How do they fare?
It’s that time of year, folks. 81 games of baseball are in the bag and the Seattle Mariners find themselves digging deeper and deeper into the cellar of the AL West.
While it’s hard to be optimistic about much regarding this team right now, they have delivered some pretty memorable moments in the first half of the MLB season.
And while that may not necessarily be a good thing, they are managing to keep themselves in the headlines.
Jack Z and Eric Wedge have done their best to bring respectability to Seattle baseball this year. In doing so, they have excited the fan base with the future of the club. The present, though? Not so much.
The season has been a rollercoaster so far to say the least, but the Mariners have done their part in creating memories. With the ups they have seen and the many downs of this season, the Mariners still have a second half of the season to look forward to. Let’s hope after their extended All Star break that they can refresh, re-charge and come out swinging for the fences!
Here are the highlights…and lowlights…so far this season.
June 8th vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – Kevin Millwood had to leave the game with a groin injury, but the bullpen had his back. Together, the 6 pitchers combined to No-Hit the Dodgers potent offense. When the last out was recorded, the Mariners were so shocked, they literally had no idea what to do.
May 30th @ Texas Rangers – The 21-8 drubbing was by far the highest outpouring of offense the Mariners saw this season. They scored more runs in 1 game than they usually score in a week. The Mariners belted 4 home runs in the game, including 2 from Justin Smoak.
The 21 runs and 20 hits are the most by the Mariners all season.
April 21st vs. Chicago White Sox – The season was summed up in one game against the White Sox. Nobody would have imagined that when Phil Humber would take the mound for the White Sox that he would throw the 21st perfect game in MLB history.
Whether Brendan Ryan checked his swing on that last at-bat of the game didn’t matter…waiting for the last pitch of the game was the wrong time to start swinging.
While several players could get the nod here with the mediocrity surrounding this team, very few have stood out as a top player. To be honest, but repetitive, Felix Hernandez has been the best player on this team yet again. Despite a few unsightly outings, Felix has thrown some masterful performances.
While he won a couple, he has lost many games where he pitched well due to lack of offense.
Most Improved Player
Michael Saunders has been up and down since he emerged with the Mariners. This season, though, he has played hungry and has kept his spot on this roster. While he sees some cold weeks here and there, Saunders is easily putting up one of the best offensive performances of the season.
Jesus Montero was a valuable piece acquired in the Michael Pineda deal with the New York Yankees. He has been an asset on the field and in the batter’s box this season for the Mariners.
While his numbers aren’t tops in the league by far, he is showing the city of Seattle that they have plenty to look forward to in the future with this young, power hitting Catcher/DH.
Who doesn’t need improvement on this team? Several players have been demoted this season which leaves a long list to choose from. 2 guys get this award as you can’t choose from the best of the worst.
Chone Figgins gets my Hitters Needs Improvement Award. I could write his stats down, but it would be a waste of time. He has been benched permanently and has been relegated to pinch hitting and pinch running.
The only playtime he sees is on other players’ days off. He sucks. Point. Blank. Period.
Brandon League gets my Pitchers Needs Improvement Award. League started the season out as the starting closer after a dominant 2011 campaign. Yes, he struggled last year and saw a temporary demotion, but he has done it again this year and is making it worse for himself.
After losing his closer role to Tom Wilhelmsen, League has gone on to reassure everyone why he is no longer an option at the end of games.
What To Look Forward To
The second half of the season will see several prospects get some action in the big leagues and in AAA. Mariners fans have been excited since Jack Z has come in and turned this Mariners farm system into a mini goldmine.
With so much young talent coming up through the organization, fans will have several chances to see the future of the team get a crack at ending this team’s current futility.
Closer prospect Stephen Pryor was already called up to Seattle, but went almost immediately on the DL.
Phenom pitcher Danny Hultzen and shortstop of the future Nick Franklin both got call ups from AA Jackson to AAA Tacoma which means we should see both by September at the latest.
You can also almost put money on the fact that we may see Carlos Peguero and Trayvon Robinson join the Mariners again this season.
Both are having good seasons in Tacoma thus far and have given the Mariners the depth and options in the outfield they’re going to need in order to re-tool this thing.
The Mariners are dead last in their division. At the halfway point, the team is sitting at 34-47 and 17 games out of 1st place.
They are currently on pace for a 68-94 finish.
My projection? More anger. For everybody.