Maybe it's a good thing I haven't had internet at my apartment for the last week. Since the Mariners decided to start hitting opposing pitchers with their helmets instead of their bats, I haven't been in the mood to blog about them.
The Mariners are now 1-7 in May, and just lost three of four to the Texas Rangers at home. Add to that Bedard and King Felix pitched two of the games, and it really is disappointing. But at this point, I'm used to it. Right now, I don't expect the Mariners to hit or win. In the last three games, the Mariners scored just one run and got just 13 hits. Absolutely horrific. Look at some of these players and their performances.
Ibanez: 1-11 2 K
Beltre: 0-9 3 K
Sexson: 0-4 2 K
Clement: 0-6 3 K
Johjima: 0-7 K
Betancourt: 2-12 K
Balentien: 2-9 K
Seven of the Mariners starting nine hit just 5-58 with 13 strikeouts in the last three games.
Everything that can be said about this team has been said already. We know (or at least I know) they aren't really that bad. Last year they hit close to .290 as a team, with basically the same hitters. But right now, the Mariners don't have any confidence at the plate. They got seven runs on Texas in the first four innings of game one of the four game series, and then got just one lone run the rest of the series.
It seems almost as if they are trying so hard to do something they don't honestly believe they can. Once you get into a slump like that, it's really hard to break. You'll see individual players go through lapses in confidence and production, but rarely do you see a team, and even more rarely for this much of an extended period of time. Watching it has been nothing short of excruciating.
The only way to bust out of a slump is to find consistent success over a period of time. It doesn't have to be a long period of time. Maybe just one series is enough. But there has to be tangible success that everyone sees that lasts for more than one game. The problem with the Mariners is that for one game, every now and there, they find it. Like the opening game of their series at Cleveland. Or the opening game of this past series against Texas.
Unfortunately, it hasn't been maintained because the very next day they get shut down and lose their confidence again. It's gotten so bad that you have Richie Sexson charging the mound because a pitch was high. (Note to Sexson: in the future, try harnessing all that anger and aggression you have for pitches that are high and using it to blast home runs, which was the sole reason for you being brought here in the first place. You weren't brought here to hurl helmets at pitchers. You were brought here to take their pitches and pump them into the bleachers.)
The Mariners are now eight games below .500 and eight games out of first place. Far from where everybody expected them to be, and by far the biggest disappointment of the season thus far in baseball (except for maybe Detroit). Anyone who knows anything about the Mariners, and watched them last year, knows they are capable. They have the potential to win 15 of their next 20, and all of a sudden be over .500.
I know this because I watched them last year, and I know what they can do.
Too bad they don't.