What a tease the Seattle Mariners are.
Take the phrase as you will. Apply it to a red-hot 13-2 start the Mariners saw through mid-April. Or, on a smaller scale, use it to describe Wednesday’s frustrating loss to the Rangers.
On a day the Mariners scored seven runs, they lost. Anything new? Not exactly — just last week, Seattle dropped a game in Arlington after plating ten.
The poor-pitching narrative serves as a broken record, haunting a young Seattle season that now shows little hope.
Before the offense cooled, it was the bullpen — blowing leads after strong offensive performances. And now, it’s the entire staff — yielding runs and quickly blowing each game out of reach.
Wednesday, the Mariners displayed resilience, rebounding from an early three-run deficit to take a commanding 7-5 lead — needing just six outs to secure a series.
But before fans could begin to enjoy a series win, the Rangers rallied for two in the eighth — and one more in the ninth — to shock Seattle and push their record further from the .500 mark.
The game felt like more than a loss. It felt like an encapsulation of the season as a whole, summarizing a 24-34 record into nine brief innings.
But throughout 58 games, it would be unfair to point only one finger at any part of the team. Though pitchers seem like the easiest of targets — ranking 28th in team ERA and worst in runs allowed — the defense leads the major leagues in errors and ranks last in fielding percentage. Their 60 errors are rivaled by no other, as the White Sox come closest with 44.
Many of the defensive blunders have cost Seattle ballgames. Even today, Mariner defenders cost pitchers two runs in a one-run loss.
I’ll be the first to admit my previous confidence in a Mariners team that slammed a home run in each of their first 20 games. Not any team — or so it seemed — could fake their way to a record that sits 11 games over .500 in mid-April.
What makes the Mariner free fall so devastating is the immediacy of mediocrity. The ‘regression to the mean’ showed no gradual decline — it was as if the offensive powerhouse drove off a cliff, crashing into the bottom slot of the AL West.
My confidence in the team never translated to playoff hopes. It didn’t even translate to a winning record. But what I thought the Mariners had this season now ceases to exist — a reason to go watch.