The Mariners had a team meeting before taking the field for team stretch today. Not a surprise, given what unfolded last night and some of Eric Wedge’s post-game comments.
We’ve written a lot the past two years about how historically inept the Mariners were on offense. The 2010 team scored only 513 runs overall, the lowest total of the DH era and one of the worst compilations in the history of baseball relative to what their peer teams were doing all around them.
But as bad as that team was, averaging just 3.17 runs per game all season, the Mariners at Safeco Field this season are even worse.
This year’s team is averaging just 2.81 runs per game in 36 home contests. Extrapolate that over a full season and you get 455 runs.
So, no, you aren’t imagining things. This team at home has reached crisis proportions at the plate.
One of the reasons we should care is what I just mentioned. The team has only played 36 home games, meaning it has 45 remaining at Safeco Field and just 38 on the road.
As of right now, the Mariners are on pace to finish with a 67-95 record.
But they still have plenty of tough road trips ahead to places like New York, Toronto, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Anaheim and Texas. So, if they can’t win at home, this season can degenerate into another 100-loss debacle quite easily.
And that, I’m afraid, is when we’ll see some heads start to roll.
Whatever this rebuilding plan truly entailed, I think it’s safe to say that 100 losses did not factor into the equation. Want to sell fans on rebuilding? Show them some.
The Mariners at home are riding a slash line of .197/.275/.291, making them one of the worst offensive teams of all-time in their own ballpark.
As bad as they were overall in 2010, they still finished with a slash line of .236/.298/.339.
At home, they were .235/.301/.322.
Last year, when the Mariners finished with a slash line of .233/.292/.348, they were .222/.289/.333 at home.
So, they are miserable at Safeco Field this season. And part of the problem is, when you are sinking at home, it negates the improvement on the road.
That’s because, as we’ve seen, even though the Mariners do score more runs on the road — where they are running a slash line of .259/.310/.420 — it doesn’t translate into as many wins as it might at Safeco Field because the team’s pitching is not as effective.
Seattle is an abysmal 14-22 (.389) at home. While the team’s road record is better at 19-24 (.442) it’s not that much better where it will negate all of the home damage. It’s not like the Mariners are 24-19 on the road.
No, they are losers in both places, even though they hit much, much better on the road.
Some will take heart in the improved road numbers and I suppose they are at least something. But this is still a last pace team, second-worst in the American League, 16 1/2 games back in the division race and 4 1/2 behind a pretty bad Oakland squad.
And it’s going to stay that way until this team figures out how to score runs in its own ballpark. To be a good team, you have to play .500 on the road and win in your own building.
That’s the formula and it’s been that way, like, forever.
The Mariners are doing neither right now. And if the trend continues at home, they will indeed lose 100 games yet again and the only folks that will be pleased with that are the ones who get off on June draft picks.
Not quite the vision of the rebuilding plan any sane team has as a business stragtegy. Time to get on it, or there will be changes. And I can guarantee you, they won’t only involve players.