Seattle Mariners: 3 Things We Learned Last Night In Houston

Sep 23, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte (4) throws to first base in the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte (4) throws to first base in the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Mariners blew yet another valuable opportunity today. It was the kind of night we’ve seen over and over again. The M’s breakout out ahead of the competition, only to squander the possibility of winning. To make matters worse, losing a game in the final week of a heated Wild Card race, only makes their fight even tougher going forward.

Everything was looking up for the Mariners for more than half of the ball game. Despite one more mediocre start for Felix Hernandez, the M’s were able to carry him on their backs. Offensively the team was doing what they needed to do: hustle, get on base and score runs. You can’t ask for more than that as a starting pitcher.

Hernandez was able to settle down and coast after a poor first, that was until the sixth. But I don’t want to give away too much there.

In all fairness, the Astros did chip away at Hernandez all game. It was their big names that took charge. Ultimately, the Mariners couldn’t put up as many runs as the Astros despite having more at-bats and the same amount of hits.

I could go on as to how the Mariners lost tonight’s game instead of how the Astros won it, but I think it’s best to dive into the three things we learned instead.

The Ultimate Collapse

The Mariners had one of their worst innings of the season at a horrific time. In short, the M’s allowed six runs on five hits, walked a batter and committed two errors in the sixth inning alone.

If those numbers seem bad, they are. Yet, even worse, the magnitude of the collapse isn’t captured in those numbers. Here are the numbers that you need to know because the Mariners blew the lead and gave up six runs in the inning.

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If the Mariners hadn’t given up the lead, they would’ve been one game out of the playoff race. Now they remain two games back. That doesn’t help their chances when going into tonight they had six games left. Now they have five.

Their wild card elimination number is now four and their playoff percentage in 16.8.

No matter how you look at it, none of those numbers put the Mariners in a good spot. Tonight’s epic collapse is part of the reason the numbers are where they are. This kind of embarrassment isn’t going to cut it in the last five games.

You may be thinking, “why didn’t you go after The King for another non-dominate outing?” or “why are you not holding Ketel Marte and Adam Lind accountable for their errors?” for example.

While I do feel very frustrated -as I am positive all Mariners fans are- they need our support. This is a defining moment in the organizations history. If we get behind them, we will only help to effect this moment in history for the franchise.

Marte Did It All (Good And Bad)

Ketel Marte made his mark on the game, that’s for sure. As I mentioned above, he committed a vital error early on in the sixth inning, attempting to finish a double play. The disastrous inning continued on in large part because of that error. It was his twentieth error of the year. Before that though, he did some good.

He got a hit, which was a big deal because he came into the game 2-23. Sure, he ended the night with just that one hit, but he took advantage of being on base. His smart base running during the Nori Aoki double and the Seth Smith sac fly, were crucial to the Mariners retaking the lead (for the time being) in the second.

His defense, minus the error was actually impeccable. In the second, Marte stopped a base hit by diving in front of the ball and throwing it to first for the out. Later in the fourth, he made a great leaping grab, stealing another base knock from the Astros.

So did Marte do a good job today? From the sixth on, not so much. He committed an error and grounded out twice, but before that, he was a key reason the Mariners were winning.

Kyle Seager Needs A Home Run

On the day that the MLB set a record for most twenty-plus home run hitters in a single season (105), It would’ve been appropriate for Seager to reach the thirty home run milestone. Unfortunately, he did not.

Seager has not hit a home run in eleven games. And, while this isn’t even one of his top five longest homer-less streaks- his longest is twenty-seven games his rookie year- it is the most poorly timed.

The Mariners have needed Seager to be the player he’s been all season, which, by all standards, is the best Kyle Seager we’ve ever seen. He has not shown up in a big league, home run hitting way that we’ve grown accustomed to.

Next: Mariners: What We Learned

His thirtieth home run would make him the third Mariner this year with thirty home runs. The Mariners have only achieved that three times. The last, was back in 1997 when Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner and Paul Sorrento all passed the mark. As a side note, the Mariners made the playoffs that year, but did lose in the the AL Divisional Series.

So, maybe you should break that slump and hit your thirtieth. How about it, Kyle?