Seattle Mariners: No positives to take away from blowout loss to Twins
By Ty Gonzalez
The downward spiral of the Seattle Mariners’ 2019 season continued Saturday night with a third straight blowout loss to the visiting Minnesota Twins.
Three hours have passed since first pitch, and it’s just the bottom of the seventh inning. To be honest, I stopped watching about two hours and roughly four innings ago. No, there are no delusions of a rewrite here, sorry.
In the past, I have lauded this roster as a potential middle-of-the-pack team in a top-heavy American League. To say they exceeded expectations to start the season would be a fallacy; no, they blew any and all expectations out of the water. It was one extreme that quickly led to another, much less fun extreme.
As quick as the Mariners found themselves ahead of the entire MLB field, they found its deepest, darkest cellar even faster. It was hard to be fooled by the hot start, but even harder to resist falling in love in some capacity. Even as the team started to lose on a more consistent basis, they remained entertaining.
But as the wins came in bunches to start, the losses have come by the tons; 11 games over .500 melted away, morphing into a more familiar and mediocre 22-26 record. It’s not the high volume of losses that hurt the most, however.
The Mariners have played some of the best teams in baseball along the way, and it was only a matter of time before their talent—or lack thereof—would be exposed. What hurts is how the losses have been carried out.
Multiple blowouts suffered at the hands of mindless errors, a loss of offensive identity, and a disappointingly disastrous pitching staff. Several fundamental miscues on both the base paths and in the outfield have changed the makeup of more than one game thus far, setting the tone for how Seattle’s talent level pales in comparison to other Major League rosters.
All of the above and more were put on display tonight and through the first three games of this putrid series.
Wade LeBlanc‘s oblique injury came at a very important time for the Mariners this season. It was at that point that their season finally shifted towards its inevitable doom. Therefore, it was fitting that LeBlanc would return from the injury at the peak of these struggles.
Through the first two games of the current series, the Twins had outscored Seattle by a score of 18-7. Minnesota matched those 18 runs with another 18 on Saturday night alone, scoring 11 in the first three innings off of a commandless LeBlanc and an equally struggling Parker Markel.
To make matters worse, any sort of respectable comeback would have to be staged against José Berríos. That, of course, did not go as well as it needed to. The Mariners managed to put up a four spot on Berríos, but they still wound up *checks notes* 14 runs shy of their opponent. So, yeah.
At the very least, we got to see Tom Murphy, bullpen ace, strike out Miguel Sanó and Jason Castro back-to-back. Hey, a positive takeaway. Yay, I guess.
Can I stop talking about this garbage now? Okay, thanks. Before I go, however, I do want to point out that my disappointment does not stem from the loss column. That was to be expected, even after Seattle’s massive success to start the year. All I wanted was to have fun watching this team.
This wasn’t fun.