Paul Sewald: ‘No panic’ in Mariners’ clubhouse despite tough May

May 19, 2022, 10:00 AM
Mariners Paul Sewald...
Paul Sewald and Cal Raleigh celebrate after a 5-4 Mariners win over the Phillies at T-Mobile Park. (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The Mariners entered the 2022 season with very high expectations, but things haven’t gone the team’s way so far this season.

Are M’s struggles an indication of where their timeline to contend is?

After dropping two of three in their most recent series to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Mariners find themselves at 17-21 on the year ahead of a four-game road set with the Boston Red Sox.

So what’s the feeling like in the clubhouse for Seattle amid a stretch where the M’s have lost 15 of their last 22? That’s one of many questions that Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Jake and Stacy asked shutdown reliever Paul Sewald on Wednesday.

“I think the word ‘slump’ comes more – no offense – from the media than it comes from our clubhouse,” he said.

Sewald stressed repeatedly in the interview that neither he or his teammates are too worried about this recent cold stretch. A big reason why that’s the case? Something similar happened this time last year as well.

“I think anybody who followed the 2021 Mariners knows that May was not exactly our best month last year, either,” he said. “And right about Memorial Day we turned it on and ended up winning 90 games. So there’s absolutely no panic in this clubhouse whatsoever, that I can tell you for sure.”

Point taken. In 2021, the Mariners sat at 21-26 on May 23 but went 69-46 the rest of the way to finish two games out of a playoff spot.

Is their 17-21 start what the Mariners were looking for this season? Of course not, Sewald said.

“But we also weren’t expecting to lose a couple of very key players,” he said, referring to several injuries Seattle is dealing with including a high-ankle sprain that may keep Mitch Haniger out for months. “This is a very tough stretch of who we’re playing and where we’re playing. We have multiple East Coast trips, go back and forth playing some of the best teams in the league. This was always going to be one of the toughest stretches of the season, and when we do it without a couple of people, that’s pretty unfortunate. But there’s no panic in there.”

Sewald said that as long as the Mariners can “stay afloat for a little bit,” they should be able to get their footing and go on a run.

“We’re gonna get hot and we’re gonna have a month where we go 25-5 or 24-6 or something like that and we’re gonna gain six or eight games on whoever’s in front of us in the standings. We’re not worried about that,” Sewald said. “We’re just gonna get back to work and we’re just trying to stay afloat … We won the first series of this road trip against a team that hadn’t lost a series all season (against the New York Mets). So hope, it’s a strong word. I think we’re doing just fine. We’re not doing as well as we’d hoped, but we’re not lost. We’re not panicking here.”

Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.

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Paul Sewald: ‘No panic’ in Mariners’ clubhouse despite tough May