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July 16, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Mariners start their road trip off in slugging form

This was a relatively easy 9-4 win by the Mariners over the Kansas City Royals in a game pretty much done just two innings in.
By that point, Casper Wells had a career-high five RBI, Justin Smoak a two-run homer and Royals starter Jonathan Sanchez was in ruins. The Royals tried to make a game of it with a pair of homers off Jason Vargas — his 24th and 25th given up this season — but couldn’t connect for some other big hits that could have really made the game close.
In all, Vargas goes six innings in a game that won’t ease many concerns about his ability to pitch away from Safeco Field. We’ll see how that impacts potential trades.
But the real story here was the offense was again unloading away from Safeco Field on a hot night with gametie temperatures up at 95 degrees.
Seattle hit three home runs tonight — belonging to Wells, Smoak and Dustin Ackley — while Wells and Ichiro added triples. Jesus Montero had a double. You can see where I’m going with this.


Seatte already had a .715 road OPS coming into the game compared to .563 at home. Those road numbers are about to climb again.
This fences thing is a pretty good debate and I’m just about sold on the need to move them in. Yes, opposing hitters will get a benefit as well — eliminating the so-called “Vargas Edge” for the M’s — but those teams don’t have to play at Safeco Field 81 ties per year. In the end, the psychological duress of the M’s seeing their batting numbers suppressed at home could wind up carrying over beyond the instant damage of those games and have longer-term rammifications.
It only takes a few games to get into a slump, but sometimes weeks to break out of one.
For the M’s, the disparate numbers we keep seeing homer versus away are starting to add up. I’m pretty certain the team will be moving the fences in this off-season. Given what we’ve seen so far, they’d be almost crazy not to try it. Might speed up this offensive development by a solid year.

Comments | Topics: Jesus Montero

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