Each month at Prospect Insider we recognize a pair of Seattle Mariners — one pitcher and one batter — who have put up outstanding performances in the previous month. In June, Felix Hernandez and Kyle Seager took home the honors for Mariners of the month. Let’s take a look at if either were able to defend their title in July.
Hisashi Iwakuma, SP — 6 GS, 4-1, 42 2/3 IP, 2.32 ERA, 1.98 FIP, 2.76 xFIP, 39 K, 1 BB
Felix Hernandez, SP — 5 GS, 1-1, 37 IP, 1.70 ERA, 2.35 FIP, 2.57 xFIP, 41 K, 9 BB
Rarely does a Mariner pitcher outshine King Felix, but Iwakuma may have come close and for that reason, the pair will share the title of M’s pitcher of the month. Iwakuma was outstanding in July and he neared history when he did not issue a walk in five consecutive starts with a total of 35 and 2/3 innings straight. Cliff Lee holds the Mariner record of 38 straight walk-free innings, a mark he set back in 2010. Iwakuma pitched seven or more innings on five of the six occasions and would’ve had a complete game shutout on July 12th against the Oakland Athletics if not for a two-run home run given up with two outs. The 33-year did allow four earned runs in his start against the Baltimore Orioles last week, but otherwise did not allow more than two runs in his other July starts.
Dustin Ackley is also worthy of some recognition as he’s been red-hot during July and his .365 batting average led the team.
Felix made history this month when he completed his 14th straight start of at least seven innings pitched and no more than two earned runs allowed, breaking the 13-straight start record set by Hall of Famer Tom Seaver back in 1971. The King didn’t pick up the win in that game however, and it’s all but certain he would’ve traded accomplishing that feat for a Mariner victory, because that’s the type of player he has always been. The 28-year old has now made 23 starts on the year and has pitched less than six innings just once.
Kyle Seager, 3B — 109 PA, .303/.358/.495, 138 wRC+, .192 ISO, 5 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 12 RBI
The first-time All-Star continued his solid season at the plate with 30 hits in July, including 10 games with multiple hits. He also managed to reach base in all but six games this past month while playing above average defence according to FanGraphs. The 26-year old lead the club with 12 runs batted in over the last 31 days and improved his team-leading total to 67 on the year. Seager added 1.1 fWAR in July to his 4.3 fWAR mark which is tops among all Mariner batters on the year.
Robinson Cano, 2B — 108 PA, .354/.426/.490, 157 wRC+, .135 ISO, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 3 SB