Mariners Musings: What a disappointing series against KC means

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 05: Second baseman Whit Merrifield
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 05: Second baseman Whit Merrifield /

The Seattle Mariners last series definitely did not go the way they’d hoped it would. Who am I kidding, it literally could not have gone worse.

They were playing a team that entered the series one game above .500. It should be noted that the Royals are one of the hottest teams in the MLB, but at the same time, so were the Mariners back when they were 2 games above .500 way back before the series with the Astros.

The offense was anemic in game one and the pitching didn’t get any help in game two. Game three also seemed lost, down 4-0 after the top of the first with Jason Vargas and his 2.20 ERA on the mound. Yet somehow, the Mariners didn’t give up, and just like that, after runs via a Cruz groundout, a Gamel single, and homers by Zunino and Segura they found themselves leading by the end of the second.

Up 5-4, they added an insurance run on a Cruz homer in the third, but then in the top of the fifth, Lorenzo Cain hit a two run shot off of Ariel Miranda to knot the game at 6.

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As the game progressed, the Mariners never really found an offensive groove again, as they saw just one runner reach scoring position after the fifth inning, and Zunino’s mammoth flyout fell a couple feet short of the wall.

Props to Servais, as he managed his bullpen very well during the first nine innings, one of the few times he has done so this year, yet in the top of the tenth sent Pazos out, when it probably should’ve been Nick Vincent.

Pazos didn’t get the defensive help he needed from the usually rock-solid Cano, and then Salvador Perez hit a homer to give the Royals an 8-6 lead and an Alex Gordon single would make it 9-6 and that would be the difference in the game.

So where do we go from here? The Mariners are 41-45 and have a four game set with the Athletics coming up before they take some time off for the All-Star break.

First we need to address the elephant in the room, Mitch Haniger is really struggling. He currently is posting a respectable .267 average, but that number pales to the AL ROY-esque .340 he was hitting earlier this season. He’s gone 3-for-35 in his last 10 games.

Even though most M’s fans, myself included, do not want to admit Haniger may need some time at Tacoma, they can all likely enjoy the fact that Tyler O’Neill could be getting a call-up to give Haniger some time to shake the rust off.

Next we need to address the position the Mariners are in for the rest of 2017. I’m not saying this year’s hunt for the elusive playoff berth needs to be called off, but if we don’t sweep Oakland and pull back to even by the break, then I don’t see any reason for people to still talk about this year.

The Mariners need to become hard sellers heading up to the deadline, we have to trade our pieces for more pieces. We can’t sell everything for dirt cheap now that we inked Segura to the five-year extension, but we can look to build around him for either 2018 or 2019.

Next: Mariners Gamel getting left off the All-Star team

After a miserable series against Kansas City, the Mariners need to either kick it in gear against Oakland, or accept their 2017 fate and start dealing players off.