I mean, you knew the good times weren’t going to last, right? Not with this rotation in the shambles it’s in. All four starters in that series were destined to start out in Tacoma or worse before injuries set in, and while they’d all done pretty well in the previous turn through the rotation, odds were heavily against them replicating that sort of success a second time in a row.
What we probably didn’t see coming was the Mariners’ offense only scoring 6 runs in 4 games, particularly after how they mashed in Philly. But, they too had been on a nice little roll recently, and were destined to come back to Earth at some point.
People are going to look back at the 2017 Mariners as the Great Lost Season. This team had all the potential in the world to gel into something fantastic, but an absurd number of pitching injuries will ultimately torpedo all this promise. We’ll have to look back and wonder what could have been, if all our key guys stayed healthy.
Or, if they’d stayed out of the WBC?
There have been a number of key injuries around Major League Baseball this year. To be fair, there are a number of key injuries around Major League Baseball EVERY year, and they don’t do the WBC on an annual basis. But, someone mentioned the WBC recently when talking about a lot of the players who are missing time, and I think it’s definitely worth exploring.
I’m not an anti-WBC zealot, by any means, but I think it’s misplaced on the schedule. MLB players already play upwards of 162 games a year, plus playoffs if they’re so lucky, plus a bunch of Spring Training games to ramp up for the regular season. That’s already TOO MUCH baseball; now you’re throwing in this meaningless tournament at the start of the season? Forcing everyone to start getting in baseball shape sooner – and thereby reducing their recovery period in the offseason by however many weeks – just so they can, what, play for their countries? Didn’t we have baseball in the Olympics for that?
I think the only way to have a viable WBC tournament is to have it during the middle of the MLB season. The players will leave and go play for their national teams after they’re already sufficiently warmed up, and their MLB teams will just have to get by until they return.
Because this Doing It During Spring Training bullshit, I believe, is having an adverse effect on these players.
Drew Smyly was the obvious early example, as he didn’t look the same after his one start in the WBC. But, there’s also Jean Segura – who was on the DL for two weeks – as well as Robbie Cano and Nelson Cruz, who have yet to hit the DL, but who have both had nagging leg injuries that have cost them a few games of late. Then, of course, we have Felix Hernandez, who ALREADY had a billion miles on his throwing arm, and apparently thought it would be a good idea to throw a few more on there in a meaningless WBC tournament.
If you ask me, it’s only a matter of time before Yovani Gallardo and Edwin Diaz see time on the shelf, at which point that’ll account for just about everyone of import in the Mariners organization who played in the WBC.
I could be totally off base, and all these injuries could just be coincidences. After all, Iwakuma didn’t play in the WBC. Mitch Haniger didn’t play in the WBC. A bunch of these other guys on the DL didn’t participate in the WBC either. I dunno. I’m just angry and sad and frustrated. I always want the Mariners to do well, but I REALLY wanted this year to be the year we returned to the playoffs. Mostly because it just made the most sense. This is the most talented team we’ve had since 2003, and it’s just getting harder and harder to swallow.
I just can’t remember the last time I felt this beaten down. It feels like, for the Mariners to win on a consistent basis, they have to average 8+ runs per game. We’re never going to get those 2-1 or 1-0 wins. Although, you could argue, yesterday’s game came the closest.
Ariel Miranda threw five scoreless innings of relatively impressive baseball. The Mariners were finally able to scratch across a run in the top of the fifth to take a 1-0 lead. Then, Miranda walked the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the sixth and was pulled for James Pazos. Of course, that run ended up coming around to score, along with one more, thanks to Justin Smoak jacking a 2-run bomb to center. Because, yeah, fuck that guy. That cunt couldn’t do shit when he was with the Mariners, but he’s sure as shit going to have his bloody revenge whenever he plays AGAINST the Mariners. Go fuck yourself, Justin Smoak, you worthless knob.
Jarrod Dyson was able to tie the game with his first homer of the season, and that took us to the bottom of the ninth, where Edwin Diaz gave up the walk-off homer to Toronto’s punchless centerfielder. I guess turnabout is fair play or whatever.
In the series, Mariners hitters were 4 for 35 with runners in scoring position, harkening back to the first week of this God-foresaken season. The sweep dropped the Mariners’ road record to 7-16 and dropped our run differential to an even 0. So, at least we’re no longer one of those shameful teams who have a losing record and a positive run differential, in defiance of all that is holy and right in the game of baseball.
No days off this week, but the Mariners are back home for seven games. At least that’s something. Nothing to get too excited about though. You’re probably better off trying to binge-watch the first two seasons of Twin Peaks before its revival kicks off Sunday night.