For about five innings in this affair, it looked like the Mariners had a right handed Cliff Lee out there dealing instead of being dealt. David Pauley had set down 13 straight and trailed only 1-0 heading into the sixth.
Then, the Mariners became the Mariners again.
An error by Jose Lopez put two on with none out, in came Chad Cordero and goodbye went the ballgame. Four runs later, it was 5-0 and by the time Lopez doubled home Seattle’s only run, it was far too late.
Mark Texeira hit his second homer of the game in the ninth, off Luke French, to cap the eighth Seattle loss in the last nine games. The M’s have also dropped five in a row, all at home.
Well, hey, at least they can count on Lee and Felix Hernandez two days out of every five, right? Uh, nope.
And that bullpen is really starting to bite it bad.
This is the worst the pen has looked all season. Lowe is now gone for good (wasn’t coming back this season anyway), so the M’s have to pray for Shawn Kelley to get back soon and for David Aardsma and Brandon League to find their games.
Or else, look out.
This team is 18 games under .500 right now and fading fast. Yeah, they just got Justin Smoak. But this is quickly gaining the feel of another 90 or 100-loss season.
The hitting should get marginally better with Smoak and Russell Branyan here. But the pitching, which kept this team hanging around for much of April and May, just took a turn towards a whole lot of worse. Pauley did his best tonight. And it still wasn’t nearly enough once the bullpen got hold of this one.