Another missed opportunity, in a season chock full of them.
I don’t know if there was a lot of hope for the Mariners to hang with the mighty Dodgers, but it’s disturbing that we weren’t even competitive, and looked progressively worse as the weekend went along. As the title indicates, the Dodgers won their division on Saturday night. Presumably, they spent that evening partying, and yet they came out on Sunday and totally dominated.
George Kirby’s start on Friday ended as poorly as his previous start, giving up his 3rd & 4th runs in the sixth inning. We were able to pull the game to 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth, but the bullpen’s struggles continued and we lost 6-3.
We managed to keep the game scoreless through regulation on Saturday, but that also meant our offense failed repeatedly in their chances to score a single run when it mattered most. We squandered a solid start by Brad Miller (5.1 innings, 4 hits, 1 walk, 4 K’s), and quality bullpen work from our studs. We were lucky to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the tenth, but they proceeded to score 5 runs in the next half to put us away.
And then came Sunday, when we got a dud out of Logan Gilbert (5 runs in 5 innings), and couldn’t do anything against their D-list pitching unit. Did WE end up spending all night Saturday drinking and carousing about town? Because that’s what it looked like.
What makes matters worse is there was a great opportunity to turn things around. Texas somehow got swept by the Guardians, and Houston somehow lost 2 of 3 to the Royals. Making matters worse, the Blue Jays swept the Red Sox. So, as it stands, we’re 2.5 games behind the Astros (one game behind the Rangers), and we’re 1.5 games behind Toronto.
We are 5-11 in the month of September. We are officially in the home stretch: our final road trip starts today in Oakland for 3, before going to Texas to play the Rangers for 3. Our final off-day is this Thursday. After the Rangers series, we return home and immediately play the Astros three more times, before closing out with four more against Texas.
This is it. WE MUST DEFEAT THESE ATHLETICS! There can’t be any more slip-ups. Then, we have to figure out a way to take care of business against our divisional opponents ahead of us.
But, I fear we’re wiped out. The bullpen looks like a dam that’s burst. The starters are starting to wear down after a season of relying upon them to be our rock. The hitters have severely cooled off after their August hot stretch, and no unexpected production has cropped up from players who have otherwise disappointed. We’re limping to the finish, and I don’t see any way we turn it around over these next two weeks. It’s sad. But, this just wasn’t a team built to overcome all it’s had to overcome. Injuries, sure, they play a part. But, every team has injuries. Most of our wounds are self-inflicted. Baserunning blunders, lack of clutch hitting, lack of consistent hitting from our best players, and yes, the Paul Sewald Trade. It all plays a part in this team falling apart.
We’ll see, though. There’s two weeks to right the ship.