The Mariners turned the 11th triple play in franchise history on Sunday against the Blue Jays in a most unconventional way. Starter Taijuan Walker began the inning by issuing a walk to Ezequiel Carrera and allowing a single to Kevin Pillar, putting runners on the corners with nobody out.
On a 1-2 count, Ryan Goins hit a grounder to first baseman Mark Trumbo, who stepped on the first base bag and tossed the ball to shortstop Brad Miller. Miller chased Pillar back towards first, then ran in as Carrera hung about halfway between third base and home. Miller lobbed to catcher Mike Zunino, who ran Carrera back to third base just as Pillar arrived at the bag. Zunino tagged both runners. Carrera was first to the bag, so technically he was safe… until he happened to stumble off of the bag for who-knows-what reason. So Zunino tagged him out, too, for the triple play.
It’s ugly and it’s embarrassing, but oh so much fun to watch.
Carrera atoned for his base running mistake by robbing Zunino of a home run in the bottom of the sixth, then smacking a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to pad the Blue Jays’ lead to 5-3.
This summer’s new reality show: “When Managers Manage!”
“We’ve got to get better, and we’ve got to start stringing together wins,” McClendon said. “That’s the message I’m going to send to my club starting the second half. I’ve given my club a lot of string and allowed them to do a lot of things, but it’s not working and we’ve got to change things . . . You try to stay positive and encourage your club, but maybe it takes prodding of a different nature,” McClendon said. “And if that’s the case, then that’s what I have to do.”
I suppose tone matters, but none of the hands-on or hands-off stuff from McClendon will matter much if no one besides Nelson Cruz swings a decent bat and the bullpen can’t figure it out. As the linked article makes clear, there is not a great chance of the M’s adding any big parts — the Mark Trumbo trade was probably it for them — so the current roster just has to turn it around.
Will McClendon cracking the whip help? Hard to see how. But what else can he do?
Rickie Weeks signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Mariners over the winter, but he was designated for assignment this afternoon after struggling in part-time duty.
Weeks, 32, batted just .167/.263/.250 with two home runs and nine RBI over 95 plate appearances while seeing most of his playing time against left-handed pitching. He exclusively played second base in the majors coming into this season, but the Mariners used him as a left fielder and designated hitter. His role has been diminished since the Mark Trumbo deal, so Seattle decided to turn the page.
The Mariners have called up right-hander Danny Farquhar from Triple-A Tacoma to replace Weeks and will go with an eight-man bullpen for the time being.