Sep 21, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Joe Saunders (23) sits in the dugout against the Los Angeles Angels during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Mariners Find Another Way To Lose (88th Edition)

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The Seattle Mariners have been finding new ways to lose for several years now. Remember when the mantra was “Refuse to Lose”? More often than not lately, it seems more fitting that the team is refusing to lose normally.

Some nights, they blow large leads. Some nights, they just flat out lose. Some nights, they lose extra inning games. One night they lost on a balk.

Saturday night, against the Angels, the Mariners lost on a wild pitch, that wasn’t a wild pitch, by a pitcher who shouldn’t have still been in the game. That man was Joe Saunders. Check out his line.

7IP, 6H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 9K (125 pitches).

Losing 5-2 going into the 7th inning; why is Saunders still in the game? It’s late-September, the M’s are out of it…..why is Saunders out there over 100 pitches? Because he could do something that puts the final nail in this game. With pitch #116, Collin Cowgill broke from third on an apparent suicide squeeze. Except, Saunders threw a wild pitch – a good 8 feet off the plate towards first base and Cowgill came home easily.

It’s funny though, the official scorekeeper didn’t charge Saunders with a wild pitch, he gave Cowgill a steal of home. Homers. Turns out, that run was the eventual winning run for the Angels.

I know the bullpen has been…well….something else that starts with bull, this year. But does Saunders really need to be out there in the 7th in a game like this? Pitching a season-high 125 pitches?

I digress.

The Mariners are now 67-88 and have officially regressed from last year’s 75-87 mark. So, there is virtually nothing left to fight for in 2013 as a Mariners fan. There are still reasons to watch, but it would have been nice to improve by even one game this year. Showing the M’s faithful that progress was being made.

One thing I will say about this young Mariners team. The position players have not given up. The bullpen may have…..155 games ago, but the offense has shown improvement this year and they have shown some true grit and determination from time to time.

That showed again in Saturday’s game as in the 8th, down 6-2, the bottom of the order struck for a couple of hits bringing it around to Dustin Ackley at the top of the order. He singled home a run, then Abraham Almonte knocked in another with a sac fly and the M’s continued to put the pressure on the Angels’ pitching staff.

Raul Ibanez then gave Mariners fans something to cheer in the 9th. His solo shot was career homer #300. It was also his 29th of the year, tying him with Ted Williams for most homers in a season by a player 41-years old or older.

But the end result was the same we’ve seen 87 other times so far this season. Tune in tomorrow for the last road game of 2013, to see if this team can find another new way to bring us to 89.

Mariners Notes:

The Mariners have now lost 11 of their last 13 games and are 5-15 in September. This will more than likely be their worst single month since July 2011 (6-20)

The Mariners are now 18-28 in one-run games this season.

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