I’ve kind of had to take a step back in the last few days, I have my brother around, who’s visiting from Pittsburgh (ironically he is a huge Ranger fan… I think I’ve covered that before) and since the walk-off home run frustrated me and then the next day I (luckily) missed the game picking my brother up at the air port. I felt like I needed to sort some things out mentally. Then my brother and I sat down to watch the game on MLB network. It was funny how many comments my brother made about Pineda he was clearly infatuated. Though I’m sure he’ll deny it.
But, I just couldn’t get over the different things that just went wrong during the game. Then I started thinking (trouble, I know). You (we) can point out about a thousand different points about what happened, what should have happened, and what we all wish would have been different about this series. But the fact is what just happened, just happened and we just need to move on. The team kept their head at and above .500 for nearly a month and coming home we certainly have a chance to get back above that mark again.
We were only a 1/2 game out of first place Tuesday morning and for the first time in four years have given fans legitimate excitement about competing. We may be 2 1/2 games out after the sweep but now is not the time to panic, just a time to regroup and refocus.
It’s obvious the fans aren’t the only ones frustrated after this series and I’m not going to say there aren’t moves to make, there are, but there is a need to take a step back and realize where we are at and where we are going. The Rangers continue to have significant bullpen woes and while their offense is on the rise they aren’t going to run away until they can string together some consistent pitching performances (outside of C.J. Wilson).
This leaves the door open for the Mariners. If they can score some runs and play defense to back up the amazing pitching performances this team has put together we still has a shot. The offense is not nearly as bad as it was last year and let’s take a minute to acknowledge that. Justin Smoak has been great, Dustin Ackley‘s everything he was advertised, Ichiro is starting to starting to come around, and our most consistent hitter this year has been Adam Kennedy. If the Mariners can get just one more hot hitter (Brendan Ryan, Miguel Olivo, Franklin Gutierrez, Jack Cust) the offense could really take off and score some runs, I think we saw an example of this Tuesday night when they scored 5 runs.
In that vein of thought, I’m really surprised that Greg Halman got all of 2 at bats this week. I thought with the left hander pitching that he was get his turn up and plus a couple of pinch hit at bats but that’s not how it went down. Carlos Peguero is struggling and while Carp is hitting the ball hard he is swinging a missing a lot too (11 strike outs in 34 PA). I’m not against allowing Carp to have more at bats but Halman needs more time than what he’s got.
I keep waiting for the Rangers to really take off and they’re continued to shoot themselves in the foot. The Angels certainly aren’t out yet and the Athletics are only 6 games out and within a hot streak of getting back into it. But for now the Mariners are still sitting really good and if I had told you prior to the season that going into June 24 the Mariners would be 2 and a half games out of first place you would have taken it.
Let’s not go over board in the most unlikely of situations the Mariners could sweep this series against the Marlins, the Rangers could lose 3 straight against the Mets and suddenly the Mariners would find themselves in first place. I’m not saying that will happen or that it’s even likely but baseball is a funny thing and people over react to situations all the time.
This past week was certainly frustrating but nothing really has changed. The Mariners haven’t lost anyone and if anything this may spark the front office to make a move to improve the major league club.