GAME: Indians (4-4, 3rd, AL Central, -1.5 GB) at Mariners (6-5, 2nd AL West, -2.5 GB). GAME #: 12. SERIES: 1st of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 1st. WHEN: Tuesday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Justin Masterson (Cleveland 0-1, 2.77) vs. RHP Kevin Millwood (Seattle, 0-0, 1.50). STREAKS: Mariners W 2; Indians W 3. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.
The Cleveland Indians (4-4, 3rd, AL Central) make the first of two 2012 appearances in Safeco Field this week, starting with a Tuesday night matchup featuring Seattle's Kevin Millwood (0-1, 1.50) and Cleveland's Justin Masterson (0-1, 2.77). Through no fault of their own, the Indians will also bring to Seattle a host of bad Mariner memories.
The Cleveland roster includes five players who spent time in Seattle. Two failed to match expectations, three represent trading fleeces suffered by the Mariners.
Cleveland starting pitcher Derek Lowe (Wednesday), pitched for part of the 1997 season in the Kingdome, then decamped with C Jason Varitek in a horrendously bad trade engineered by former GM Woody Woodward with Boston that netted Seattle mediocre relief pitcher Heathcliff Slocumb.
OF Shin-Soo Choo played for the Mariners in 2005-06 before they swapped him to Cleveland for Ben Broussard, who didn't do much other than sniff Northwest fir. Baseball America rated INF Asdrubal Cabrera as one of Seattle's top prospects, but the Mariners sent him to the Indians June 30, 2006, for an aging and ineffective Eduardo Perez, who appeared in 43 games, batting .195.
Jose Lopez (2004-10), now an Indians utility player, underachieved during his time with the Mariners, who underachieved when they traded him in 2010 to Colorado for minor leaguer Chaz Roe. 1B Casey Kotchman hit .217 in his one season in Seattle (2010), forcing the club to release him.
Following their Tuesday-Thursday series with the Indians, the Mariners will host the Chicago White Sox Friday-Sunday before hitting the road (Detroit, Toronto, Tampa). A closer look at Tuesday's pitchers:MARINERS: RHP Kevin Millwood (0-0, 1.50, 1.167 WHIP)
The 37-year-old Millwood, in his 16th major league season and first with the Mariners, is making his second start of the season and the seventh of his career against the Indians, one of his former teams.
A native of Gastonia, NC., the 6-4, 230-pound Millwood was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round of the 1993 amateur draft.
Millwood made his major league debut July 14, 1997, collecting a win in relief for the Braves against the Philadelphia Phillies. During his career, Millwood pitched for the Braves (1997-02), Philadelphia (2003-04), Cleveland (2005), Texas (2006-09), Baltimore (2010) and Colorado (2011) before joining the Mariners.
Millwood has twice won 18 games in a season, going 18-7 for the 1999 Braves and 18-8 for the 2002 Braves. Millwood led the National League in starts with 35 in 2000, led the NL in shutouts in 2003 with three, led the American League in ERA in 2005 at 2.86, and the AL in losses in 2010 with 16.
Millwood represented Atlanta in the 1999 All-Star Game.
During his American League career, Millwood made 24 starts against the Mariners, posting an 8-13 record with a 4.91 ERA.
Millwood signed with the Mariners Jan. 24 as a free agent, and earned the fifth spot in the rotation with a strong performance during spring training.
Millwood has a career record of 163-140, 4.10 ERA.
- 2011: Started the season with Boston, but did not pitch and was released May 19; signed by Colorado Aug. 8, after which he made nine starts, working 54.1 innings; had a 4-3 record with a 3.98 ERA.
- LAST START: April 11, at Texas, received a no-decision in Seattle's 4-3 win over the Rangers; allowed one earned run over 6 innings before giving way to Steve Delabar, who gave up two home runs, wrecking Millwood's opportunity to pick up his first win with Seattle.
- LAST VS. INDIANS: Aug. 12, 2010, pitching for Baltimore, allowed three earned runs on nine hits and lost to the Indians 4-1 at Progressive Field; struck out one and walked one.
- CAREER VS. INDIANS: Millwood has six starts against the Indians and a 4-2 record and 3.86 ERA in 39.2 innings; 35 strikeouts to just eight walks.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: Has made 13 starts, going 3-8 with a 5.17 ERA in 78.1 IP; batting average against in Safeco is .309, and he's been dinged for 11 home runs.
- LOVES TO FACE: Aaron Cunningham (1-for-10, .100 BA, 3 K's), Shin-Soo Choo (2-for-14, .143 BA, 4 K's), Grady Sizemore, 3-for-16, .188 BA, 5 K's).
- HATES TO FACE: Michael Brantley (3-for-4, .750 BA), Jose Lopez (17-for-56, .304 BA, 2 RBIs, 3 BBs), Casey Kotchman, (7-for-25, .280 BA, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs).
- CURRENT INDIANS VS. MILLWOOD: 39-for-161, .242 BA, 5 HR, 8 BBs, .27 K's.
- April 11 (ND, 0-0): Allowed one earned run on four hits over 6 innings, coming away with a no-decision in a 4-3 Seattle victory over Texas; struck out seven, walked three; threw 103 pitches, 61 for strikes.
The 27-year-old Masterson, in his seventh major league season and fifth with the Indians, will be making his third start of the season and first against the Mariners.
A native of Kingston, Jaimaica who grew up in Beavercreek, OH., Masterson attended Bethel College and San Diego State University before the Boston Red Sox selected him in the second round of the 2006 amateur draft.
Masterson made his debut with Boston April 24, 2008, receiving a no-decision in Boston’s 7-5 loss to the Angels (allowed one earned run over six innings).
Masterson pitched for Boston in 2008-09, and then was traded by the Red Sox, with Bryan Price (minors) and Nick Hagadone, to the Cleveland Indians for Victor Martinez.
After posting 1-7 (2009) and 6-13 (2010) records during his first two years with Cleveland, Masterson went 12-10, 3.21 for the Tribe in 2011.
Primarily a starter the past two seasons, Masterson has a career record of 28-39, 3.89.
- 2012: Masterson has two starts and pitched well enough to win the first one April 5 vs. Toronto, when he allowed one earned run with 10 strikeouts over 8 innings. He departed the game with a 4-1 lead, then the bullpen botched the contest. Masterson allowed five earned runs in his second start.
- LAST START: April 11, vs. the Chicago White Sox, allowed five earned runs on eight hits over 5 innings and lost to John Danks 10-6; walked three, fanned two in a 94-pitch effort.
- LAST VS. MARINERS: Aug. 23, 2011, received a no-decision in 7-5 win over the Mariners in Cleveland; allowed five earned runs on 10 hits in 8.1 IP; did not allow a home run.
- CAREER VS. MARINERS: Eight games with five starts with a 3-0, 2.13 record over 38 innings; fanned 35 batters and issued 12 walks; ceded only one home run and nine earned runs overall.
- AT SAFECO FIELD: Three games with two starts; 1-0, 1.76 in 15.1 IP; in those appearances, has 18 strikeouts vs. just one walk.
- LOVES TO FACE: Dustin Ackley (0-for-4, .000 BA), Michael Saunders (0-for-4, .000 BA, 2 K’s), Chone Figgins (1-for-14, 0.71 BA, 5 K’s).
- HATES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (3-for-4, .750 BA), John Jaso (3-for-8, .375 BA), Miguel Olivo (4-for-11, .364 BA).
Ichiro added a an RBI double in the fifth that snapped a 3-3 tie, sending Seattle on its way to its sixth win in 11 contests.
Beavan struck out four and didn't walk a batter. His biggest mistake came in the fifth when Eric Sogard belted a three-run homer.
"You've got to have a short-term memory," Beavan said of the homer he ceded to Sogard. "If you give up a couple of runs and start thinking about it and not going after the guys the way you were before that you end up getting hurt and giving up more runs," Beavan said. "Once I gave up the home run I had to stop the damage right there."
Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of Jackie Robinson Day, one-hopping his effort into the dirt.AL WEST STANDINGS
- Mariners starters have thrown at least 7 innings in each of last three games (Felix Hernandez, Hector Noesi, Blake Beavan). The Mariners had not tossed 7.0+ innings in three consecutive games since a four-game streak June 29-July 3, 2011.
- In their 2-1 series win over the Athletics, Mariners starters combined to go 2-1, 2.05 ERA (5 ER, 22.0 IP) with 16 strikeouts.
- Jesus Montero had his eight-game hitting streak snapped against Oakland Sunday. During the streak, Montero hit .370 (10x27). He has a hit in 8 of his 10 games.
- The Mariners went 4-5 against the Indians in 2011, but outscored them 53-49. Seattle outscored only five opponents in 2011.
- Brendan Ryan's two-run home run in the second inning Sunday was his first at Safeco Field. All three of his homers in 2011 came on the road.
- The Mariners will not see the Athletics again until late June when Oakland returns for a series at Safeco Field.
- The Mariners have been shut out twice in 2012 (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs.Oakland). They didn't suffer their second blanking of 2011 until May 7.
- Seattle's bullpen has given up nine homers in 11 games after leading the AL with just 32 allowed last season.
- Through 11 games, the Mariners are batting 22-for-76 (.289) with runners in scoring position.
- Despite two home runs Sunday, the Mariners have been out-homered, 15-7.
- Carlos Peguero underwent surgery on his left knee to repair a torn medial meniscus. Peguero hurt the knee while rounding the bases in a AAA game. No timetable has been set for his return, but the usual is 4-6 weeks.
- Ichiro (2-for-4 Sunday) has 755 multi-hit games, which ranks fourth among active players, and No. 1 since his debut in 2001. Ichiro's 47 games with four or more hits leads all active players.
- Mariners have left 58 men on base, their opponents 67.
- Mariners have been outscored, 42-40.
- According to Stats Inc., the Mariners had an average age of 28.33 when the Opening Day rosters were set, the second-youngest American League roster and the fourth-youngest in the majors.
- The Mariners roster features 7 rookies: RHP Steve Delabar, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, LHP Lucas Luetge, RHP Erasmo Ramirez, C/ DH Jesus Montero, INF Alex Liddi & INF Munenori Kawasaki. Last season the Mariners used 18 rookies, and had a club-record 12 players make their MLB debuts.
- According to The Associated Press, the Mariners have the 18th-highest payroll in the majors, at just under $82 million. That's down from $94 million in 2011. Of the $82 million, Felix Hernandez, Ichiro, Chone Figgins, Franklin Gutierrez and Brandon League take up slightly more than $58 million of that total (the Yankees have baseball's top payroll for the 14th consecutive year, $198 million).
- Series Records: Won 2, Split 0, Lost 1.
- Longest Win Streak: 2 (April 6-7, April 14-15).
- Longest Losing Streak: 2 (April 9-10, April 12-13).
|Rec.||Home||Road||Day||Night||vs. RHP||vs. LHP||Hit HR||No HR|
|4/17||Tue||vs. Clev||Millwood (0-0, 1.50) vs. Masterson (0-1, 2.77)|
|4/18||Wed||vs. Clev||Vargas (1-1, 3.44) vs. Lowe (1-0, 0.00)|
|4/19||Thr||vs. Clev||Hernandez vs. Tomlin (0-1, 7.20)|
|Gm.#||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|1||3/28||at Oak||W, 3-1||1-0||W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)|
|2||3/29||at Oak||L, 4-1||1-1||W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)|
|Gm. #||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|3||4/6||at Oak||W, 7-3||2-1||W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)|
|4||4/7||at Oak||W, 8-7||3-1||W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)|
|5||4/9||at Tex||L, 11-5||3-2||W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)|
|6||4/10||at Tex||L, 1-0||3-3||W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)|
|7||4/11||at Tex||W, 4-3||4-3||W: Luetge (1-0); L: Nathan (0-2)|
|8||4/12||at Tex||L, 5-3||4-4||W: Holland (1-0); L: Vargas (1-1|
|9||4/13||vs Oak||L, 4-0||4-5||W: Colon (2-1); L: Hernandez (1-1)|
|10||4/14||vs. Oak||W, 4-0||5-5||W: Noesi (1-1); L: Milone (1-1)|
|11||4/15||vs. Oak||W, 5-3||6-5||W: Beavan (1-1); L: Godfrey (0-2)|