Jun 23, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter Raul Ibanez (28) hits a 2-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the 1st inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
The Mariners were swept (albeit in a two game series) by the Pittsburg Pirates. Don’t get me wrong, the Pirates are a formidable team this year, looking to break their decades long drought of winning seasons and postseason appearances.
Nonetheless, the Mariners lost in typical Mariners fashion this series.
In the first game, Joe Saunders surrendered enough runs in the first two innings to ensure the M’s couldn’t win it with 16 half innings of baseball under their belts. That game ended closer than it should have been because Seager– who ignores the Mariners M.O. of crappy offensive production– and Smoak belted late-game, meaningless homers.
Today was a different story, though just the second dance in the Mariners set-list entitled: “lose”.
King Felix was on the mound, which gives every Mariners fan that ounce of victorious hope that gets swept away in an instant when the M’s come up to bat.
Felix arguably threw one bad pitch all game, and surrendered a two-run homer. However, a sac fly by Saunders and ANOTHER solo homer by Rauuuuuuuul (his 18th on the season on pace for 37 in only 119 games played) started the game afresh at 2-2.
But lo and behold, the Mariners offense continues to be anemic late, except for when they are so far behind runs don’t matter, and lost the game 4-2.
Wilhelmsen looked good for the second straight game, but the ‘Bush-Medina combination yielded 2-runs in the 9th that all but nailed the loss on the Mariners.
Alas in the bottom of the 9th though, the Mariners do what they love to do: tease you a bit before kissing you on the cheek and saying goodnight without even an apology.
A few guys got on, swung some bats and ran some bases, but two were left stranded and no runs were pushed across. The Pirates knew the Mariners wouldn’t make the game interesting in the 9th, so they didn’t even send out their closer– arguably the best in baseball.
With 10 men left on base (LOB) and an 0-5 with RISP, the Mariners goose for yet another night when opportunities are abundant. Okay not abundant, but at lease one hit with RISP isn’t too much to ask, is it?
The M’s again managed a meager 8 hits, and are 27th in the league with a team .236 batting average. Though nobody expects the Mariners to bat .300 across the board and score 800 runs, what’s happening now is less than adequate.
But ho-hum another close-ish Mariners loss filled with scoring opportunities and bullpen mistakes. at 11 games under .500, let’s hope we can salvage in the second half and at least finish with more than 75 wins on the season.