I’m riding nine kinds of jetlag, in spite of my best efforts to avoid such … crap. So, if words don’t come out … good, me blame I so tired, so very-very tired. And head/brain cloudy like the fog of a thousand … I dunno.
The Mariners currently sit at 25-25 after a win yesterday. Not a whole lot has gone on the last two weeks. Since the start of week 7, the Mariners have gone 6-7, which feels about right. Somehow, we lost four games out of six to the Rays & Twins, who don’t strike me as world-beaters this year. Then, we split a couple of series against the Rangers and Astros. Again, not really world-beaters.
Nick Franklin was called up. He’s still doing terribly in the bigs (but, then again, isn’t really being given an everyday role). Corey Hart is on the DL (presumably for a long-ass time), so that’s disappointing. Logan Morrison is still on the DL, so that’s a plus. Brandon Maurer is still a fucking zoo, yet is still starting for us because there is absolutely no one else good enough to take his place. We just have to hope that, whenever he starts, he miraculously is able to put up zeroes, or the offense is able to put up a lot of crooked numbers.
James Paxton had a little setback – with triceps tightness – because of course he did. Taijuan Walker’s setback/rehab start is scheduled for this week. Or maybe it’s just a bullpen. Or maybe it’s a sim game. I have no idea, but just count on him re-injuring his arm right around that time.
This is a .500 team that’s still in the thick of it for the Wild Card, but that’s not going to last as long as we’re dwelling around .500. This team needs another good winning streak, followed by another .500 stretch, followed by another winning streak. We can’t keep being good one week and terrible the next. That’s going to keep us right where we are: mediocre and out of the playoffs.
As long as we don’t have Paxton & Walker, we’re not going to seriously contend. Yes, the hitting has been disappointing at times, but that was to be expected. There’s no way the hitting is going to seriously improve until some of the younger guys make progress in their careers. There’s no “big bat” out there for us to go and get, because to do so would require trading from a position of strength, and such a thing just doesn’t exist with this team.
Who are the Mariners going to trade to bring in a “big bat”? The pitching? The pitching that’s been so awful, we’ve devoted six mostly-terrible starts to Brandon Maurer? The pitching that can’t stay healthy enough to trade? The pitching that makes Chris Young look like a reasonable option for the #5 starter when he really should be a long reliever?
No. There’s no cache of pitching strength from which to trade. There are also no prospects to ship out of town, because all of the prospects are too busy sucking dick in the Majors. There are probably some prospects/projects down in Class A & AA, but you’re not going to get any kind of “big bat” that way.
What you see out of the hitters is what you get. You just better hope that we keep clustering the hits together as much as we’ve been doing, getting lots of 2-out hits with runners in scoring position and whatnot. And you better hope that Robinson Cano stays healthy for the full 162.
As a whole, the hitting is below average, but it’s not at 2010 levels. It would be fine if we had a lights-out rotation, but we won’t have that until we can get Paxton & Walker healthy. Which is why I’ve been pounding on this table for so long. The PITCHING is the key. Get the pitching back, make sure the defense remains somewhat above average, and we should be all right with the hitting we’ve got, warts and all.
This week’s series with the Angels will be pretty critical. We won game 1 with Chris Young going, leaving us Elias & Felix going today & tomorrow. If we can somehow manage to take these next two games and win the series, I’ll be really happy. Because the weekend series against Detroit looks like an absolute bear (Verlander, Smyly & Scherzer).
That’s all I’ve got. Will try to be better tomorrow …