April 21, 2013 at 3:15 PM
Mariners blown off the field in Texas
This was one of the worst series I’ve seen the Mariners play in quite some time. And that includes those duds during the 17-game losing streak two years ago and the pitiful performances witnessed in 2010 that helped get Don Wakamatsu fired.
The Mariners, as a team, aren’t doing Eric Wedge or Jack Zduriencik any favors these days.
Today’s 11-3 loss to the Texas Rangers means the Mariners were outscored 23-3 in the three-game series and while we could make the argument things were close until the midway point of all three games here, that would not be an accurate analysis of what really took place. The scoreboard might have been close, but I know that in all three games, I got the feeling the Mariners had no chance once the Rangers went ahead by two runs.
That may be a tad cruel, but the results prove me right. The Mariners weren’t coming back in any of those games and it didn’t take a genius to make that call.
This team’s plate approach went M.I.A. today when the game still mattered and the results were predictable. Yesterday, they made Derek Lowe look like anything but a pitcher who millions of fans probably thought had retired from baseball a few years back. The Mariners kept swinging at the exact same first-pitch sinker and pounding it into the ground with no adjustments.
In speaking to reporters after Saturday’s game, Lowe did his best not to be insulting towards the Mariners, but made it clear he should not have a ton of credit heaped upon him for what he did. Like I said, he kept throwing the exact same pitch and the Mariners kept doing the exact same thing.
Like Bart Simpson running into the electrified side of the mousetrap maze over and over again.
Today, they made some kid named Justin Grimm look like the second coming of Justin Verlander. Grimm had nine strikeouts by the fifth inning as the Mariners found ways to keep stranding the precious few runners in scoring position they’d managed to get on this weekend over and over again.
It’s bad baseball. It’s boring for the fans to watch. And they’ve seen it over and over again.
We won’t even get started on the pitching. A fifth starter has to get through five decent innings and the 4 2/3 that Aaron Harang tossed today before the roof caved in on him don’t count as five of decent anything. Harang didn’t get the job done and he looked like he was running out of gas in the fifth well before the grand slam by Nelson Cruz.
It was a few batters before Cruz that I wondered aloud why the Mariners had nobody up in their bullpen with a 34-year-old back-end guy laboring. The Mariners have Blake Beavan around to work long relief and he was clearly ready to throw today. This idea of getting Harang through five innings — presumably to build some confidence going forward? — I’m not going to buy today. Beavan finally did get up a couple of batters later, but not in time to face Cruz.
Beavan would have at least been fresh and letting Harang face Cruz in that situation when he doesn’t know him all that well as a hitter was just asking for trouble. So, I’m not a fan of that decision.
But anyhow, the Mariners were down 4-2 at that point, so again, the slam didn’t cost them the game. It just put an official stamp on the inevitable. The Mariners now head to Houston and have to find something in a hurry. This is their chance to get a few things right and buy time until Michael Saunders comes off the disabled list.
If they don’t find it against the Astros, better buckle down. This could be a very long summer.
The time for talk is now over. We’re three weeks into the season, the Mariners are now 7-13 and looking as bad at the plate as they ever have. If this team is indeed as good as I and some others felt they could be — including the Mariners themselves — it’s time to step up and show something.
It’s still early. But it’s already getting late.