Trounced by Brewers
The stage was set and everything was in place for the Seattle Mariners to make Saturday one of the more memorable dates in team history. Honoring the great Ken Griffey Jr. by enshrining him in the Mariners hall of fame before the game kicked off, there was a buzz and atmosphere surrounding Safeco Field that had not been felt there for quite awhile.
Edgar Martinez, Dan Wilson, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, and even Alvin Davis sat on the field, allowing fans to once again see the greatest players in organization history. The stadium was full, the crowd was buzzing, and fans of Seattle were reminded why they cared about this team.
So what did the Mariners do? Did they honor Griffey Jr. as well by putting together a quality performance with Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound? Did they once again prove to borderline fans that they should actually come out and catch more games? Did they win?
Nope, nope, nope, and nope. In fact, the Mariners did just about the opposite of that: they honored The Kid with an embarrassing loss of lackluster display that likely had all the great Mariners shaking their heads and fans bidding farewell to their home squad for another year.
Downed 10-0 by Milwaukee — who are 51-66 on the year — Seattle tallied just four hits over the course of the game while Iwakuma and the Mariners’ stellar bullpen (particularly Lucas Luetge) surrendered 16. It was a complete embarrassment on a night that should have been filled with spectacular.
After all the pregame festivities and the honoring of Griffey Jr., the actual game left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth that is hard to wash out, even when you account for the fact that most of the fans came out just to see Griffey.
So what went wrong?
Well, first of all, you have to give credit where credit is due. The Brewers’ pitchers were absolutely stellar yesterday and had all the right stuff.
They kept the ball on the edges and didn’t allow Seattle to get any momentum going.
Iwakuma, who is generally stellar, made a few key mistakes that led to Milwaukee exploding for six runs in the seventh inning. Luetge didn’t help anything either, as he came in and just looked awful.
But more those two things, the Mariners looked like a squad who didn’t want to win. They went through the first few innings and then got in a pattern that was too reminiscent of the past 10 years.
While much of this 2013 campaign has been defined by an exciting Seattle team who seem to be unfortunate at times, last night reminded Mariner fans of the years they have suffered watching a product on the field that was low in quality.
This isn’t to say everything was absolutely terrible, however, as one player in particular seemed to take Junior’s pregame message to heart. Dustin Ackley, who many have said the Mariners need to get rid of (and something I definitely don’t believe should happen), went 2-for-3 with a double.
He’s putting together a great series and looks to be getting back in form.
The problem I really see with the Mariners is not so much in young guys struggling, but older veterans just kind of taking the season in stride and earning their paychecks. Joe Saunders has been good at times, but neither he, nor Aaron Harang, really “feel” like they belong in Seattle.
And I know neither Saunders nor Harang had anything to do with yesterday’s result, I really believe these veterans have brought an attitude to the team that just strives for mediocrity.
The way they conduct themselves on the mound just screams “who-gives-a-crap”, translating to fewer wins and a little less passion in games that should be very passionate.
There is hope for this to change, however, as Brad Miller and Nick Franklin will look to be staples for the organization in the future. In addition to Kyle Seager and Ackley, they will help build a new core and positive mentality, just as Griffey eluded to during his speech.
I just wish they could’ve had that mentality last night.