It’s been a pretty impressive start to the season for the Mariners, particularly when you figure they are 12-5-2 in their series this year. It’s a little less impressive, however, when four out of five series losses are sweeps.
Ketel Marte last played on 5/21; the Mariners have gone 6-8 in his absence.
Leonys Martin last played on 5/25; the Mariners have gone 3-7 in his absence.
The Mariners haven’t looked good defensively at short stop, but they’ve been particularly bad at the plate at that position, with neither Shawn O’Malley nor Luis Sardinas looking like even replacement-level players with a bat in their hands.
But, that’s nothing compared to how dreadful the Mariners have been in the outfield. With Nori Aoki getting the lion’s share of the centerfield starts, we’ve seen countless balls fall in that would’ve been caught with a healthy Martin. We’ve also seen the byproduct of his injury – the Mariners calling up Stefen Romero – cost us at least one game (yesterday, while bumbling around in left field) plus countless other mis-played balls as he fills in as a right-handed alternative for when the Mariners face left-handed starters.
To have both of these injuries hit at the same time has been a disaster for this team. I don’t care how great Martin’s attitude has been in helping keep the rest of the guys loose; I’d much rather see him PLAYING.
Then, to top it all off, Felix Hernandez is on the shelf, and now they’re saying he’s likely to miss MORE than the couple starts they had him pegged for initially.
Which makes this downturn in the quality of our starting pitching recently that much more alarming. Paxton had his one trainwreck of a start; Taijuan Walker hasn’t looked good AT ALL since the last week of April; Wade Miley had one good start out of his last five appearances; Iwakuma has been lackluster at best over the last month until yesterday’s quality start (and hard-luck defeat thanks to some shaky defense); Karns came back down to Earth after a run of decent (if not spectacular) pitching; and even when healthy, Felix has been hit or miss (making one wonder whether or not he’s been healthy at all this year).
All in all, just the worst time for all of this to be happening all at once. Marte is back today, and Martin should be back for the weekend, so at least we’ve got that going for us. But, if we lose one more starting pitcher, we’re proper fucked. And, if the starting pitching we have right now doesn’t figure their shit out, we’re similarly proper fucked.
We’re not quite in the dog days, but we’re certainly in a Make or Break stretch of games this month. The Astros are predictably making their move up the standings; the Rangers aren’t going anywhere; and with the Royals, Blue Jays, Indians, White Sox, Red Sox, and Orioles, the Wild Card race is a fucking goon squad that won’t go down without a fight.