Gotta go big or go home sometimes. The Mariners just whiffed 13 more times in today’s 7-6 loss to the Texas Rangers to set a franchise record with 1,187 with 10 games still to play.
The previous record was 1,184 set last season.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he feels things will eventually change. He saw some things today, like the aggressive way pinch-hitter Alex Liddi went after Rangers closer Neftali Feliz before striking out to end the game.
Liddi had seen Feliz in the minors before and remembers getting a hit off him.
“I knew he was going to throw fastballs,” Liddi said. “I was waiting for them and tried my best. I just couldn’t hit them.”
And Wedge was OK with that.
“He went up there and he got his hacks in,” Wedge said. “The guy’s throwing 99, 100 miles an hour out there and a lot of these kids haven’t seen that, especially in this setting and that type of ballgame.”
Wedge later added: “What I don’t want to see is, I don’t like called third strikes. That’s something we continue to improve upon. We’re getting some pitches to hit, fouling some pitches back that look like some pretty good pitches to hit that we need to get on. That’s just squaring up the baseball.”
The M’s have struck out 83 times the last seven games and 269 times the last 30 days, both major league highs.
“We are striking out a lot right now,” Wedge said. “But I think once these kids settle in, you’re going to see less of that. You’ll see more discipline, you’ll see more walks. You’ll make these starters work a little bit more. It’s just all part of the process. But what we want to do is make sure that mentally, we’re aggressive. I want these kids to continue to get a better feel for what their strike zone is.”
Spoke to Brendan Ryan after the game. He was walking slowly down a corridor and couldn’t turn his head. His neck was that stiff. Told me he’ll miss at least a few games. I wonder whether he’ll play again this year.
Asked Wedge about Dan Cortes and Wedge merely repeated the company line that he broke his hand in an off-field incident. Makes you wonder what it was.
But it’s Saturday night and I’m not going to dwell any longer on a callup relief pitcher for a last place team. If you want to speculate, go nuts. The M’s aren’t doing anything to prevent it.