The records just keep on falling for these Mariners, who tonight took their 13th extra-inning defeat, to set a new club mark. It was also their 12th walkoff loss, which ain’t too shabby either if you’re keeping score at home.
Tonight’s 2-1 loss in 10 innings was an ugly defensive affair late.
Mike Zunino had that passed ball in the 10th that allowed the winning run to score from third. Nick Franklin dropped the pop up in the eighth and then Brad Miller bounced a throw on the back end of a double play to help the tying run score.
You had Franklin getting caught in a fifth-inning run down when rounding third aggressively on a ball up the middle that wound up knocked down by second baseman Matt Carpenter. Turns out, that wasn’t Franklin’s fault, since he was waved around third by coach Daren Brown, who only put the brakes on too late.
So, that’s one.
But Franklin later popped out on a bunt in the 10th. Michael Saunders failed to get a bunt down in the ninth, then fanned when a hit-and-run was on, leading to a double play.
That kind of night.
“It’s our youth, you saw it again tonight,’’ Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “Multiple plays that had to be made. We’ve got a lot of young players up here. They’re very inexperienced. They’re up here to help us win but they’re also up here to play them, watch them, evaluate them and let them know what they need to work on.’’
Wedge added of the inexperience:
“When you’re playing tight ballgames like a lot of our games have been and you’re playing tight late, that’s when it shows itself to you. Whether it be defensively, or at home plate or on the mound. That’s what we’ve seen a lot of.’’
Wedge is right of course. But we’re hearing all about the youth now because the team is collapsing as the season heads into the final two weeks. Instead of playing for .500, the Mariners are now striving to avoid losing too many games beyond the 90-mark.
It’s a mess, somebody is going to wind up paying for it and those in the direct line of fire are now explaining the obvious: that as much as the youth was being hyped back in July, there aren’t any immediate saviors here and in fact, the team’s inexperience is now costing the Mariners a ton of games.
Franklin said he just lost the pop up.
“It just got up in the air and the ball started traveling on me,’’ Franklin said. “And when it started traveling on me, I had to go get it and fell short of it.’’
Zunino said he should have kept his eye on the pitch from Oliver Perez that got away.
“It was just one of those things where it was to my glove side and I just sort of lost track of it heading towards my glove,’’ Zunino said. “Where I just had to sort of watch it and I caught it right off my thumb.’’
Again, though, it’s not all on the young trio. Saunders has been in the big leagues off and on since 2009. He didn’t get it done when it mattered tonight.
Neither did some of the veterans when they needed to come through with some hits over the 10 prior innings before the decisive run scored.
The Mariners outhit the Cards 10-4, but scored just once. Sound familiar. It should. It’s a broken record of everything that’s gone on since the 2010 season in Seattle.
And it’s getting real old, real quick, as young as this team may want to paint itself as.