This is why the Mariners find themselves on losing streaks even with a solid rotation of starting pitchers. Last year, it was because the starters were driven out of games by the fourth inning. This season, the team keeps wasting seven-inning outings by their rotation. Erik Bedard just gave the team its 15th start of seven innings or more this season. It was a quality start, too.
“I pitched great but it doesn’t really matter,” Bedard said. “We needed the win.”
Know how many of those 15 games his team has won? Try eight. Eight! You’re supposed to win about 75 or 80 percent of those games. Not just over half. So, the team keeps throwing these contests out the window, notching just two hits (!) tonight against the Texas Rangers in a 2-0 loss, then has nothing in the win column to offset those bad stretches all pitchers go through. Like the one we just saw this past week. The result? You guessed it. More losing stretches like we saw last year. Seattle has now dropped seven of eight.
“We’re just trying every day, trying to get a win,” Bedard said. “That’s all you can ask. If we don’t get it today, we’ll try again tomorrow.”
By the way, the starters themselves have earned just six wins when going at least seven. That’s barely a third of the 15 total outings of seven frames or more. Show me another team in the majors where a starter goes seven innings and wins a third of the time. Toronto maybe? This is getting worse before it gets better. Seattle had twice as many walks tonight as hits.
The team’s record when falling behind by two or more runs? Now at 0-16.
On to the Willie Bloomquist pinch-hit appearance in the ninth.
The Mariners did not have Jose Vidro available to pinch-hit. Turns out he’s been suffering from back spasms the past two days. Richie Sexson was away tending to a family matter.
“We were a little bit behind the eight ball tonight,” Mariners manager John McLaren said.
Bloomquist was brought in because the team didn’t want lefty hitter Jeff Clement facing southpaw C.J. Wilson. Clement had looked a little overmatched in his previous two at-bats striking out against Vicente Padilla and is hitting only .135. Then again, Bloomquist didn’t look all that great and is only hitting .185 himself.
McLaren was already out of the game, tossed in the second inning, so it was Jim Riggleman running the show. The team went with Bloomquist and it didn’t work. I’ll admit, the sight of Bloomquist coming off the bench to hit for a middle-of-the-order guy representing the tying run perplexed me on so many levels. This should raise some red flags about the state of the bench, if nothing else. After all, a healthy Vidro would likely have started at first base instead of Miguel Cairo. So, his lefty-mashing .320 average would not have been able to come off the bench in any case. This bench is thin indeed.
I’m done for today. Not going to over-analyze this. The Mariners lost because they didn’t hit. They had twice as many walks as hits and, as you all know, drawing walks is not their forte.