If you are looking for a place to find out how Nelson Cruz stacks up against American League sluggers or what Felix Hernandez accomplished during the first half of the season, we’ve got you covered. The annual Mariners Mid-Season Report has been published and we would love to share with our fans. Enjoy reading about the Mariners All-Stars (Felix & Cruz), the impressive first-half performances and an abundance of baseball statistics. There is even a complete rundown of the Mariners minor league system for you to freshen up on who is playing well down on The Farm!
Mariners Mid-Season Report
THE RECORD…the Mariners reached the All-Star break with a 41-48 (.461) record…are 4th in the AL West, 7.5 games back of first-place Los Angeles and 7.0 back of second-place Houston…went 21-21 (.500) on the road…were 20-27 (.426) at Safeco Field…61 of 89 games were decided by three runs or less…Seattle was 23-27 in games decided by two runs or less, tied for the most games in the American League decided by two or less (with TB)…recorded a series record of 9-14-6…Seattle was 17-17 over the final 34 games before the All-Star Break after falling to a season-worst 7 games under .500 at 24-31.
20 HOMERS AT THE BREAK…Nelson Cruz reached 20 home runs at the All-Star break for the third consecutive season and fifth time in his career…is the 18th time in club history a Mariners player has hit 20 HR before the break (last: Raul Ibañez, 24 in 2013)…additional Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr. (6x), Alex Rodriguez (2x), Bret Boone (2x), Ibanez (2x), Jay Buhner (2x), Edgar Martinez (2x) & Russell Branyan (1x).
GAME WINNERS (AND GO-AHEAD)…Nelson Cruz leads the Majors with 12 game-winning RBI, one better than Howie Kendrick (LAD) and Starling Marte (PIT), and two ahead of the next closest American League players (Evan Longoria-TB & Ben Zobrist-OAK)…also tied for the MLB lead with 21 go-ahead RBI with Todd Frazier (CIN) and Matt Kemp (SD).
KING FELIX AN ALL-STAR AGAIN…Felix Hernandez was named to the American League All-Star game as a manager’s selection…6th overall selection (2009, 2011-15), most by any Mariner pitcher and 4th most overall behind Ken Griffey Jr. (10; 1990, ‘91, ‘92-MVP, ‘93, ‘94, ‘95, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99), Ichiro Suzuki (10; 2001, ‘02, ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07-MVP, ‘08, ‘09, ‘10) and Edgar Martinez (7; 1992, ‘95, ‘96, ‘97, 2000, ‘01, ‘03).
BOOMSTICK GOING TO CINCY…Nelson Cruz was voted as the starting designated hitter for the American League squad in the 86th Major League Baseball All-Star Game…he claimed his fourth All-Star selection (2009, 2013-14) and second consecutive fan-elected start for Cruz, who claimed the starting assignment last year at Target Field while with Baltimore…Cruz joins Edgar Martinez (1997, 2001, 2003) as fan-elected designated hitters in Mariners history.
McCLENDON ON ALL-STAR STAFF…American League All-Star manager Ned Yost of the defending AL Champion Kansas City Royals named Lloyd McClendon of the Seattle Mariners to serve as a coach at Major League Baseball’s 86th All-Star Game on July 14th at Great American Ball Park, the home of the Cincinnati Reds...McClendon was previously a member of Dusty Baker’s NL staff at the 2003 All-Star Game in Chicago.
COMPLETE GAME SHUTOUTS…Seattle had 4 complete game shutouts during the first half of the season, the most in the Majors; 8 teams were tied for 2nd with two…the Mariners got two complete games each from Felix Hernandez (April 24 vs. MIN & May 27 vs. TB) and Mike Montgomery (June 23 vs. KC & June 30 at SD)…the last time Seattle has had 4+ complete game shutouts in a season was 2012 when they posted 6…the club record is 8, held by the 1982 & 1988 clubs.
BACK-TO-BACK SHUTOUTS…LHP Mike Montgomery recorded back-to-back shutouts June 23 vs. Kansas City and June 30 at San Diego (1-hitter)…just the 7th time in club history a pitcher has thrown consecutive shutouts, and first time since Freddy Garcia July 1 & July 6, 2001…became the first rookie pitcher in MLB to throw back-to-back shutouts since Cleveland’s Jeremy Sowers in 2006…12th rookie since 1980 to throw back-to-back shutouts…according to the Elias Sports Bureau, became the 4th pitcher over the last 40 years to record at pair of shutouts within the first 6 starts of a career: Fernando Valenzuela (1981), Orel Hershiser (1984) and Jeremy Sowers (2006).
20.0 SCORELESS INNINGS…Mike Montgomery (20.0, June 23-July 5) & James Paxton (20.0, May 5-17) were two of just seven American League pitchers with a scoreless inning streak of at least 20.0 innings during the first half and the only pair of teammates in the A.L. to do so (Cardinals did too but one was as reliever)…the 20.0 inning streak is tied for 20th longest in single-seasn club history.
ROOKIE SCORELESS INNINGS…Mike Montgomery recorded a 20.0 scoreless inning streak June 23-July 6…2nd-longest scoreless streak by a rookie in club history, trailing only a 21.0-inning streak by Mark Langston in 1984.
2,000 STRIKEOUTS…in May 10 start vs. Oakland (Mother’s Day), Felix Hernandez recorded his 2,000th career strikeout when he caught Sam Fuld looking…became the 4th-youngest pitcher to reach 2,000 career strikeouts, reaching the milestone at 29 years, 32 days old…currently ranks 67th on the all-time strikeout list with 2,063…5th among active players.
PITCHER AGE DATE
Bert Blyleven 28.097 07/12/79
Sam McDowell 28.228 05/07/71
Walter Johnson 28.235 06/28/16
Felix Hernandez29.032 05/10/15
Nolan Ryan 29.213 08/31/76
Sandy Koufax 29.241 08/28/65
WINS LEADER…Felix Hernandez is tied for the American League lead with 11 wins (with Dallas Keuchel)…the 11 wins match a career-high prior to the All-Star break (2014).
TIME TO GO HOME…the Mariners collected four walk-off wins during the first half of the season: Nelson Cruz walk-off single in 9th on April 19 vs. Texas, Logan Morrison walk-off home run in 11th inning on May 8 vs. Oakland, Nelson Cruz walk-off single in 9th inning on May 15 vs. Boston & Robinson Canó walk-off single in 11th inning on July 7 vs. Detroit…the four walk-off wins are T4th in the American League behind Chicago (7), Los Angeles (6) and Detroit (5).
WALK IT OFF…Robinson Canó delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning to send the Mariners to a 7-6 win July 7 vs. Detroit…marked the 4th walk-off win for Seattle this season (last: 5/15 vs. BOS)…Seattle had only 2 walk-off wins last season and 3 in 2013…was the 6th walk-off hit in Canó’s career, first since Aug. 28, 2009 vs. CWS (with NYY).
100 WINS FOR McCLENDON…manager Lloyd McClendon won his 100th game with the Mariners May 9 vs. Oakland in his 192nd game with the team…his 100th win in game 192 is the 2nd-fastest by a Mariners manager behind Bob Melvin who won his 100th game on April 27, 2004 in game #182.
MARINERS INNINGS RECORD…Felix Hernandez tossed 6.2 innings on April 29 at Texas, setting the Mariners all-time record for innings pitched, passing Jamie Moyer (2093.0, 11 seasons, 1996-2006)…finished the first half with 2,178.0 career innings pitched…Felix has thrown at least 200.0 innings in each of his last 7 seasons and since 2008 has recorded the most innings by any pitcher in baseball with 1712.1 (James Shields is 2nd with 1687.1).
SLOW START, THEN .500…Seattle began the season 24-31 through the first 55 games of the season (through June 5) but have played .500 ball the rest of the way 17-17 since June 6…have not won or lost more than 2 consecutive games since losing 7 straight May 30-June 5 to put the team seven games under .500.
IRON MAN STREAKS COME TO AN END…the two longest active consecutive games played streaks ended on June 18 when Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman (234 consecutive games played, since 9/24/13) and Seattle’s Kyle Seager (192 consecutive games played, since 5/11/14) both did not play in their games…Seager’s 192-game streak is tied for 9th-longest in club history (Ichiro holds record at 396).
DRAFT RECAP…the Mariners concluded the 2015 Major League First-Year Player Draft by selecting 40 players, highlighted by their first pick, right-handed pitcher Nick Neidert, who was a 2nd round pick (60th overall) in the draft…overall the Mariners selected 25 pitchers, including 7 left-handers, 2 catchers, 9 infielders (3 1B, 4 SS, 2 3B), and 4 outfielders…Seattle selected 27 college players and 13 high school players.
THANK YOU FANS…the Mariners have drawn 1,375,373 fans for the 47 home dates so far this season (29,262 avg)…through 47 home games last season overall attendance was 1,094,788 (23,293 avg)…the 5,970 difference in avg attendance from 2014 to 2015 is the 2nd-largest in baseball (through equal home dates at the break), trailing only the Royals (+9,973 from this point last season).
EXTRA, EXTRA…the Mariners played 11 extra-inning games (5-6 record), the most in the American League (4th-most in MLB)…the Mariners played three consecutive extra-inning games April 11-13 (2-1 record)…won back-to-back extra-inning games on the road for the first time since Sept. 4-5, 1984 at Texas.
ZERO-ZILCH-ZIP...the Mariners pitching staff tossed back-to-back shutouts vs. San Diego June 30-July 1…it is the 18th time in club history (last: Sept. 24-25, 2013) to complete consecutive shutouts…Seattle has never tossed 3 straight shutouts.
SEAGER VS. LEFTIES…Kyle Seager hit .318 (28x88) with 5 home runs vs. left-handed pitchers (.303/23x76 vs. LH starters)…amongst qualifying American League players (min. 75 PA), Seager is the only left-handed hitter to bat .300 or better vs. left-handed pitching…finished the first half 7-for-13 (.538) vs. lefties.
MULTI-HR MADNESS…the Mariners players collected 7 multi-home runs games in the first half, T4th-most in the Majors behind Toronto (10), Colorado (8) & Baltimore (8)…Seattle got multi-homer efforts from Nelson Cruz (3x, April 13 at LAD, April 19 vs. TEX, May 2 at HOU), Mike Zunino (May 12 vs. SD), Brad Miller (May 16 vs. BOS), Kyle Seager (May 26 at TB) & Logan Morrison (June 13 at HOU).
HOW LOWE CAN YOU GO…Mark Lowe allowed only 2 earned runs in his 28 appearances, good for a 0.64 ERA (2 ER, 28.0 IP)…Lowe is also averaging 11.89 K/9.0 IP (37 SO) and has recorded 10 holds…amongst MLB relief pitchers with at least 25 appearances, Lowe’s ERA is 3rd-lowest in the Majors behind J.P. Howell-LAD (0.35) and Wade Davis-KC (0.46)…amongst relievers with at least 25 appearances prior to the All-Star break, Lowe’s ERA is currently the 11th-lowest during the Baseball-Reference.com searchable era (dating back to 1914).
WAITING FOR THE HOMER…Seattle hit 93 home runs in the first half, 7th-most in the American League…Seattle scored 139 of its 312 runs during the first half via home run (44.6%)…the percentage of runs scored via home run was 4th-most in the Majors behind the Dodgers (179 of 376, 47.6%), Yankees (191 of 409, 46.7%) and Astros (183 of 395, 46.3%).
DOUBLE TROUBLE…Robinson Canó (23, T5th), Seth Smith (19, T12th) and Kyle Seager (19, T12th) rank amongst the American League leaders in doubles.
ONE OR THE OTHER…the Mariners have been involved in 17 shutouts this season, 2nd-most amongst American League teams (17)…8 pitching shutouts are tied for 2nd-most in the AL behind Oakland (12) and 9 times being shut out are the most in the AL…4 individual shutouts (2 each by Felix Hernandez & Mike Montgomery) are tied for 2nd-most by a Mariners club prior to the All-Star break.
ON THE WESTERN FRONT…the Mariners are 21-21 vs. the AL West this season, and 62-56 dating back to the start of last season.
CLOSE GAMES…50 of the Mariners 89 games were decided by 2 or fewer runs (23-27 record)…went 17-14 in one-run games (2nd-most 1-run games in AL) and 6-13 in games decided by 2 runs…50 games decided by 2 or fewer runs tied for the American League lead with Tampa Bay (2nd-most in MLB, ATL had 53.)
HITTING REPORT…Seattle hit .236 (705x2993) with 312 runs, 130 doubles, 14 triples, 93 home runs and 294 RBI during the first half…in the American League, ranked last in batting average, 14th in runs, hits, RBI and on-base percentage, 13th in doubles and slugging percentage but 7th in home runs…scored 3.51 runs per game which ranked 27th in the Majors and 14th in the American League ahead of Chicago (AL) at 3.40…the 3.51 runs scored per game are the 4th-lowest in club history ahead of 3.44 in 1983, 3.43 in 2011 & 3.17 in 2010.
PITCHING REPORT…Mariners pitchers ranked 9th in the American League with a 3.82 ERA…starters logged a 3.83 ERA (4th in AL) and relievers had a 3.81 ERA (10th in AL)…home ERA of 3.48 was 7th-best in the American League, while the road ERA of 4.23 ranked 10th…tied for 2nd in the AL with 8 shutouts and held opponents to 2 or fewer runs 34 times (4th in AL)…starters ranked 4th in the AL with 52 quality starts.
BULLPEN BULLIES…relievers Mark Lowe (0.64 ERA) and Carson Smith (1.73 ERA) both have ERA’s under 1.75…the only other time the Mariners have had a pair of relievers go a season with ERA’s that low was the 2003 club who featured right-handers Shigetoshi Hasegawa (1.48) & Rafael Soriano (1.53).
FIELDING REPORT…Mariners ranked 3rd in the American League with a .987 fielding percentage…did not commit an error in 53 of 89 games.
RUNS PER GAME…the Mariners averaged 3.51 runs per game (312 runs, 89 games), the 2nd-lowest runs per game average in the American League (CWS - 3.40)…averaged 3.40 runs per game in 47 games at Safeco Field, the 3rd-lowest home game average in the Majors (CHI - 3.16, CWS - 3.18)…scored 2 or fewer runs 34 times, tied for 2nd-most amongst AL teams (CWS - 36)…club record for lowest RPG in a full season is 3.17 in 2010.
RISP…the Mariners ranked last in the Majors batting .209 (142x681) with runners in scoring position…also ranked 29th in the Majors batting .175 (10x57) with the bases loaded.
NOT STREAKING…the Mariners did not have a winning streak of at least 5 games during the first half…won a season-high 4 consecutive games May 8-12 and won at least two consecutive games just 10 times…besides a 7-game losing streak, also limited losing streaks, losing four in a row just three times.
GRAND SALAMI…the Mariners hit three grand slams (Seager-2, Jackson-1)…Kyle Seager’s grand slam May 26 at Tampa Bay (8th inning off Jake McGee) was the Mariners first since Sept. 28, 2013 (Brad Miller), a span of 140 consecutive bases loaded plate appearances without a home run…hit 7 grand slams in 2013, but none in 2014.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK…the Mariners had a pair of players named American League Player of the Week during the first half of the season: Nelson Cruz (April 13-19: .500/12x24, 7 R, 6 HR, 10 RBI, 1.806 OPS) and Brad Miller (May 11-17: .429/9x21, 6 R, 3 2B, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 1.643 OPS)…it was the fourth career Player of the Week honor for Cruz (first with Seattle) and second for Miller.
CRUZ NAMED APRIL PLAYER OF THE MONTH…Nelson Cruz was named the American League Player of the Month for April…it was the first monthly honor for Cruz and the first by a Mariners position player since Ichiro in August 2004…in 22 games in April Cruz batted .322 (28x87) with 10 home runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 22 RBI and slugged .724…amongst AL leaders he ranked 1st in home runs (tied), slugging percentage and extra-base hits (14), 2nd in OPS (1.096) and T7th in hits.
5 STARTS, 5 WINS…Felix Hernandez (April 18-May 10) & Taijuan Walker (June 10-July 1) each won five consecutive starts this season…those were the longest winning streaks (without a no-decision mixed in) since Joe Pineiro & Freddy Garcia won 6 straight and Jamie Moyer won 7 straight starts in 2003.
LOSING LATE…the Mariners have lost 13 games in an opponents last at-bat which is tied for most in the American League with Tampa Bay and T2nd in the Majors behind Atlanta (15)…of the 13 losses, 6 have been walk-off losses which is T4th most in the Majors…Atlanta (15), Seattle (13), Cincinnati (13), San Diego (13).
HOMER HAPPY…Mike Zunino (2), Kyle Seager, Logan Morrison, Justin Ruggiano and Nelson Cruz combined to hit 6 home runs on May 12 in Mariners 11-4 win over San Diego...marked the 13th time in club history to record at least 6 home runs in a game (last: 6 HR, 8/27/04 vs KC), including the 6th time to hit at least 6 homers in a game at home...the 6 home runs ties for the most home runs by the Mariners at Safeco Field (also: 8/27/04 vs. KC).
THAT’S QUALITY…the Mariners starting pitchers recorded a quality start in 8 straight games June 2-10, including allowing 1 run or less in 5 of those starts…it was the longest stretch by the Mariners pitching staff since recording 8 straight quality starts from June 7-15, 2013…Seattle recorded 52 quality starts during the first half, 4th-most in the American League behind Oakland (53), Chicago (53) & Los Angeles (53).
HISTORICAL HOMERS…Nelson Cruz hit 14 home runs in the Mariners first 26 games of the season (through May 4), the most in club history…Cruz is the first player with at least 14 home runs in the first 26 team games since Alex Rodriguez also hit 14 for the Yankees in 2007…Cruz is the 5th player in MLB history with 14 or more home runs through a team’s first 26 games.
CONSECUTIVE RUNS VIA HOME RUN…starting with Kyle Seager’s grand slam in the 8th inning May 27 at Tampa Bay, and concluding with Robinson Canó’s 2-run home run May 30 vs. Cleveland, the Mariners tied a club record scoring 15 consecutive runs via a home run…Seager (2 HR, 5 RBI), Nelson Cruz (1 HR, 3 RBI), Mike Zunino (1 HR, 1 RBI), Dustin Ackley (1 HR, 2 RBI), Seth Smith (1 HR, 2 RBI) and Canó (1 HR, 2 RBI) accounted for the scoring via home run…also scored 15 straight runs via the home run May 3-5, 1999…the last MLB team to score 15 consecutive runs all coming via a home run was the Rockies April 20-23, 2014.
HITTING STREAK…Logan Morrison had a career-high 16-game hitting streak (May 24-June 10), hitting .349 (22x63) with 2 runs, 3 double, 3 RBI and 5 walks…his 16-game hitting streak was T4th-longest hitting streak in the American League in the first half and longest by a Mariners player since Kyle Seager recorded a 16-game hitting streak, April 11-27, 2013.
NEW CREAM UNIFORMS DEBUT…the past met the present as the Mariners debuted their alternate cream home uniform…the new jersey and pants are a classic cream color, while the lettering and logo are the same as the current uniforms but in the original Mariners colors (Royal Blue & Gold)…in a nod to vintage baseball uniforms, there are no players’ names on the backs of the jerseys; just large block numbers in royal with gold trim…the look is completed with a royal blue cap with gold Mariners “S” and compass rose baseball logo and royal blue socks with gold stripes.
CIVIL RIGHTS GAME…the Mariners and Dodgers played in the 2015 Civil Rights Game, baseball’s annual celebration of the people who helped usher in a new era of social progress in this country, which was held on Jackie Robinson Day this year on April 15 at Dodger Stadium…the Civil Rights Game was the ninth installation of an annual event that began in Memphis in 2007, centering on an exhibition game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians…after another exhibition game in Memphis in 2008, the Civil Rights Game moved to Cincinnati (2009-2010), Atlanta (2011-2012), and Chicago (2013) as regular season contests, and last year was hosted in Houston by the Astros.
OPENING DAY FELIX…Felix Hernandez made his club-record 8th career Opening Day start, earning the win by allowing 1 run in 7.0 innings…was his 7th consecutive OD start (2007 vs. OAK, 2009 at MIN, 2010 at OAK, 2011 at OAK, 2012 at OAK-Tokyo, 2013 at OAK, 2014 at LAA)…Felix is 6-0, 1.48 ERA (10 ER, 60.1 IP) with 62 strikeouts in his 8 career Opening Day starts.
YOUNG OPENING DAY STARTS…Felix Hernandez is the first pitcher in Major League history (since 1900) to make 8 Opening Day starts prior to turning 29…only four other pitchers have made 7 Opening Day starts as a pitcher before turning 29:
Most Career Opening Day Starts by Pitcher Before Turning 28:
Felix Hernandez 8 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Bert Blyleven 7 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979
Dennis Eckersley 7 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
Dwight Gooden 7 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993
WELCOME TO THE SHOW…four players made their Major League debut with the Mariners in the first half: Tyler Olson (4/7 vs. LAA), Mayckol Guaipe (6/1 vs. NYY), Mike Montgomery (6/2 vs. NYY) & David Rollins (7/4 at OAK)…5 rookies saw action on the field during the first half of the season (Carson Smith).
OPENING DAY WIN STREAK…the Mariners extended their Opening Day winning streak to 9 consecutive games with a 4-1 win vs. the Angels (old record was 5 straight from 1982-86)…it is the longest OD winning streak since the Cincinnati Reds posted 9 straight wins on Opening Day from 1983-1991, and is tied for the longest American League Opening Day win streak with the St. Louis Browns (9 straight, 1937-45).
3,000 TOTAL BASES…Robinson Canó has passed 3,000 total bases in his career on May 5 (3x5, 2B)…Canó became the 19th second baseman in Major League history to record 3,000 total bases in a career…amongst American League second baseman, his 3,090 total is 7th-best.
HE’S BATTING FIRST?…first baseman Logan Morrison went 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored, 1 RBI and 1 stolen base from the leadoff position June 15 at San Francisco…according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Morrison joined Boston’s Brock Holt (6/1/14 vs. TB, 4x4, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB) as the only first basemen in the past 16 seasons to record at least 3 hits and 1 stolen base from the leadoff position.
HOMEGROWN WIN…reliever Tyler Olson (Spokane/Gonzaga) earned his first Major League win April 11 in a 5-4 win in Oakland…he’s the 32nd Mariners player who was born/raised in the state of Washington and just the 8th pitcher to get his fi rst MLB win while pitching for Seattle joining Sean White (2007), Eric O’Flaherty (2007), Robert Ramsay (2000), Russ Swan (1990), Mike Campbell (1987), Karl Best (1984) and Larry Andersen (1981).
SAVING THE BULLPEN…catcher Jesus Sucre made his first career relief appearance June 12 vs. the Astros, allowing only 1 hit in a scoreless 8th inning…Sucre is only the fourth Mariners position player to pitch in a game in club history...he joins Jamie Burke (July 6, 2008 vs. Detroit - 1.0,1,1,1,0,0), John Mabry (May 28, 2000 at TB).
ODDS & ENDS…
STRIKEOUTS BEFORE TURNING 30…Felix Hernandez has recorded 2,063 strikeouts in his 11 Major League seasons, all before turning 30 years old (turns 30 April 8, 2016)…the 2,063 strikeouts are 6th-most in baseball history before turning 30 years old:
Most Strikeouts - Before Turning 30
2,302 Walter Johnson
2,271 Sam McDowell
2,250 Bert Blyleven
2,085 Nolan Ryan
2,079 Sandy Koufax
2,063 Felix Hernandez
2,038 Don Drysdale
2,002 Bob Feller
1,981 Pedro Martinez