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August 22, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Yankees 10, Mariners 0: Reality hits M’s — and their pitchers — pretty darned hard

For the first 9 1/2 innings of this series, the Mariners had to be on Cloud Nine. They had outscored the New York Yankees 8-0 by that point and life was looking good. Thing is, it always helps when Felix Hernandez is the guy throwing all the innings for you to that point. From the moment Jason Vargas took the mound yesterday, followed by Luke French today, the M’s got outscored 19-3.
Hey, this isn’t meant to jump all over the M’s. They are what they are. They were a pretty bad team two weeks ago and still are. The same problems that were there the first four-plus months of the season were still around last week when the M’s were beating Baltimore. Seattle can’t score runs in big bunches and the bullpen is pretty weak outside of Brandon League and — sometimes — David Aardsma.


The rotation, outside of Hernandez, can surprise every now and then. But it is what it is.
The M’s are trotting Jose Lopez, a guy with the second-worst OPS in all of baseball amongst qualified players, out there as a clean-up hitter.
They are using Chone Figgins at his worst position. They have two leadoff hitters and almost no power. And the majority of the bullpen was in AAA earlier this year.
They are playing the defending World Series champs and sent Luke French out to battle C.C. Sabathia today.
No chance the M’s were going to win this game. And they did not. They got routed.
The good news is, when the opponent is not an elite caliber club, the M’s have at least shown signs they can overcome deficits and stay in games.
But unless Hernandez is out there, they won’t have much of a chance at beating teams like the Yankees on a regular basis.
Now, they get the Red Sox for three at Fenway Park, then the AL Central-leading Twins at home and the Angels after that. The good news? Well, the Red Sox and Angels are both fading fast as the season heads towards its final month. If the Mariners get more consistency out of their starters not named Hernandez and can have someone other than Russell Branyan hit home runs, they might steal some games here or there.
But they won’t beat good teams very often. They just aren’t good enough, as we saw today. Never mind the blown umpire’s call. If he gets it right, the game probably ends by a 10-1 score.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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