Ahh the beauty of allergy season. Nothing says spring like lying on the couch staring at the ceiling while drowning in a river of one’s own mucus; it truly is the best of times I assure you. It is also a severe hinderment of one’s creative ability so hence why I haven’t been around as often. However I got a few clear headed moments so it’s time to rant.
This is the line that all of Trident Nation got to see this morning:
Yep that says that the Mariners have lost 5 out of their last 6 games, three of those losses to the divisional leader, two of them to a National League club that we beat 5 out of 6 times last season and one make up game to baseball’s hottest team. Players are getting benched, managers are getting publicly testy and the whole thing is starting to feel like the wheels are starting to come off.
A lack of scoring has (once again) become the bane of Mariners fans. Ever since the end of the glory years and what appeared to be the instant aging of Bret Boone and John Olerud in 2004; this club has gone lengthily stretches where it has struggled to score runs. Management has tried to throw money (Sexson, Beltre, Guillen, Vidro, Johjima) and youth (Lopez, Morse, Leone, Jacobsen..etc) and coaching changes (Perry, Baylor, Molitor and now Pentland) at the problem but nothing has worked. As Ryan Franklin could gladly testify to, the Mariners have been one of the worst run support clubs of the last five seasons. It’s no wonder that big name pitchers like Zito and Schmidt didn’t want to come here to pitch with only 1.4 runs of support per game. Yeah that is what we are doing offensively during the 5 losses.
TONY DEJAK/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
And it’s not like the team isn’t getting hits. During Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Padres the Mariners got 9 hits, but left 14 men on base including 2 on in the 9th against Trevor Hoffman with none out. I would love to list each time the M’s have had one or more on, one or more in scoring position with 1 out or less and still fail to plate any but there isn’t enough internet for all of those stats. We have 3 guys in the lineup hitting over .300 and when Sexson isn’t playing no one is hitting under .250. There is no reason for such atrocious clutch hitting. I wont’ even start on the base-running mistakes; my blood pressure can’t take it.
Hargrove is trying to make things happen. There are a lot of things we can blame a manager for, but he can’t polish a **** when it comes to bad hitting. All he can do is bench guys and shake up the lineup. Dude has tried both so far with little or no luck. Sexson was benched for 2 games after dragging the team through an 0 for 15 slump that helped decide a game because he choked with runners on. Betancourt also saw some pine after he watched his average begin to slip because he couldn’t lay off up and in fastballs. I don’t know what else he can do to get these guys to hit, you can’t “get “someone to hit. The game doesn’t work that way.
There is a chance however to put the brakes on this flaming bus before it slams into the side of the mountain killing all occupants including the season. 6 games against the Royals and Devil Rays are on tap before facing the Angels again. Realistically, if they can take 5 or 4 of these and 2 from the Angels we could climb right back in this thing. We just need to score some runs.
Tonight the M’s begin the Rays series in Tampa. Jared Washburn will face Rays ace and future Yankee starter Scott Kazmir.