Your Seattle Mariners are 5-1. Yes, that is correct. Not 1-5, but 5-1. In fact, if it wasn’t for a bullpen collapse this past Friday, they could be 6-0. The two Oakland wins in Japan were somewhat mediocre considering it was the tail end of Spring Training and I am not sure if the team had their heart ready to start the season. However, taking three games in a four game set against the defending World Champions Red Sox is very impressive.
Remember, this is a Mariners team who is “restructuring” in 2019. The offseason trades had fans scratching their heads and demanding that Dipoto be fired. I wonder where those “fans” are at now? Look, I get it. You get comfortable with these players—Diaz, Cano, Segura…because you know them and how they perform and generate results. However, fans never looked at Santana, Beckham, or Bruce, UNTIL this series. The only grumbling I’m hearing? Diaz. Yes, we miss him a little. Anyways, who would have expected Healy to have the start of the season he’s had? I mean, he has 2 blasts while hitting a mere .360…and playing 3B as if it is natural for him. Beckham is hitting a lowly .435. Santana has knocked in a MLB leading 10 runs. Yes, there’s sarcasm but in reality, look at the productivity.
With that said, I’m trusting the system here. I know it’s VERY early on. One of our writers, who happens to be a Red Sox fan, admitted it looked like Boston’s pitchers just skipped Spring Training. Which, they may as well have.
Here are some of the takeaways from this series that we can watch for as the season progresses:
1: The Mariners can hit. I mentioned this after the series with the Athletics. Scoring runs doesn’t seem to be an issue early on, which is needed with a bullpen that is less than trustworthy. In fact, they have scored 48 runs off 58 hits in six games. They have also hit 15 over the fence. All the while, Mitch Haniger has been somewhat unproductive. Imagine what can happen once he heats up.
Against the Red Sox, here are the statistics against their starting rotation over the series:
The Mariners did essentially the same damage to Porcello as they did Sale—almost identical. The runs they were able to produce enabled the Mariners to edge the Red Sox in three of the four opening games at T-Mobile Park. This leads me to my next take away:
2: Pitching woes. While the starters fared well against the Red Sox, the relievers did not. Here is how the Red Sox matched up against the starters:
And here are the relievers:
I included base on balls in this statistical analysis. Gearrin couldn’t seem to find the strike zone. Strickland found the strike zone too well and paid for it. However, looking over these statistics, it is hard to say that our relievers are awful. Untrustworthy? Sure. With Strickland out for a long period of time, the Mariners have decided to close games by committee. Compared to the starters, the relievers have relinquished 70% of the runs to half the batters faced.
3: These kids are electric. Marco Gonzales was quoted “In that clubhouse, we don’t really care what people think. We’ve got a locker room full of guys looking for something to prove, and I think that’s dangerous.” Well, I couldn’t agree more. These guys are young, hungry, and ready to win. A “rebuild” or “restructuring” are words that are not in their mental vocabulary.
As the season progresses, I am going to stay excited and supportive of this young ball club. Even the older gents, Bruce and Encarnacion, have been productive at the plate. This series against the Red Sox has given Mariners fans a lot to be excited about, but a lot to be skeptical about. I am going to focus on the positivity, and you should as well.