This Mariners loss hurt more than just a 9-3 result on the scoreboard. Seattle has now dropped four games in as many days in the standings to the Texas Rangers and trail by 6 1/2 going into tomorrow’s final contest prior to the All-Star Break.
Yeah, they play the Rangers four times right after the break. But even if they swept that, they now have the Angels pulling away from them as well and would merely have another team to make up sizeable ground against.
For all the hits they got tonight — a cool dozen — they failed to surpass their very uncool quota of three runs per game.
That might have been the difference.
Then again, when one of your top-two pitchers gives up a pair of homers and five RBI to Torii Hunter before the game is five innings old, well, it’s not going to be.
Pineda taking it on the chin like this was pretty symbolic. He and the other starters are the ones who literally carried this team into contention and allowed it to stay there for months despite a near-invisible offense that received no reinforcements from anyone other than minor leaguers.
And now, the pitchers are starting to stumble a bit and there is no offense to pick them up.
The Mariners front office will get its chance to build for the future these next few weeks. You don’t make deals for this year when your team is 6 1/2 games back and in third place as the All-Star Break looms.
You’ve gotta hand it to the M’s. When they fall out of a race, they don’t mess around.
They dropped 15 of 17 to tumble from contention in 2007.
In 2009, they were on the fringes, then got torpedoed four straight by Cleveland after tha break to end their chances.
And now, after staying within two or three games since May, they’ve dropped four games of real estate in as many days.
Is it a surprise?
Maybe that it’s happened this quickly.
But nobody makes the playoffs scoring two or three runs per game.
If the team wanted to do more, it really had to get that ball rolling weeks ago.