Mariners' Five Worst Losses Of 2009

Griffin CooperAnalyst IMay 15, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 12:  Brandon Morrow #35 of the Seattle Mariners looks on against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game on April 12, 2009 at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

In lieu of this recent series with Texas, I've decided to countdown the five worst Mariners losses of the season.

Yes, I know that it's only May 14th, but the hard-luck Mariners have already suffered a good amount of heartbreaking ones.

Let's get to it.

5. May 2nd vs. Oakland - Rob Johnson Blunders

The M's were coming off of a feel good, comeback victory against Oakland the previous night in the first of a three game series. Heading into the eighth, we had a 2-1 lead powered by a strong outing by Jarrod Washburn and a big HR by Russell Branyan.

It all fell apart in the eighth, though. Mark Lowe came in to replace Wash, and gave up the lead rather quickly on an RBI single by Jason Giambi—one that a good shortstop probably would have got to.

We were unable to score in the bottom half and, in the top of the 9th, the A's struck. With a runner on second base and two outs, Gregorio Petit lined a David Aardsma fastball into right field. Ichiro came up firing, though, and threw a one-hop laser beam to Rob Johnson, well ahead of the runner.

Rob Johnson couldn't handle it though, and it harmlessly bounced off of his chest protector, allowing the go-ahead run to score.

If Johnson had focused more on catching the ball and a little less on blocking the plate, who knows what would have happened? This loss didn't mean a whole lot, but it's a game that we should have won.

Final: Oakland 3, Seattle 2

4. May 4th vs. Texas - He Was Safe, Wasn't He??

I stand by the belief that no matter how good the play was, you still have to make the right call. In the bottom of the ninth, down 6-5, Elvis Andrus made a fantastic play to rob Kenji Johjima of a base hit.

Oh, wait...no he didn't. Although it was a spectacular play, Johjima was clearly safe at first base.

So, instead of having a runner at first base with one out, we had nobody on base with two outs. This play was followed by a single, a walk, and an Ichiro fly out. A fly out that was deep enough to easily score a runner from third base. Instead, it ended the game.

This loss was apparently a huge momentum changer, as the Mariners have gone 1-8 since then, including a six game losing streak.

Final: Texas 6, Seattle 5

3. April 7th vs. Minnesota - Morrow Meltdown #1

The Mariners had a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and nobody on base, and Brandon Morrow on the mound. I'm sure a lot of Twins fans had turned off their TV's at this point—not Mariners fans though. After last year we very rarely have confidence that we're going to secure a win.

But this game was about as close as you can get to a sure thing. From that point on though, the batter sequence looked like this: walk, walk, walk—enter Miguel Batista—single, single, game over. It was just plain ugly.

In about five minutes, the Mariners had gone from a sure 2-0 start and guaranteed series split to a 1-1 start and a closer with a 40.50 era.

Final: Minnesota 6, Seattle 5

2. May 13th vs. Texas - Morrow Meltdown #2: Extra Innings Edition

The Mariners fought way too hard to lose this game. Jarrod Washburn came through with a six-inning, gutsy performance against a tough Texas offense, and the Seattle bats actually showed a little bit of life against a RHP.

The game was tied at four after nine innings, and unfortunately the Mariners squandered a golden opportunity to take the lead in the top of the 10th. Our bullpen made easy work of the Rangers in the bottom half though, and we took the lead in the 11th on a clutch Wladimir Balentien double

In came Morrow. We were going to do it, we were finally going to beat Texas. I

'm sure that's what most Mariner fans were thinking. A few batters later, those hopes were fading. Michael Young led off with a single and followed it up quickly with a stolen base.

After a long at-bat by Josh Hamilton, one in which he should have struck out looking, he drew a walk. After a harmless fly out by Andruw Jones, the fastball hitting DH Hank Blalock walked up to to the plate. This matchup really couldn't have ended well, due to the fact that Morrow relies heavily on his fastball.

Blalock belted a low 2-1 fastball into the gap, scoring both runs to end the game, and the tough breaks just continued to rain down on the Mariners

Final: Texas 6, Seattle 5

1. May 14th vs. Texas - Morrow Meltdown #3

That's right, two nights in a row.

It's always brutal to watch a great outing by a pitcher get wasted, and this game was no exception. King Felix pitched his heart out, shutting out the potent Rangers offense through seven innings, and David Aardsma came in to record a quick eighth.

Unfortunately, the M's offense was only able to provide a 2-0 cushion going into the final inning. Against Texas, that's never a lead you can be comfortable with.

Brandon Morrow trotted into the game, hoping to rebound from the previous nights tragedy. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

Fittingly, Blalock was set to lead off the ninth inning. After working a 3-2 count, the powerful lefty absolutely crushed an inside fastball into the right field bleachers. After one batter, the lead had been cut in half.

After retiring the next batter on an infield pop up, Brandon Morrow allowed David Murphy to line a 2-2 pitch into the corner for a one out double.

Chris Davis strolled to the plate, and pretty much everyone knew he was either going to strike out or hit a walk off home run. He chose the latter.

On a 2-1 pitch, Davis sent—you guessed it—a high fastball into the center field seats, completing the three game sweep and crushing the Mariners' hopes once again.

Final: Texas 3, Seattle 2

I believe that I speak for Mariners fans everywhere when I say thanks, Brandon Morrow. Thanks for deciding to become a closer permanently.


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