Mariners Analysis: Road Woes Plague M’s In June
The Mariners have been awful in June, and their poor performance on the road is a key reason why.
Since June 1st the Mariners have fallen from their pedestal to a disappointing standing that M’s fans know all too well. More devastating, each time the Mariners have left their home, they have come back in a worse situation than when they left. Their travels have been extraordinarily unpleasant, only winning 3 of 15 games, but why?
If star players like Nelson Cruz hit my home runs- 6 of 8- on the road and Kyle Seager tallied 11 of 14 June RBIs on the road and Robinson Cano had an 11-game hit streak (snapped on June 20th) in the month, what could be happening?
As I wrote as their collapse began in the most epic proportions in the 1st week of June, it has boiled down to the failure of all the team’s pitchers, starters and the bullpen alike.
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The Mariners started out very well on the road, arguably the best road pitching in the American League, boasting a 2.98 ERA in April. Things just got better as May rolled around, posting a stellar 2.74 ERA away from Safeco Field. In June however, things ballooned, in actuality to a 5.89 ERA, more than doubling in size. 1/3 of all Mariner games on the road had their starters giving up 5 or more runs and that was before the bullpen even warmed up, or in this case, cooled down.
The bullpen, who is at fault for 6 late-game road-loses (4 in extra innings) had an ERA of 4.56. Vidal Nuno, Nick Vincent, Mike Montgomery and Steve Johnson all had relief outings where they gave up 2+ runs (Vincent had 2). And this doesn’t include the other handful of Mariner pitchers from the pen that allowed one run. Back-to-back giveaway games to the Tampa Rays hurt the team, but losing 2 bookend games against the mediocre Detroit Tigers in extra-innings because the bullpen allowed walk-off wins ended their road trip with a 2-8 record (3-12 in June).
Before this deplorable month the Mariners were in 1st place by 1.5 games in the AL West and had a 18-7 road record. Remarkably, the M’s now sit 11 games back of the first place Texas Rangers.
Next: Tigers Complete Sweep, M’s Drop Below .500
Now not only is the road record nearing .500, but their overall record is 1-game under .500 at 36-37 (.493). These kinds of numbers will continue to sink the Mariners if the arms don’t get back on track- let’s remember that Felix Hernandez has been out for a month now- as they have now not won a road series since facing the Cincinnati Reds May 20th-22nd. .