Not exactly the way the Mariners wanted to come out of the All-Star Break. Two and one against the White Sox, owners of the third-worst record in baseball. Splitting a two-game series with the Giants, who are struggling to stay at .500. Losing two of three to the Angels, the fourth place team in the Mariners’ own division.
Still, it’s better than the eight games going into the Break, when they went two and six.
And there are signs of hope. The seven run first inning against the Angels Sunday. Last night’s low-scoring, but ultimately victorious match with the Astros. For that matter, the Astros’ four straight losses going into that game and the Athletics’ dropping three in a row to the Rockies didn’t exactly hurt the Ms.
Going five and four and winding up two games closer to the division lead is unusual, but who–outside of Houston and Oakland–is complaining?
The Orioles, by the way, have gone four and five with one rainout over the same stretch. That’s also not exactly world-beating, and they’re still five and half behind those pesky White Sox, but they’re riding a three-game win streak coming into their series with the Yankees. Go Birds!
But I digress.
The Mariners have made a few moves ahead of the Trade Deadline–which we all know is more of a Trade Mild Headache Line. Like their recent record, there’s nothing spectacular there, but nothing horrifying either. Bolstering the bullpen is a reasonable move. A (usually) safe move.
But as I’ve said before, defense doesn’t win ballgames. It can keep you from losing games, but winning requires offense. Just ask Felix. Or, better yet, ask Harvey Haddix, who pitched a perfect game for twelve innings back in 1959 and wound up losing the game 1-0.
Maybe the Ms will do something to bolster the offense today. A trade. A promotion from the minors. A new locker-room ritual. Something.
But this is the Mariners. The gang that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001. Loyal fans have come to expect something to go wrong. Or, more likely, a whole mess of things to go wrong.
Come on guys, make a break with history. Let’s get it right this year.