Taijuan Walkers will make his major league debut Friday night in Houston. He is only 21, but the Mariners need a reason for fans to tune in to the game against Houston following the disastrous six game home stand that saw Seattle go 0-6 and be outscored 38-12.
Since the Mariners had that streak of winning-yes they had one, honest-when they climbed within four games of .500, they have gone 11-21. Maybe they were getting dizzy with success. Seattle has always been consistently good at losing, not winning.
The Mariners look awful in August and heading the list, sorry to say, is King Felix. He is 1-4 in August with a unlike-Felix earned run average of 5.82. I have no answer, no ideas. If there is an answer, Carl Willis, Mariner pitching coach, would know. If he figures it out, I hope it is soon. Felix could be tipping pitches, his pattern may have become predictable, it may be a release point, it may be a curse. Who knows?
And Hiroshi Iwakuma is struggling a bit at 2-2, 3.97. The best starter is Hector Ramirez at 2-1, 4.03.
Is Taijuan Walker the answer? Not this year. The Mariners are unlikely to stretch him out. His innings will be watched as the Mariners do not want him going to many over 165. Between Jackson and Tacoma he is at 141. So Walker may get three starts, or four, depending on how they want to use him. He strikes out one per inning in his career, and at his age, with ace potential, he will be babied.
I am looking forward to September. College and pro football will be a welcome distraction for my sanity, rapidly deteriorating due to Marineritis of the brain.