M’s response WILL answer questions
Amazing the difference four days makes…
Reliability has been thrown out the window after Cleveland absolutely destroyed the hearts of Mariners fans and players alike. It wasn’t that the Indians swept the team, but how they did it that hurts the most.
Monday capped off series with not one, but two blown saves. Tom Wilhelmsen has been one of the most dominant closers in the AL, and his perfection would have lasted one more day if not for his own error on what would have been the 27th and final out.
In what would have been a sigh of relief, 1B Justin Smoak made a stupendous play and tossed it to Wilhelmsen covering first, who dropped the ball, kicked it, and fell down. It was rough.
Reliability in the form of the closer came short, but the bigger surprise was the effort of Felix Hernandez (crushed in a 6-0 loss Sunday, the only game the Mariners didn’t lose via walk off) and Hisashi Iwakuma (5 ER over 6 IP).
The AL ERA leaders lost their crowns this weekend, adding to the agony of being in Cleveland.
Friday night’s game ended with a walk off HR in the 10th, Saturday ended on a walk off for Cleveland on a fielder’s choice, but Monday’s 3-run blast was the icing on the cake.
How does a team handle that kind of weekend?
Hope establishes heartbreak.
Although Seattle had a rough weekend, the team has had many worse weekends than this one. Unfortunately, the Mariners were coming off a series win in New York and hadn’t lost a series in a month.
Last week, ESPN published an Insider Article (for subscribers) calling the Mariners a playoff team, one that would not only last in the playoff hunt, but sneak in with better hitting, established pitching, and difference-making minor leaguers on the way.
Four losses in a row.
Reasons not to quit:
1. Justin Smoak
Well this is unexpected. Just as Kendrys Morales was beginning to play more 1B, Justin Smoak remembered he is allowed to hit home runs. His OBP has been fine because he is 10th in the AL in walks (an astounding stat for someone hitting .252), but his power has been dreadful.
Not only did Smoak hit 2 home runs this weekend, they came in the 9th inning to tie the game on Saturday, and in the 10th inning to take the lead today.
This is something that could change things for the better in Seattle.
2. Runs were scored
Seattle fans have seen series go by with a lot of zero’s on the board, I’ll take crushing defeats while scoring 15 runs in four games over being outscored 22-2 every time.
Best pitching performance of the weekend for Seattle, 3 ER over 6 IP would be fantastic for the rest of the year from a 5th starter.
The M’s begin a quick two-game series against the LA Angels of Anaheim Tuesday, the quickest and best remedy for a crappy weekend?
Take both games from a division opponent on the road and all is forgotten.