SEAside Thoughts: Mariners Continue Confusing Season in Week 8

SEATTLE, WA - MAY 28: Kyle Lewis #1 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by teammate Taylor Trammell #20 after hitting a solo home run off starting pitcher Jose Urquidy #65 of the Houston Astros during the first inning of a game at T-Mobile Park on May 28, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - MAY 28: Kyle Lewis #1 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by teammate Taylor Trammell #20 after hitting a solo home run off starting pitcher Jose Urquidy #65 of the Houston Astros during the first inning of a game at T-Mobile Park on May 28, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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Mariners SEAside Thoughts Week 8

“Instead of sailing off into the sunset, he hopes to sail into the next century.”

-Dave Anderson

  • The Seattle Mariners headed home from a brutal Boston sweep, eight games under .500, and in desperate need of a jolt. By mid-week, the season appeared over. By the end of the weekend, I don’t know if anyone really knows where they are.
  • The homestand got off to a great start with Julio Rodriguez going oppo-taco for a three-run home run, his first in Seattle. It was an unbelievable moment for him and the fans.  He would hit another one the next night in what appeared to be a game-swinging dinger before the bullpen doomed Seattle. He would then hit another on Friday against the legendary Justin Verlander. This will be the first few of hundreds in Seattle most likely. He truly is special.
  • Seeing Kyle Lewis back and seeing him dominate in his first week back is the best thing I’ve seen all season. It had been so long since we’d seen Lewis healthy. He was fantastic in the sixty-game Covid 2020 season, winning AL Rookie of the Year. Not only did return, but he also looks like the hitter we all were hoping he could be. He could be one of the keys to turning this season around.
  • As a pro-Dipoto/Servais guy, this has been a rough few weeks for them. The team, coming home and in desperate need of a jolt after the Boston debacle, proceeded to lose a home series to the lowly Oakland Athletics. The Athletics, one of the worst offenses in all of baseball, scored 17 runs during the three games. That just can’t happen considering the time and place the Mariners find themselves in.
SEATTLE, WA – MAY 28: Starting pitcher Logan Gilbert #36 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch during the fifth inning of a game against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park on May 28, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – MAY 28: Starting pitcher Logan Gilbert #36 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch during the fifth inning of a game against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park on May 28, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
  • Logan Gilbert is a stud.
  • Ty France is a stud.
  • Even with a series win against Houston, the decision-making and lack of depth showed up on Sunday as the Mariners blew a chance at the rarest of sweeps against Houston. The decision to take the bat out of Adam Frazier’s hand in the 7th was blasphemous. Not because of bunting, but having your .255 hitter bunt with the next two batters, Ford and Torrens, each hitting in .200. Let Frazier do his thing, not minor league hitters pretending to be big leaguers. We saw two innings later what happens again when you let Torrens bat in the game-deciding moment.
  • Unless Kyle Lewis is hurt, there was zero reason not to let him bat in any of those situations. That could have been a season-turning moment for Lewis and the Mariners. Even if Lewis was on a mandatory sit, then why not let Dylan Moore bat in the 9th? The one thing that couldn’t happen was a double play, and with Moore subbed in for Torrens, that was far less likely to happen. Seattle would have had Trammell up with a chance to win the game, rather than a tie.
  • If the Seattle Mariners are truly committed to making the playoffs this season, then Sunday was a perfect example of their failure in building a playoff team. Yes, there have been injuries, but baseball is a 162-game season and you’re going to have injuries. But the roster has too many guys that aren’t the caliber of bench players you’d hope to have on a 90+ win team that is expecting postseason play.
  • Despite my frustrations with leadership so far this season, I am really excited about the dynamic duo of Julio and Ty France. These two players have been absolutely fantastic for Seattle this season, and are franchise cornerstones to building on. France is in the top five of most offensive categories, while Julio’s five-tool combination keeps us on the edge of our seat every time he’s at the plate.
  • I’ve long believed that to be a championship team, one of the offensive requirements is the necessity for four cornerstone offensive players. You need a deep lineup, but you need four hitters that strike fear into the opposing team. Seattle now has two. Whether you truly thought Seattle was ready to contend this year or not, in 2023, the Seattle Mariners will be fully expected to compete for a championship, or else heads will inevitably roll. That means Dipoto has ten months to find two more cornerstone hitters, either in-house or bringing people in. The clock is ticking.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MAY 29: Manager Scott Servais #9 of the Seattle Mariners looks on before the game against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park on May 29, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MAY 29: Manager Scott Servais #9 of the Seattle Mariners looks on before the game against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park on May 29, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
  • The clock is also ticking on this season. The Seattle Mariners find themselves at 20-28 heading into the final day of a horrendous May. If Seattle wants to get back into this fight, they need to get hot in these next twenty games. A nine-game road trip involving the Orioles and Rangers, before going back to Houston for another series with the Astros. After that they come home for an eleven-game homestand against the hot Red Sox, the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins, and then a rare (lockout inducing) five games in four nights against the LA Angels. Have to think anything worse than going 13-8 will likely mean this just isn’t their season. Anything better than that, probably means they’re just about over .500 and beat teams that are in front of them in the playoff chase. Let’s hope the Mariners can be back in this thing by July.
    Today’s “Mariner Music Mojo” is The Other Side of Paradise by The Revivalists
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