needed to pin a 8-2 loss on the Mariners on a day when manager Eric Wedge wanted no further part of the club’s “direction.” Wedge will manage through Sunday, the final day of the 2013 season.
Wedge never piloted a Seattle team that won more than 75 games, and Friday’s loss was the Mariners’ 90th, the fourth time in six years they have dropped 90 or more. Seattle (70-90) has not had a winning year since 2009 and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001. Wedge, who couldn’t convince management to extend his contract beyond 2014, decided he couldn’t commit to a club that wouldn’t commit to him, and resigned.
Friday’s fiasco was decided early. Coco Crisp, who finished with two doubles and two singles, opened the first with a lead-off two-bagger, Brett Lowrie singled and Moss went yard on a 2-and-1 count, putting Hernandez and the Mariners in a 3-0 hole.
Seattle got a run back in the first on Franklin Gutierrez’s 10th home run and added another on Kendrys Morales’ 23rd in the sixth. But Oakland’s Derek Norris, pinch hitting in the seventh, blasted a two-run shot, extending the lead to 5-2. The A’s added a run on a fielder’s choice and their final two off Tom Wilhelmsen in the eighth.
Hernandez (12-10) made his final start and took the loss after allowing two earned runs on three hits in 6.0 innings. Hernandez surpassed 200.0 innings pitched for the sixth consecutive season, but ended his year on a downer, losing five times with a no-decision since Aug. 11, the date of his last win.
Hernandez, bothered by a strained oblique, also had a big fade at the end of 2012, losing his final four decisions.
The Mariners, who have lost eight of their last 12 and 17 of 25 in September, couldn’t solve Colon — again. Colon improved to 12-1 all-time at Safeco Field, allowing two earned runs on three hits in 6.0 innings with eight strikeouts and one walk. An astonishing 97 percent of Colon’s pitches were fastballs.
ARMS: An out-of-gas Oliver Perez, who took over for Hernandez, allowed three earned runs while recording just one out in the space of 21 pitches.
BATS: The Mariners managed four hits, two by Morales, off three Oakland pitchers and left four runners stranded.
NOTES: The Seattle chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America Friday named Hisashi Iwakuma as the Mariners Pitcher of the Year, Kyle Seager the Player of the Year and Raul Ibanez as the team’s Unsung Hero. Seager was named the Player of the Year for the second straight season . . . The Mariners decided to shut down James Paxton for the season and go with Erasmo Ramirez as their starter in the final game Sunday . . . The game will be broadcast on 770-AM due to a conflict with Seahawks football on 710 ESPN.
NEXT: Saturday’s game starts at 1:10 p.m., with RHP Brandon Maurer (4-8, 6.48) opposing RHP Jarrod Parker (12-7, 3.74). The Sunday finale is also at 1:10 p.m.
Bob Melvin seems to be a good manager, he’s gotten his team to the playoffs two years in a row. What does he have that Mariners managers don’t? Oh yeah, he was a Mariners manager. Could it have anything to do with the front office?
Since no one beyond Howard and Chuck say anything publicly I’m sure they realize their track record isn’t very good though its maddening that they make the same mistakes over and over again.
Not looking forward to Jack’s third attempt at hiring a manager. I’d rather see him just promote Robbie Thompson who did a credible job filling in for Wedge.