Six games ago, the Mariners were a team on the rise, and fans were starting to hope that this team could put it all together. Safeco Field was actually providing some amount of home-field advantage, even if the fans were not coming through the turnstiles.
Six games later...well, if you have been following the team you know what happened.
Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss. Loss. Count ‘em, six.
Now, a six-game losing streak is not the end of the world. We are still in May. The Mariners have talent, some degree of youthful energy and a nice mix of veterans. There is hope.
Still, the M’s are now 10 games out of first place. The Texas Rangers are playing good ball. The scrappy Oakland A’s are going to hang around all year. Even the disappointing Los Angeles Angels could eventually turn it around.
Translation? A team like Seattle cannot afford to suffer through six-game losing streaks. There is little room for error.
Truthfully, the Mariners lost some heartbreakers over the losing streak. The entire series against the Cleveland Indians seemed like one lost opportunity after another. The M's battled, but they lost one game in the bottom of the ninth and two games in extra innings.
These guys could not catch a break.
Do you make a move? Thomas Holmes of Bleacher Report wrote a great article on rumors and potential moves that the Mariners could make. Unfortunately, each of these represent the types of moves the Mariners seem to have been making for years.
The team gets behind partway through the season. The team trades their only tradeable commodities. The team hopes the youngsters that they get in return will eventually pan out.
Obviously there are no quick fixes. Seattle could promote Nick Franklin and Jeremy Bonderman. They could trade away one of their veterans. Will that turn things around? One move was made already, which was to send Jesus Montero down to Triple-A (via The News Tribune).
Do the fans just need to take a deep breath, be patient and repeat the old sports cliche about taking one game at a time? If you think about it, the Mariners could have taken three of four from Cleveland. They obviously didn’t, but the opportunity was certainly there. If they win that series, does that provide positive momentum and a better outcome against the Angels?
Sometimes (most of the time) it is tough to be a Mariners fan. The team starts to look good, and then they drop six straight. Seattle now gets to go home, but Texas will be waiting for them.
Maybe this is just a speed bump. Maybe the team meeting will help:
Or, maybe this is the first big drop on the way to another disappointing season. The weekend series against Texas may be a key tipping point in 2013.