Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/19/14
RISP must RISE for the M’s For the past month, there have been speculations from the media on who to blame for how the Mariners have been doing lately. Players are blamed one day, and then manager Eric Wedge the next. Eventually it got to the point where people questioned Jack Zduriencik’s seat on if he should take the heat or the boot. We might not have to worry about it as much anymore, now that the Seattle Mariners are trying to keep their third place standing in the AL West. It’s not the worst, but it’s not the best either. It’s in the middle; a supposed happy medium, since it’s a good start for them. Realistically, there will not be a happy medium for the Mariners until their RISP begins to rise. Once their RISP starts rising, they can rise to the occasion to potentially become a sleeper team on the run for a playoff spot. The M’s have solid offense that’s slowly improving every day. They can stay in third place and could even have a chance of creeping up to second before the All-Star break if they can take advantage of runners in scoring position. Close games get closed on them by other teams Take game three against the Astros on June 12th. The Mariners were actually on the verge of completing their first season sweep.  To do it against a divisional team would’ve been great. I was expecting a guaranteed sweep after Nick Franklin hit an RBI Single to break the scoreless tie in the eighth inning. However, then the game went haywire when Tom Wilhelmsen blew a save opportunity, along with a sweep opportunity for the M’s. It sucked; however, the blame isn’t entirely put on Wilhemsen. The M’s also had an opportunity to score some runs in the 4th inning of that game where the bases were loaded. Kyle Seager’s grand slam was ultimately followed up with disappointment. Unfortunately, no runs were scored, as Astros pitcher Jordan Lyles struck out Brendan Ryan and Alex Liddi. Another missed golden opportunity for more runners in scoring position. Extra-inning losses hurt The Mariners have been doing a great job keeping games close and even coming back to play extra innings. But what good is an extra inning game if you keep losing? Out of the nine extra-inning games the Mariners played, they have only won three of them. June 5th’s extra-inning loss against the Chicago White Sox was bitter. I’m not sure if I had more sympathy toward the team lose together, or for Kyle Seager when he blasted that game-tying grand slam in the 14th inning and still resulted in a loss. Everyone thought that would’ve been a momentum starter for the Mariners, until the White Sox scored in the 16th. The M’s couldn’t capitalize the win in the end, and while they won the series, a sweep would’ve been that much sweeter. Insurance runs would benefit a lot One run or 10, every little run will make a difference for this team, especially as the All-Star break approaches and the team examines critical moves and call-ups before the second half of the season starts. Every insurance run would benefit the team as a whole, as well as players individually for their own sake to guarantee a spot post All-Star Break. Extra runs are also fun when the M’s are blowing the other team out instead of being blown out. Throughout the first half of the month, the M’s have only lost three games where the opposing team reached double digits in runs. That can slowly improve if those RISP stats get higher. Oh how nice it would be if the Mariners unexpectedly ran away with a wild card or divisional title all from just scoring runs. If the M’s can improve on all this come July, they might be the surprise team to watch for in the MLB. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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