It's a Beautiful Day for an Off Day
More of this over the weekend, please.
Thank the schedulemakers that today is a bizarre Friday off-day for the Mariners. After the last two games, a blowout loss to San Francisco and a fall-from-ahead defeat at the hands of the Twins, this team needs a breather, a chance to reflect on their performance. It's not that the M's lost two straight. That's not that big a deal, and it's going to happen again—I daresay more than once—during the course of the season. It's the squandering of opportunities. The Mariners left 21 runners on base in those two games, going 3-for-29 with runners in scoring position.
The glass-half-full perspective is that the table-setters are doing their job: there were 29 ABs with RISP, that's good. Both Dee Gordon and Jean Segura are riding .444 on-base percentages at the top of the lineup in the young season, and when on base they make things happen. But they need help, and weak popups and strikeouts while one of them is standing on third base with none or one out just shouldn't happen as a matter of course.
A few years ago the Mariners seemed absolutely terrible in this respect. If they got a runner to third with nobody out, it felt like the defense had the M's right where they wanted 'em. They've been better since, and they will be better at it this year, too, but a little time to reflect on the fundamentals of moving the runner along and keeping pressure on the pitcher might be helpful. Hopefully there will be so much snow to go with the forecasted extremely low temperatures tomorrow and Sunday that both games are postponed—May 14th is open for both teams and would be a fine day for a doubleheader—and we can start fresh on Monday in Kansas City.