There was a time early last season when I took it upon myself to try and track the numbers for Mariners hitters with RISP. That was because the M’s started off abnormally bad in this area, and I was curious to see how bad it could get, or how long that badness would remain. Those numbers started to normalize as we got into late April and May, but for a while there, it was pretty dire! And the team really struggled as a result.
I don’t know if that’s been as big of an issue thus far, through a week’s worth of games, but a performance like yesterday (2/17 with RISP) is pretty much as bad as it gets. The Mariners were getting on base like crazy yesterday, with 8 hits, 4 walks, and 2 Twins errors. There were only 2 clean innings for the Twins’ pitching staff/defense, and yet the Mariners were only able to muster 2 fucking runs, both in the first inning. Pathetic, all the way around, and a game the Mariners absolutely should’ve won, Cruz or no Cruz.
For a while there, it looked like we might pull it out. Paxton was dealing through five innings. But, getting into that third time through the lineup, Joe Mauer singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth, and Miguel Sano smashed him in with a 2-run jack. It’s funny how much lip service the Mariners were paying to this notion of limiting the exposure of our starting pitching, and utilizing this massive bullpen we’ve accumulated. But, Scott Servais has really just been managing like every other fucking manager since the dawn of time. We’re in the midst of 4 off days in 2 weeks; there will never be this many rest days outside of the All Star Break the rest of the season. Also, we’re rocking a 4-man rotation, which means we have an 8-man bullpen. No one as of yet has been worked to death. And we ALL know the numbers of just about every single hitter when he sees the same pitcher for the third time in a game. And yeah, I get it, Paxton’s pitch count was low, and he was kicking ass up to that point. But, how many times do you see that? It happens ALL THE TIME. Guys dominate, then they get into the 6th inning or whatever, and all of a sudden the other team is hitting tee shots off of him. All it takes is a weird bloop single and one bad pitch that catches too much of the plate, and BAM, 2-run home run. A 2-0 game becomes a 2-2 game. Then, you try to squeeze an extra few outs out of Dan Altavilla, and BAM again, you’re down 3-2. Then, the stupid fucking umpire botches an OBVIOUS called strike 3, followed by the hitter taking that gift and turning it into another solo homer on the very next pitch, and BAM, it’s 4-2 and you’re sucking Fernando Rodney’s arrow-shaped dick in the ninth.
Just stop pissing down my leg and telling me it’s raining, that’s all. If you’re going to talk about lightening the loads of these starting pitchers, then STICK TO IT! Pull them after the second time through the lineup (unless the offense has it out of reach, but only walk that tightrope if we have a 3 run lead or more). THIS IS WHERE THE GAME IS GOING! Shorter starting stints, and supplement that with longer bullpen arms. Altavilla is never going to be a competent multi-inning reliever; he’s a 1-and-done guy. I’m talking about having more Wade LeBlancs, more Casey Lawrences, and save those hyper-power arms for the 8th and 9th innings.
One more note about the offense before I close this out. 8 hits, none of them for extra bases. That’s fucking absurd. I know with Cruz and Zunino out, our power is limited, but where are the doubles? Yeah, it’s nice that Vogelbach had 2 more hits to add to his hot start, but where’s the power? What about Jean Segura? He had 30+ doubles the last two years; he’s got 2 through 6 games so far. And Ryon Healy, so help me God, what a fucking BUST this guy is! WHOSE DICK DO YOU GOTTA SUCK TO BRING IN EVEN A DECENT-HITTING FIRST BASEMAN??? Also, you still spell your name like a fucking asshole.
Another Friday off-day. Cool.