Mariners Fans! To panic…or not to panic? That is the question!

Mariners’ Woes

Since the dawn of the Jack Zduriencik era, pitching and defense have been the backbone of this organization. From the stands of Safeco Field, fans would scream, “If you’re having rotation problems I feel bad for you son! Got 99 problems but our pitching ain’t one!”

Time proved those fans correct, as the scoreboard in left field continually showed 2-1 wins and 1-0 losses over and over and over again.

2013 is now handing out new problems though, as the anemic offense has continued to surge the Mariners into fourth place, and the back of the rotation has already caused frustration and change. When you mix the old problems with the new ones, the result isn’t that pretty.

The team is changing, but the results are staying the same. The result? Many are confused as to what to think about Seattle early on. On the one hand, it is very early in the season still and the Mariners have yet to gel as a team. They had a great spring training so obviously the potential is there, but what has happened to all that momentum?

On the other hand, watching games is already getting depressing, a feeling that we aren’t used to bringing out until halfway through the season. So, what exactly do all the Seattle woes 20 games into the year and what should we do about it?


Maurer struggled initially to find any rhythm. (Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports)

Maurer struggled initially to find any rhythm. (Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports)

This week in Sports Illustrated, a fairly predominant and trustworthy source for sports information, decreed the Mariners as the next Nationals, drawing parallels between the front offices, the trust in baseball analytics, and the brass of young players bursting onto the major league scene.

That would have been fine and dandy if the offense didn’t perform like children this weekend! The Mariners have 63 KO’s in the last 5 games… 63!

Aside from Kyle Seager (who had at least one hit in all three games and is beginning to hit well), no other Mariners’ starter had hits in all three Texas games. Seager was also the only player to have a multi-hit game.

Since Michael Morse got hit in the pinky finger (which was called a foul ball by the way), the offense looks like it could use a Milton Bradley boost. There are 6 starters that have played in at least half of the M’s games with a batting average below .200!!! Led by our future here in Justin Smoak (.188) and Dustin Ackley (.161)!

The M’s have only won back-to-back games once (the first two games of the year)–yikes.

Hector Noesi has the best relief performance of the year so far, 3.1 IP 1 H, 2 K’s. That is terrible news for the bullpen. What happened to Charlie Furbush? Already a 5.40 ERA after performing extremely well in relief a year ago. Tom Wilhelmsen and Stephen Pryor (on the DL) have been outstanding, but good luck getting to them in a position to win. Joe Saunders can only pitch at Safeo. Home starts: 1-0, 0.00 ERA 0.90 WHIP and 7 K’s. Road starts: 0-2, 11.42 ERA, 2.654 WHIP and 3 K’s.

Can Eric Wedge figure out a way to only pitch him at home? Seriously.

Glad we got Aaron Harang to give up 8 earned runs instead of letting Blake Beavan do it, would hate to shake the young man’s confidence.

Don’t panic

OK, calm down, remember your exercises: Breath in Felix Hernandez, breath out Hisashi Iwakuma (repeat).

Wow, that really does help. Felix has been a boss, and Iwakuma has been better, allowing a base runner every other inning with a WHIP below 0.500. If these two can remain consistent atop the rotation, there is a legitimate chance that the team will follow suit. Consistency needs to start somewhere in the organization, what better place to come from than the top two pitchers in the AL.

Seager is about to go on a tear. Michael Saunders will be back in a week, maybe even Friday. When Jesus Montero has been playing, he has been getting hits, slowly but surely getting better and the power will come.

SP Brandon Maurer has really turned things around, even though he was straddled with the loss on Friday, he only gave up two solo home runs in 6.2 strong innings of work without any run support.

It’s only been 20 games, and it is good to let frustration out, but in the end this could very well be a bump in the road.

Let’s hope so.


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About Jeff Budke

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