The roller coaster 2012 season for the Seattle Mariners continues. Things were looking up after taking two of three from a very good Giants team and being offensively productive in a three game set vs. Arizona. The Mariners, though, followed that high with another down spot. You might accuse me of hyperbole since the Mariners have gone a respectable 3-4 over the last seven games. A look at the last seven games points the Mariners once again eyeballing another last place finish in the A.L. West.
Games 1-3 vs. Padres. The San Diego Padres came into this series with the worst record in baseball. And, a 3-0 mark vs. Seattle. They were able to improve upon that taking two of three from the Mariners. The Padres opened up the series by putting up nine runs in a 9-5 win. In the previous three game series vs. Texas, the Padres managed six runs. Total. In the series before that vs. Oakland, they put up eight runs. Total. Yet, out of the gate, they bashed a normally solid Seattle staff for nine in the series opener. Felix Hernandez even the series in the second game by dominating the Padres 5-1. The Mariners were shut out by the Padres in the rubber game wasting an excellent performance by Hector Noesi. Noesi gave up 2 ER on seven hits in 6.0 IP. But, Seattle’s offense failed to advance a runner past second base in the 2-0 loss.
Felix Hernandez has been dazzling in his last two starts for the Seattle Mariners. And, he’s needed to be, as the offense has faltered again putting up five runs in the last five days.
Game 4-6 vs. A’s. The Mariners came into a home series vs. Oakland having taken 5 of 7 from the A’s on the season. Despite previous success, Oakland took two of three from Seattle. The Mariners in the series scored four runs. Seattle opened the series by being shut out for the ninth time this season, and for the second straight night, 1-0. The lack of offense ruined a superior outing from Erasmo Ramirez. Ramirez, called up from Tacoma to take Blake Beavan’s spot in the rotation, gave up three hits and one ER while striking out 10 in 8.0 IP. But, on three hit’s the A’s beat the Mariners. After a 3-2 win on Tuesday, Seattle sputtered again losing the rubber game 2-1. It was another great outing from Seattle pitching. The Mariners allowed two hits all game, but the offense mustered only four hits in the 2-1 loss. The A’s put up five runs on ten hits for the series, and they left Seattle with two wins.
Game 7 vs. Red Sox. No much to complain about here, right? Felix Hernandez was brilliant again matching a career-high in strike outs with 13 in throwing a complete game shut out. Felix was perfect; but he had to be. Seattle won 1-0 scoring in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia couldn’t hold onto the tag to get Casper Wells at the plate on John Jaso’s RBI single. However, Seattle was a dropped tag away from extra innings, at 0-0 nonetheless, and ruining an excellent start from their ace.
This is why Seattle is in last. As fans, we’ve waited all year for offensive improvement. This week has shown us that we are still waiting. In the last five games, Seattle has five runs and has been shut out twice. On Thursday, Colorado edged Washington 11-10. Both teams put up twice what Seattle has put up all week – in one game. The lack of offense forces pitchers to be perfect. Erasmo Ramirez gave up three hits, 1 ER, and struck out 10 in 8.0 IP. And, lost. Felix Hernandez went nine shut out innings striking out 13, and he almost lost. The pitchers are in a bad spot if they feel they have no room for error. And, five runs in five games? How can they feel otherwise?