The Mariners are struggling. I see it, you see it, and every MLB team sees it. After starting the Season 13-3, beating the reigning World Series champs, they were two blown bullpen appearances from being 15-0. Those bullpen appearances, as I mentioned in a previous article, were just a glimpse of what was to come.
I didn’t expect it to be this bad, but let’s face it: It’s bad.
Since their inspiring start to the season, they got swept by the Astros and Indians—two teams with far superior pitching than the teams previously faced, giving the Mariners an inflated win margin. They went on to take 3 of 4 from the Angels, got swept by the Padres, took 2 of 4 from the Rangers (but the last two games, the M’s got outscored 29-2), swept by the Cubs, lost 2 of 3 to the Indians, lost 3 of 4 to the Yankees, swept by the Red Sox, pulled off a two-game sweep against the Athletics, lost 3 of 4 to the Twins, and took the loss last night to the Rangers.
Let’s dig deeper, shall we?
Since sweeping the Royals on April 11th, the Mariners got outscored by the Astros 15-9, by the Indians 11-6, by the Padres 7-4, by the Rangers 35-21 (in game 1, the M’s scored 14, so from game 2 on, they were outscored 33-7), by the Cubs 17-5. They outscored the Indians 15-7, but still only took 1 game out of the 3 game set. They outscored the Yankees 18-16, but still lost 3 of the 4 games. They got outscored by the Red Sox 34-8 during that sweep. They outscored the Athletics 10-8 but got absolutely demolished by the Twins.
They managed to score a total of 18 runs—as many as the Twins scored on Saturday night. Therefore, they were outscored 39-18 over that span.
Okay, just a little bit further deeper.
Since April 11th, the Mariners’ pitching (and defense) has given up double-digit runs to the opposing team 10 times in 35 games and have gone 10-25.
Defensively, it has also been a struggle. The Mariners have committed 54 errors, placing them dead last in the MLB. What is shocking is the number of errors committed by the outfield: 12. Infielder Tim Beckham, however, matches that number alone—12. Errors extend innings, put more work on a pitching staff who is already struggling.
There are some glimmers of positivity.
Offensively, they are in the top or near the top in every category. They lead the entire MLB in HRs with 92. They are 6th in doubles, 5th in hits, 1st in runs scored (blows my mind too) and RBIs, 6th in walks, 5th in stolen bases, 17th in batting average, and 4th in slugging. They also lead the MLB in strikeouts.
The moral of this story: Being a powerhouse offense can only get you so far.
Yes, the Mariners hit home runs, and score quite a bit of runs. However, lower tier pitching and bottom of the barrel defense will cost you more than you earn.
It has been an interesting year.
Through the firth month, we thought this rebuild might have been quite the success early on in the rebuild process. However, we’re seeing what it means to rebuild. Look at the Twins and the Rays. They are looking like serious contenders after years of rebuilding. I think Jerry and the front office is following the same roadmap: bringing in prospects and once they’re ready, he will add top tier pitching as the final piece to the puzzle.
Be patient. I know, it is tough to be patient with this franchise. However, Dipoto is not like previous GMs who went after players like Cano and traded players away like Adam Jones. He sees the value in the farm system, and I think we will see results in the next year or two.
I’m remaining optimistic, you should too.