Seattle Mariners Week One Review
1-5, Fifth Place in the AL West… OUCH
So, this week didn’t go as planned. The Mariners have struggled mightily out of the gates, falling again Saturday night to the Los Angeles Angels, and Mike Trout in particular. Trout, who has never finished worse than second in the MVP voting, was doing what he does best.
Felix Hernandez just stuck out Mike Trout looking to end a 14-pitch at-bat. Baseball’s so great.
— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) April 9, 2017
Even balloons are afraid of the guy:
Even balloons are scared of Mike Trout ? pic.twitter.com/NmsVRijhNB
— Baseball Lifestyle™ (@BsbLifestyle__) April 9, 2017
The Mariners opened a four-game series against the Houston Astros, and then a three-game set which wraps up Sunday in Anaheim. They dropped the first three games of the year, for the first time since 2011. Game three went extra innings, and ended with a hanging curveball to George Springer barely making it over the short left field porch.
The starting pitching has been able to keep things within striking distance by working out of jams, and limiting the damage, and giving the offense the chance to get back into the game. However, opposing pitchers figured out early that breaking pitches are the lineup’s Achilles heel this early in the season. It is something that Edgar Martinez will need to take charge of by getting together with his hitters and making the necessary adjustments.
The problem that is facing the Mariners at this early stage of the season is their three best hitters, Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz, and Robinson Cano, are a combined 10-66, for an average of .151. They have 20 strikeouts, eight Walks, four RBI, and three extra base hits combined. None of those hits have been home runs, which is not a good sign.
This also goes with the team batting 5-49 with RISP. That comes to a .102 batting average, which isn’t going to win any ball games.
— Russell Hartness (@RussellHartness) April 6, 2017
Reasons for Hope
There are two silver lining for the beginning of the year, and they are Dan Altavilla and James Pazos. They have combined to pitch 7.1 innings, with seven strikeouts, and no runs allowed. While the starting pitching hasn’t been terrible to start the year, they have combined to give up nine home runs. They have most often been of the solo variety, but they have also been home runs that have forced the team to play catch up from the very beginning.
The Mariners will surely get going, they have the ability and the history to do it. However, the time that it will take to get going is what will determine if this team can get turned around. The team is built for a win-now mentality, but they need to play up to their ability. The schedule isn’t getting any easier, so it needs to be sooner rather than later.