Pitchers shuffle up and down

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comJuly 13, 2013 

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners did some more roster shuffling Friday.

Right-hander Hector Noesi and left-hander Bobby LaFromboise were called up from Triple-A Tacoma.

Blake Beavan, who was being used as a long man out of the Mariners’ bullpen, will join the Rainiers’ rotation.

Thursday’s starter, Erasmo Ramirez, was sent to Single-A Everett. This isn’t punishment for Ramirez’s dismal 2013 debut, when he allowed seven earned runs in 42/3 innings in an 8-7, 10-inning loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Rather, it’s to keep the right-hander working over the All-Star break on something close to his regular schedule.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge said Ramirez will rejoin the club after the All-Star break.

Noesi and LaFromboise provide help for a worn-down bullpen that pitched 15 innings in the past three games because of the starting pitchers’ struggles.

Once again, the Mariners will see what Beavan can offer as a starter in Tacoma.

“He has to continue to be more consistent with his fastball,” Wedge said. “When he’s at his best, he spots his fastball. Moves it in and out, up and down. When he’s missed bad, that’s when he gets in trouble.”

The right-handed Beavan was 0-2 with a 6.13 earned-run average in 12 games (two starts) with the Mariners this year.

BAY REMEMBERS RECORD THAT COULD HAVE BEEN

Mariners outfielder Jason Bay played his second full major league season for a woeful Pittsburgh Pirates team in 2005.

Bay had a good year. He was an All-Star who hit .306 with 32 home runs and 101 RBI.

He also was on point on the bases. By the time game 160 rolled around, Bay was 21-for-21, tying Kevin McReynolds’ National League record for consecutive stolen bases in a season without being caught.

On Sept. 30, Milwaukee Brewers reliever Justin Lehr walked Bay with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. He was poised to break the record.

Rob Mackowiak was on third. Bay had been sensible, and a bit lucky, all season to reach that point. He picked his spots. But, twice he decided to go on the first move from a left-hander, who tried to pick him off. Both times he ended up safe.

Bay was ready to go again on the first move from the right-handed Lehr. After all, Mackowiak had stolen a base earlier that inning.

Lehr kicked his leg, Bay took off and Lehr faked a throw to third. He pivoted, and Bay was dead meat. The streak was over.

“I was really mad at myself,” Bay said. “I had gotten to that point being smart. I wasn’t sure when I was going to get another opportunity; it was toward the end of the year. So, I kind of felt like I kind of pushed it when I shouldn’t have.

“All the work I had done leading up to that point — that’s a full season’s worth of trying to be smart — ultimately, one bad decision kind of wiped it all out.”

Lehr threw just 342/3 innings that year and 148 over three years in the majors.

Another quirk of that game? Current Mariners reliever Oliver Perez was the Pirates’ starting pitcher.

Bay and McReynolds lost the record a few years later. Philadelphia’s Chase Utley went 23-for-23 in 2009.

ON TAP

Right-hander Felix Hernandez (9-4, 2.69 ERA) is back on the mound Saturday for his final start before the All-Star break. The Los Angeles Angels will counter with right-hander Jered Weaver (3-4, 3.38) at 7:10 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Root Sports, 1030-AM and 710-AM.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @Todd_Dybas

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