The Mariners are in a rut and need to get out of it. Their once-in-awhile decent performances are usually all-but-mitigated by disastrous games that see the offense scratch across seven runs while the pitching staff gives up 6+.
Clearly, something has to change.
Whether it be with player development, the players themselves, or the people hiring the people who hire the players (I’m looking at you, front office), Seattle needs an overhaul. And soon.
But still, despite the mess that Seattle is in right now after a promising run a few weeks ago, the Mariners still have to play ball…somehow.
Here’s a preview of the next five matchups for Seattle.
vs. Chicago White Sox (June 3, 2013) – 7:10 pm – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
The last thing the Mariners need right now is to face another AL Central opponent, as it has been well-documented that Seattle has a tendency to struggle against that division. And with the White Sox coming to town, things are beginning to look even more dreary. For whatever reason it is, the Mariners really can’t perform well against the men from the Windy City.
Fortunately, Joe Saunders will get the start at home and will look to continue pitching well at Safeco. He’ll be opposed by John Danks, who is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA.
Look for the Mariners to be aggressive early on against Danks and really try to suck the momentum out of Chicago.
vs. Chicago White Sox (June 4, 2013) – 7:10 pm – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
As always, Happy Felix Day, everybody. Felix Hernandez will get the start in this game for the Mariners after a very impressive start in his last outing. Getting back on track was key for The King, and we’ll look for him to continue his dominance and form with his first start in the month of June.
If he wants to come away with a win, however, he’ll have to duel against Jake Peavy, who is an admirable 6-3 with a 3.62 ERA on the year. This one already has the makings of a low-scoring game that will showcase two dominant pitchers.
vs. Chicago White Sox (June 5, 2013) – 12:40 pm – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
Should you have no better excuse to go and catch a Mariners game this year, make one for this game as you can get out of work early and watch Hisashi Iwakuma work his stuff on the mound. Like Felix, Iwakuma has been able to bounce back after a rough outing against the Indians. In fact, he scattered seven hits and no runs over 7 2/3 innings in his last start against the Minnesota Twins, helping lead the Mariners to victory. He earned a no decision earlier in the year against the White Sox and pitched eight innings while giving up three runs. Look for him to be more dominant this time around.
Opposing Iwakuma will be Dylan Axelrod, who was sensational against Seattle in his first start of the season on April 6. In that game he pitched 5 2/3 innings while giving up just three hits and one unearned run. Like the previous game’s matchup, this one could also turn out to be great pitcher’s duel.
vs. New York Yankees (June 6, 2013) – 7:10 pm – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
The only time the Yankees will make the trek to Seattle this year, look for Safeco to fill up for this one despite it being a game that will pit Aaron Harang against a TBD starter for New York.
Harang has rebounded in his last two outings but must have another great outing to really solidify his spot in the rotation. And since bashing Harang and saying he was awful resulted in two of his best performances of the year previously, I believe Harang will give up 50+ runs in two innings of work while walking 20 batters, allowing Ichiro Suzuki to hit for the cycle in one inning in a return to Safeco.
vs. New York Yankees (June 7, 2013) – 7:10 pm – ROOT Sports/ESPN
There’s not much to say about Jeremy Bonderman‘s return to the hill other than you have to feel bad for the guy and that it was awful. As bad as his first start since 2010 was, however, the Mariners seem to be giving him another chance to shake off the dust and get back on track.
He will have to do so against a potent New York offense while Seattle will look to capitalize on facing a pitcher that has also not been named yet.
The Mariners are struggling right now, and there could be a significant shakeup occurring in the coming weeks that may deter some fans from going to the games. But, when these tough times are encountered by an organization, we have to remember that it’s still baseball, and we still have a team. Let’s just be happy about that for now…I guess?