Despite losses to Boston, M’s bats are alive
By Jim Moore
I hate it when I’m wrong, which means I’m filled with hate most of the time, but I still think the Mariners are better than their 40-52 record.
I still think those series wins in Texas and Cincinnati mean something. I felt like they turned the corner and were on their way to a 40-40 finish, if not better.
Then when the Red Sox came to town, I felt even better about it after the Mariners won the series opener 11-4.
Kyle Seager (at right) and Michael Saunders were two big parts of a Mariners offense that scored 30 runs over four games in a series loss to the Red Sox. (AP)
But they went on to lose the next three, including a pair of games they led 5-1 on Tuesday and Thursday.
So now we’re back to texters and callers saying that Jack Zduriencik and Eric Wedge have got to go, if not now, certainly at the end of the year.
We’re back to the Mariners being sellers instead of buyers at the trade deadline.
And yes, we’re back to thinking this will be yet another disappointing season.
But I don’t care what Michael Grey thinks, I refuse to believe that this team is going to sad-sack their way through the rest of the year.
The Angels are here this weekend, and you like to think that the Mariners will take two of three from Mike Scioscia’s team.
Based on what we saw from the Mariners in the Red Sox series — they hit .314 and scored 30 runs — Eric Wedge’s team should have enough juice to win the series.
They have their top three starters going with Safeco Joe Saunders tonight, Felix tomorrow night and Hisashi Iwakuma Sunday afternoon.
Now you could justifiably say that the Mariners will lose all three because Safeco Joe is a mediocre pitcher who could be lit up at any time; Felix was really roughed up by the Angels the last time he faced them; and Iwakuma’s been rocky in his last five starts.
And I wouldn’t have a good comeback for any of it, aside from this — the Mariner bats are so hot that they can compensate for average pitching if that’s what they get.
I like to think that the youngest youngsters — Brad Miller and Nick Franklin — are going to sustain their early success. I like to think that Dustin Ackley will rejuvenate himself the way that Justin Smoak has. And look at Michael Saunders; he seems to be back too.
The Mariners don’t need the veterans to carry them anymore — they’re all complementing each other. They also don’t need to rely on home runs anymore — Saunders, Franklin and Miller have the speed to generate extra-base hits when they find the gaps.
I’m genuinely excited about the next 2 ½ months of the season. I’m not ready for it to sputter to a halt with a series sweep by the Angels before the All-Star break.
I see enough glimmers to think that the Mariners will be competitive and fun to watch the rest of the way.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website jimmoorethego2guy.com and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.