Mariners' course change slowly proceeding
Eugenio Suárez is pleased with the direction the M's are going in
June 10, 2022
It was not even two weeks ago when Your Seattle Mariners lost a series to the lowly Oakland A's and fell into last place in the AL West. It was frustrating and yet somehow fitting for this team to have sunk so low, but the humiliation of hitting that basement standing might have a silver lining—it seems to have lit a bit of a fire under the team.
Since that Oakland debacle, the Mariners have gone 8-4 to win four consecutive series, including two against the mighty Houston Astros, to climb from nine games under .500 to five under. (Even so, they remain 11 games back of the Astros in the standings, but one thing at a time.) Starting pitching in this stretch has been great. Of the four losses, only one was a bad outing by a pitcher, the 9-2 loss to the Orioles on the 1st of June in which Robbie Ray served up a 3-run homer to Rougned "Stinky" Odor to put the M's in an early hole. Marco Gonzales drew two of the losses thanks to his typical excellence being backed up by no run support in eventual 2-1 and 3-2 finals against the Astros and Rangers. If the offense had been operating with a bit more consistency that 8-4 mark could easily have been 10-2 or 11-1.
It's that offense that remains the sticking point. The M's left 101 runners on base in those 12 games. Strikeouts remain high. Though catcher Cal Raleigh has begun to hit, the lineup still contains a black hole in the form of Abraham Toro. The fact that Kyle Lewis remains on the injured list after suffering a concussion (that was initially hidden from the press) nearly two weeks ago is concerning. The team did part ways with Mike Ford (again), but they didn't replace him, instead doing the Scott Servais thing of overpacking the bullpen with a 14th pitcher (Ryan Borucki, who doesn't seem like he's long for the club), leaving the team with the Servais-preferred near-nonexistent bench complement of three not at all intimidating batters. Jesse Winker continues to struggle, Adam Frazier too (though Fraz's problems are predominantly on the road). Even Ty France went through what for him constitutes a slump. Can this crew continue to piece together enough runs to continue course-correcting the Good Ship Mariner back into the race?
The club returns home now to take on the Red Sox, Twins, and Angels before they hit the road again. It's not exactly a do-or-die homestand, but given the circumstances it's as key a stretch of games as the M's are likely to see all year. Let's hope everyone brings their A game.