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Colt Lyerla's fall from grace: A man who couldn't get out of his own way.

Colt Lyerla's fall from grace: A man who couldn't get out of his own way.

The troubling story of Colt Lyerla added another chapter on Sunday, as Tigard police arrested the former Oregon star for heroin possession.

The news was first reported by Tim Brown of the Oregonian, and according to the Washington County Sheriff, he is being held on $2,000 bail.

Lyerla starred at Hillsboro High School, becoming one of the top recruits in the country, before eventually taking his talents to the University of Oregon. Expectations for Lyerla were sky high while he was in Eugene, and while he showed glimpses of his star power, off the field issues derailed his career.

Lyerla played in 15 games his first two seasons at Oregon, amassing 469 yards from scrimmage to go with seven touchdowns. He was expected to see an expanded role and be a key cog for the Ducks his junior year, but that is where the wheels started to fall off.

After playing poorly in the first two games of 2013, Lyerla missed a key game vs. Tennessee due to “circumstances.” The circumstances weren’t clear, but it was clear that Lyerla was falling out of favor within the Oregon program. He was later suspended for a violation of team rules, and shortly thereafter announced he was leaving the program for “personal reasons.”

Just weeks after leaving the program Lyerla was arrested on charges of cocaine possession, a charge he would plead guilty to in order to pursue his NFL dream.

However, the cocaine charge was in the forefront of the minds of every NFL GM as the 2014 draft approached.

Prior to the draft, Lyerla discussed his past with Chase Goodbread of College Football 24/7:

            Lyerla's troubled timeline is a lengthy one. He was dismissed from the Oregon football team in October for an unspecified team rules violation. On Thursday, he left it unspecified, but let               on that it was no small matter to him personally.

            "I can't really say too much about that, but it's something I deeply, deeply regret and it's a mistake I'll have to live with the rest of my life," he said.

            That wasn't the only issue Lyerla has dealt with. Weeks after his dismissal, Lyerla was arrested for cocaine possession when police witnessed him using the drug in his car. He later ran                   from police, compounding his troubles, when they attempted to continue the investigation at his residence. Lyerla spent a day in jail and another nine days working on a road crew.

           "That was huge for me," he said. "It gave me a lot of time to self-reflect and realize that's a place I never want to be again."

Lyerla sounded remorsefull, but his past was too much to overcome. Lyerla went undrafted, but was eventually signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent. Lyerla impressed during Packers camp, drawing comparisons to Rob Gronkowski, but it all came crumbling down. During a team practice Lyerla tore his PCL and MCL, and later reached a settlement for his release in August of 2014. Many experts thought the move was just a hiccup. A chance for the Packers to free up cap space and a roster spot, then bring Lyerla back when he was healthy. These thoughts never materialized. Due in large part to his off the field issues, Lyerla would never wear an NFL uniform again. 

Lyerla was arrested on suspicion of DUI in September of that same year, as his off the field struggled continued.

Lyerla stayed out of the news until November of 2015, but this time it was good news, and it looked like the troubled star had finally found the right path.

The Arena Football League came knocking on his door, and his hometown Portland Steel signed him to a contract. The first game of the season saw an electric Moda Center crowd cheering on the former hometown hero, and Lyerla himself said “it feels good to be the hometown kid.” But this feeling, too, was short lived. In week two against the Orlando Predators Lyerla injured his shoulder, and was subsequently put on the IR.

As Lyerla said in 2014, he never wanted to be in a bad place again. Unfortunately, he didn’t listen to his own advice. Another lost football job resulted in another run in with the law for Lyerla. The story has grown dull. Lyerla has been arrested enough time now that it is almost non-news. But for some reason, he resonates with us. Maybe it is because he was the hometown kid we all rooted for. Maybe it is because he was the Oregon Duck we all wanted to see at the next level. Or maybe we continue to pay attention because of how sad the story is: A man with the talent to be the best couldn't get out of his own way.

The heroin arrest last Sunday may be the final nail in the coffin for Lyerla. If it wasn’t already, the NFL dream is certainly dead. With cocaine and heroin on his record, he will probably never see the AFL again, either.  The only career he has sustained up to this point is that of a career criminal. 

For the sake of Lyerla and all those who love and root for him, let’s hope this career fizzles out like the rest.

Jamie Hudson: A Las Vegas first for me

Jamie Hudson: A Las Vegas first for me

LAS VEGAS - You can do just about anything you want in Sin City. Zip line over downtown, drive race cars, jump off the Stratosphere, or even swim with sharks.

One of the more basic experiences that has so far escaped me, was betting on a sports event. With the recent Supreme Court decision which allows sports gambling to be legalized on a state level, I figured I'd better get this sports betting stuff figured out before it makes its way to Oregon!

While in Las Vegas for NBA Summer League I set out to get my money down on live sports.

The first step was to meet up with a local expert, so I found Todd Furhman of the Bet The Board Podcast. He's also a former odds maker at Caesars and the guy knows his stuff. 

We met up at Top Golf Las Vegas to talk about a wide range of gambling topics and you'll see those features rolling out of the next several months (we talked NBA, College Football, and NFL). 

But the top priority was placing my first wager. 

I talked with Todd, did a little research, and made my way to the Sports Book just in time to bet UFC Fight Night 133.

It was quite the experience, and I'm certain it won't be my last sports bet. 

NBC Sports Northwest and NBCSNW Rip City Radio 620 Announce Programming Changes

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NBCS NW

NBC Sports Northwest and NBCSNW Rip City Radio 620 Announce Programming Changes

NBC Sports Northwest and NBCSNW Rip City Radio 620 will debut a new weekday lineup starting Thursday, July 19, featuring veteran sports talk Radio host Brian Noe, it was announced today by NBC Sports Northwest and iHeartRadio.

The Brian Noe Show will take the noon – 3 p.m. PT time slot, taking over for The Dwight & Aaron Show. 

Noe has been a national host at FOX Sports Radio since 2013. During that time, he hosted a Saturday evening show with Ephraim Salaam and a Sunday morning show with Andy Furman. Noe has also hosted shows with FS1 analyst Rob Parker, former ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard, former NBA slam dunk champion Cedric Ceballos, and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.

With the appointment of Noe, Aaron Fentress and Dwight Jaynes will return to NBC Sports Northwest as digital contributors, taking on bigger roles covering all sports on NBCSportsNorthwest.com.

In addition, NBC Sports Northwest’s first daily show, The Bridge, is re-launching as a nightly sports show, starting Monday, July 23. Serena Winters, previously co-host, has been elevated to primary host, and will be accompanied by a variety of expert contributors.The Bridge airs weeknights at 6 p.m. PT, with the exception of Trail Blazers game nights. Toyota has signed on as the show’s title sponsor starting July 30. Fans can interact with The Bridge live on Twitter via @NBCSNorthwest and on NBC Sports Northwest’s Facebook page.

“Brian has a great creative outlook on the world of sports and is known for his unique perspective on big storylines,” said Len Mead, General Manager, NBC Sports Northwest.  “We’re thrilled to welcome him into the NBCS Northwest family. We’re equally proud to have Dwight, Aaron and Serena take on important assignments across our network platforms. These changes will allow us to continue to best serve our fans in the Northwest and continue our investment in strengthening our website and digital content.”

“We are excited to be adding Brian Noe to the team and our daily line-up at NBCSNW Rip City Radio 620,” said Program Director Rich Moore.  “He’s a great young talent and will help us strengthen our platform with NBC Sports Northwest and for the Portland fans.”

NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 is available online and digitally everywhere listeners are via iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one streaming music, podcasting and live radio service. Visit iheartradio.com/apps to download iHeartRadio on your favorite device.

Seattle Mariners – Homerism and All-Star voting

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USA Today Images

Seattle Mariners – Homerism and All-Star voting

BY BRIAN HIGHT 

This happens in every American city with a Major League Baseball team (and one Canadian). It’s not just Seattle. The pleas of the local broadcasting team to vote for the hometown boys is echoed across four time zones almost nightly in June and intensify in the run up to the voting deadline, which is mercifully the day after the national fireworks holiday – July 5th.

Viewers of ROOT Sports in the Pacific Northwest have been subject to the nightly urgings of Angie Mentink or Jen Mueller to vote for Seattle Mariners, most often Mitch Haniger or Jean Segura, but occasionally Nelson Cruz. After all, they have been the M’s best offensive players in 2018, so naturally they must be all-stars, right?

Don’t’ get me wrong, Haniger and Segura, and Cruz have been really good. So, it says a lot about the young talent in the American League and across baseball that they not only aren’t leading in the all-star voting, they aren’t even close, and it’s not a slight by any means.


The Case for (or against) Mitch Haniger

Mitch Haniger, once considered a throw-in in the Taijuan Walker for Jean Segura trade two off-seasons ago, has been awesome in right field and leads the Mariners in fWAR with 2.6. The glossary at Fangraphs describes a 4-5 WAR player, the pace Haniger is on, as an all-star caliber player. Only in 2018, it’s not.

While Mitch Haniger is slashing .272/.355/.497 with 17 HR, 62 RBI, and putting up a 135 wRC+, that pales in comparison to possibly the greatest single season in the history of baseball – Mike Trout’s 2018 campaign, a rebound season that traditionalists love because it invokes the “triple crown” – the one Mookie Betts is having, and one very large human being – All Rise Aaron Judge.

Trout, who is working on his third MVP although it probably should be his fifth, currently has 6.3 of Fangraphs’ version of WAR. But if you prefer Baseball Reference’s version, he has 6.8 WAR. With 86 games this season under his belt, a little over half way, Trout is on pace to put up the second most WAR by a position player in the history of the game. Five of the seven best seasons in baseball history are claimed by one George Herman “Babe” Ruth. The 12.9 rWAR recorded by Ruth in 1921 seems likely to tumble, barring an injury to Trout, and the 14.1 rWAR crushed by the Babe in 1923 is in serious jeopardy.

To see what that kind of production looks like, in 1923 Ruth hit .393/.545/.764 with 41 HR, 130 RBI, and 151 R. That led the league in OBP, SLG, OPS (1,309), HR, RBI, R, and OPS+ (239). Oh, and he led the league in walks with 170 and remarkably didn’t lead the league in BA. That distinction is owed to an often-overlooked star of the time, Harry Heilmann of the Detroit Tigers who in 1923 hit .403. And don’t worry, he’s not that overlooked. He was a four-time batting champion and is in the Hall of Fame.

By comparison, Trout currently leads the AL in walks with 74 and OBP .456. Considering the huge difference in eras, Trout is demonstrating similar patience to Ruth and is garnering similar respect from opposing pitchers. The Angel’s outfielder is slashing .313/.456/.633 with 24 HR, 49 RBI, 66 R, and 13 SB. At Baseball Reference, 6.0 of his WAR is attributable to offense, while 0.9 of his WAR is because of his glove, a skill that it’s hard to know if Ruth had beyond the crude box scores of the day. The old Yankees Stadium didn’t have Statcast. Trout’s OPS+ is 201, or roughly twice as good as a league average hitter. Twice. Absolutely Ruthian.

But as great as Trout has been this season, he has some serious competition clear across the country in Bean Town. Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox currently leads the AL in BA, SLG, and OPS with a .339/.430/.673 slash line and 20 homers of his own to go along with 15 SB. Hitting at the top of the Red Sox lineup to prove that rookie manager Alex Cora is “stat savvy,” Betts only has 41 RBI but has scored 64 runs. Fangraphs has Betts with 5.0 WAR, while Baseball Reference has him with 4.8.

And, finally in third place on the leaderboard in AL OF voting is the New York Yankees giant – Aaron Judge. Judge with 4.4 rWAR and 4.2 fWAR, is currently hitting .279/.396/.565 with 22 HR, 55 RBI, and 57 R through 79 games. Early rainouts leave the Yankees having played four or five fewer games than the rest of the league. Oh, and never fear, while not leading the league, Judge is on pace to break his league leading strike out total from last season’s 208 with 109 so far. And did I mention that Joe DiMaggio struck out an average of 36 times per 162 games in his 13-year career and the seasons only lasted 154 games back then? It was a much different game in the 30’s and 40’s.

So, yea. Mitch Haniger is having a really good season. But, Trout, Betts, and Judge deserve to start the All-Star Game for the AL. And, as a testament to the power of large market voting blocks, the man from Boston leads with 2,337,514 votes. The man who loves to talk about the weather and is ever underrated, Trout, is second with 1,989,649 votes. And the slackers in the Bronx could only get their boy to 1,557,109 votes. No other outfielder in the AL has a million votes. While the coffee drinkers and IPA lovers of the Emerald City have Haniger is 9th place with 487.150 votes, a few spots lower than he probably deserves, but in line to represent the team in the nation’s capital.


What About the Jean Segura Argument?

Man, has Jean Segura had a great season? As of July 2nd, he’s hitting .335/.363/.474 with 59 runs and 14 stolen bases. After a career high 20 HR in 2016 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the shortstop that was the centerpiece of the Taijuan Walker trade has regressed a bit in the power department, knocking 11 out in 125 games last season with the Mariners and another 6 so far this season in 78 games. But, traditionally power from the center of the infield has been a bonus.

Segura currently has 3.1 fWAR and projects to accumulate another 1.0 to 1.3 depending on the projections system. At Baseball Reference, his WAR total is slightly higher at 3.2. As with Haniger, a solid 4 to 5-win player, worthy of all-star consideration most years. Unfortunately for Segura, we are living in the second golden age of shortstops. Not since Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, and Miguel Tejeda patrolled the center of the diamond in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s has there been so many quality shortstops as now.

Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles (for now), is currently leading the voting with 960,628 ballots cast, leading over Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros at 793,087 and Didi Gregorius of the Yankees with 639,630. The player who probably should be the starter but won’t be, Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians, is in fourth place with 619,112, followed by Segura in fifth with 504,985.

On the SS WAR leaderboard in the AL, Fangraphs has Lindor first with 4.9, Andrelton Simmons of the Los Angeles Angles second with 3.5, Segura third at 3.1, Machado fourth with 2.9, and Correa fifth at 2.4. It’s worth noting that Machado’s insistence on moving from third to short has actually decreased his value as Machado was a very good 3B in the field but is below average at SS. Conversely, Simmons derives almost half his value in the field, as he is arguably the second coming of Ozzie Smith.

Any one of these choices is defensible. Lindor is hitting .296/.372/.564 with 21 HR and 10 SB, a wRC+ of 153 and 9 defensive runs saved for just half a season. Simmons, while a defensive wiz, is no slouch at the plate these days. He’s hitting .319/.380/.440 with a 4.6% K rate, unheard of these days, and a 130 wRC+. Last season Simmons had 38 DRS, which is worth about 4 wins. This season, he has 10 through the half way mark. Machado is the offensive monster at the position and let’s face it, all-star voting is mostly about the bat. The trade deadline super-prize is hitting .310/.377/.564 with 21 HR, 59 RBI, and a wRC+ of 153.

The offensive numbers between Lindor and Machado are almost identical. The superior glove of Lindor places him higher on the WAR leaderboard, but the media hype over Machado and the trade deadline and impending free agency is the difference in the all-star voting. Again, Jean Segura is really good. He’s just not this season’s all-star at shortstop.


A Word About Nelson Cruz and the DH

As with his teammates, Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura, Nelson Cruz is having a spectacular season. Somewhat surprisingly, the four-year deal the Mariners signed Cruz to in 2015 at age 34 has been worth every penny of the $54MM, even into his age 38 season. You could even argue that $13+ mil per is a bargain in today’s market. Cruz is currently hitting .288/.375/.549 with 21 HR, 51 RBI, and a wRC+ of 152. Even without any contribution in the field as the DH, Cruz has provided the Mariners with 1.9 fWAR and an identical 1.9 rWAR. The only problem? Yet another ridiculous DH in Fenway.

In his first season with the Red Sox, J.D. Martinez is hitting .324/.391/.634 while leading the majors in HR with 25 and in RBI with 67. Atop the HR and RBI leaderboard, and within .015 points of his teammate, Betts, in BA, old school announcers are drooling at the possibility of the mythical Triple Crown. For the more sabermetrically minded, Martinez’s 3.4 rWAR as just a hitter is proof enough that he is the rightful starting DH for the AL.

The voting bears that out as well.  J.D. Martinez has 1,675,492 votes, as of the last public update, and is almost a million votes clear of the not really a DH, Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees. Cruz sits in fifth in voting and could overcome the 30,000 or so vote deficit behind Shohei Ohtani, who awed fans with his pitching and hitting prowess before he went on the DL. Cruz probably deserves to be a little higher, but Martinez is clearly the right choice for 2018.


No Disrespect Intended

Nothing here was intended as a slight to this really exciting and surprising Mariners team. Barring an epic collapse of almost biblical proportions, the 2018 Seattle Mariners are set to relinquish the crown of most futile major sports teams and coronate the Cleveland Browns with that dubious honor. And there are many good to great players on this year’s team, Haniger, Segura, and Cruz among them. One of them, or possibly their exquisite pitching comrade, James Paxton, will be in D.C. on the 17th of this month representing the M’s, as every team gets a representative. They have played great baseball. Just not historically great baseball.

NBC Sports NW Summer Giveaways

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NBCS NW

NBC Sports NW Summer Giveaways

NBC Sports Northwest is hosting Authentic Fan Fridays every Friday through July! That's your opportunity to win big!  Tickets, unique sports swag bags, and more to get Authentic Fans throughout the PNW excited for the upcoming fall sports seasons!

Each Friday, you have a chance to win! 

Upcoming Giveaways: 
June 29th 
July 6th 
July 13th 
July 20th
July 27th 

*Winners will be announced the following Wednesday 

Link to Official Rules

Oregon Sports Awards live on NBCS Northwest tonight at 7pm

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Oregon Sports Awards

Oregon Sports Awards live on NBCS Northwest tonight at 7pm

The Oregon Sports Awards has been running strong for more than 60 years as the OSA honors outstanding achievements by Oregon preps, college athletes, amateurs, and pros.

Here is the full list of the 2018 nominees:

Past award winners include Terry Baker, Dick Fosbury, Steve Prefontaine, Joni Huntley, Neil Lomax, Danny Ainge, Dan O’Brien, Gary Payton, Tiffeny Milbrett, Joey Harrington, Nick Symmonds, Jordan Kent, Kevin Love, Liz Brenner, Megan Rapinoe, Ashton Eaton and Marcus Mariota.

You can watch the Oregon Sports Awards live on NBCS Northwest with the show starting at 7pm. Our red carpet coverage starting at 6pm on The Bridge.

Video: Canadian 7-foot 12-year old dominates on eight foot rims

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YouTube

Video: Canadian 7-foot 12-year old dominates on eight foot rims

Meet Oliver Rioux, a Canadian youth basketball player born in 2006. That makes him 12 years old. He also happens to be 7'0'' tall and plays in a youth league with 8'0'' baskets. This is one of the more interesting 'highlight' reels you'll ever see:

One reason why the Seattle Mariners have surged to first place – Jean Segura

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USA Today Images

One reason why the Seattle Mariners have surged to first place – Jean Segura

BY MARIO MARTIN DEL CAMPO

This week, the Seattle Mariners played six games and won four of them, increasing their record to a superb 41-24. They currently hold one of the best records in baseball, third only to the powerhouse Yankees and Red Sox, both teams that the Mariners will face for 10 of the remaining 19 games in the month of June.

Many factors have contributed to the Mariners’ successful season; Paxton’ dependable domination on the mound, the resurgence of Wade LeBlanc, Dee Gordon’s abilities on the basepaths as well his charm in the clubhouse, the meteoric rise of Mitch Haniger, the excelling bullpen, and the quiet consistency of guys like Mike Leake, Kyle Seager, and Ben Gamel.

But then there is Jean Segura, the shortstop, who in Seattle is called, “The Hit Machine.” Sometimes he’s referred to as El Mambo and sometimes as Seggy. No matter what you call him, he’s been the silent savior of the Mariners this past season.

Last year, Jean Segura played 125 games for the injury-riddled Seattle ballclub, taking a couple of trips to the disabled list himself for a hamstring injury and an ankle sprain. In those 125 games, he hit an even .300, with a .776 OPS and was worth 2.9 wins above replacement (fWAR) for the Mariners. Despite the injuries, last year was one of Segura’s top seasons since his debut in 2012.

He’s already surpassed last year’s margin, and its only June.

The Mariners started the year with only a 9.4% chance of entering the postseason, according to Fangraphs. As of now, the Mariners have a 56.1% chance. How has Segura contributed to this rise in playoff probability? For starters, El Mambo was projected to score 48 runs, impulse 36 runs batted in, and steal 14 bases by the first 88 games of the season. He’s surpassed all of these margins while only having played 62 games this season.

In only 62 games played this year, Jean Segura has almost tied his wins above replacement for the previous year, needing only 0.3 wins to reach the 2.9 fWAR he attained in 2017. He’s currently batting .341/.363/.483 with 134 wRC+.

Segura’s contributions to the team have been immense. He’s current 2.6 fWAR leads the Mariners and is almost a full win higher than Mitch Haniger’s 1.7 fWAR. He has the highest wOBA of any Mariner with at least 50 plate appearances, and this is despite his low 3.9 BB%. His strikeout percentage of 13.5% is the lowest of all Mariners, proving that his ability to discern pitches and turn them into hits is one of the most effective on staff.

The season isn’t even halfway through and Jean Segura is already on track to have his best season yet, surpassing even his All-Star 2013 season. His approach at the plate is not only one of the greatest contributions to the Mariners’ offensive capabilities but a magnificent sight to witness. Segura covers all parts of the plate, teeing off on pitches low and inside with the grace of a golfer and taking hacks at pitches far and outside with the strength and prowess of a man hungry to lead his team to victory. This isn’t a player who swings and anything thrown at him. Segura is calculating and wise. The average player swings at pitches outside of the zone 30% of the time and makes contact with those pitches 62% of time. Segura swings at outside pitches 35% of the time and has made contact nearly 77% on those pitches.

For pitches in the zone, Segura is even better, making contact on pitches over the plate almost 95% of the time. Currently, there are 11 players with more wins above replacement than Jean Segura, and none of them match his ability to cover the plate.

Therein lies the beauty that is Jean Segura. He is currently ranked 12th on Fangraphs’ MLB leaderboards, and he’s ranked as the 10th best position player when only counting position players in the American League. Segura has proven that he’s not only been the Mariners most valuable position player, but one of the better position players in all of Major League Baseball this season.

Seattle Mariners: The surprise that is Marco Gonzales

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USA Today Images

Seattle Mariners: The surprise that is Marco Gonzales

BY BRIAN HIGHT

Over the weekend, I noticed that Marco Gonzales, starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, had been picked up on waivers in my oldest fantasy baseball league. The league originally started back in Memphis, TN, so long ago I’d prefer not to say. But these days, as people have gone on with their lives, players live in Seattle, (obviously me), Atlanta, and Tampa. Coordinating eastern time, central time, and pacific time auctions can be challenging, but it’s always fun.

But, back to Marco Gonzales. Mariners fans know that after suffering through a rocky April, Gonzales has been brilliant for most of May and now into June. But, it was kind of surprising that Gonzales had made it on to the national radar, albeit among a group of fans that is possibly more keenly aware of statistical trends in players’ performance than the casual fan. And, to be fair, this group jumped all over Mitch Haniger when I brought his name up for auction at a dollar, hoping to sneak him past my Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals centric playing partners. So, Gonzales being plucked from the free agent pool of fantasy players made me want to see just how good he’s been lately.

Marco Gonzales May Have Figured It Out

Back in April, Gonzales had a three-game stretch, that, at the time, raised some concerns. On April 9th, the Mariners faced the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City and Gonzales would only give them 2.1 innings, his shortest outing of the season, up to then and since, where he would yield 8 hits and 4 earned runs. Then in his next outing on April 14th, Gonzales went only one inning deeper versus the Oakland A’s at home, 3.1 innings, and also gave up 4 earned runs. This time on 5 hits.  In the last game of this rocky period, Gonzales took the bump on April 19th against the Houston Astros in Safeco and stretched it out to 4.2 innings, allowing 5 hits and 3 earned runs.

Over the three-game stretch, Gonzales pitched 11.1 innings and gave up 16 hits and allowed 11 earned runs for a WHIP of 2.79 and an 8.92 ERA. Not entirely encouraging. However, over the same stretch, he did manage to strikeout 17 batters while only walking 3 for a K/9 of 13.78 and a BB/9 of 2.43.

Since the fourth start of the season on April 19th, Gonzales has failed to go 6 innings only once, in the 2-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Safeco on May 17th. But in that outing he did not allow an earned run in 5.2 innings pitched. In fact, starting with the May 17th Tigers game, Gonzales has only allowed 1 earned run over four consecutive outings.

In his last four starts, Gonzales has pitched 5.2 innings against the Tigers, allowing zero earned runs; 7.0 innings against the A’s, allowing zero earned runs; 6.2 innings against the Texas Rangers, allowing zero runs; and 6.2 innings against the Tampa Rays, allowing 1 earned run. Over that four-game stretch, the Mariner left hander has a 0.884 WHIP and an ERA of 0.346. Wow.  He has stuck out a modest 21 hitters for a K/9 of 7.27, while walking 11 for a 3.81 BB/9. The walk figure is somewhat inflated in the small sample by a 4 free pass game against the Rangers.

For the season, Gonzales has contributed the second most fWAR on the pitching staff for the Mariners with 1.4, just a tick ahead of closer Edwin Diaz who has 1.3 and behind James Paxton who sports a 2.3 fWAR. Something about no-hitters and 16 K games will bump a pitchers WAR slightly. Gonzales’ season ERA is 3.38, but his FIP suggests he might be a tad better with 3.22.

Good in Both Fantasy Baseball and Real Baseball

Who would have thought coming into the season that Marco Gonzales would be the second-best starter on the Seattle Mariners? The three outings in April cast some doubt on the season and seemed to suggest that the Mariners could spend the Summer chasing their own pitchers on offense, trying to put up enough runs to stay in ball games. But, what appeared to be a liability in April (and that was much of the pitching staff, both starters and relievers, not just Gonzales) has turned into a major asset for the first-place ball club from the Emerald City.

So, if you play fantasy baseball and Marco Gonzales is still on your waiver wire, go get him. If you just like to watch good pitching and root for the Mariners, Gonzales’ next start will come on the road against the Rays. Don’t be surprised if he has another good outing.

One on one with the newest investors in the Portland Diamond Project: Russell Wilson and Ciara

One on one with the newest investors in the Portland Diamond Project: Russell Wilson and Ciara

The Portland Diamond Project (PDP) added some big names to its investment group over the weekend. Seattle Seahawks star quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Grammy Award-winning singer Ciara joined the group as owners/investors.

The PDP held a press conference on Saturday where Wilson said, “we’re excited about this opportunity. We’re excited about the potential of bringing a Major League Baseball team here to such a great city.”

Wilson and Ciara took a quick second after the press conference for an exclusive interview with our Dwight Jaynes to talk about the duo’s ambition to bring MLB to PDX.