What Dipoto is looking for during Mariners’ final 4 games

Sep 28, 2023, 11:25 AM

Seattle Mariners...

Eugenio Suarez of the Seattle Mariners reacts after striking out on Sept. 27, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners lost 8-3 to the Houston Astros on Wednesday, resulting in another September series loss and blow to their playoff hopes.

Where Seattle Mariners stand in playoff race after series loss to Astros

The M’s are now just 9-16 this month and have lost five of their last six games, all coming against their biggest competition in the American League playoff race, the Astros and Texas Rangers.

“Clearly disappointed. We’ve just not played very well over the course of the last week,” Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said Thursday morning during his weekly show on Seattle Sports. “And it’s in a variety of different ways.”

“This is the end of the line for us. We’ve got four games (left),” Dipoto added. “We have found ways to make it more difficult for ourselves, and then we found ways to kind of go and achieve whatever that difficult thing was.”

Dipoto said the Mariners have shown they’re “not afraid of the tough moment,” which will be key with four games remaining against the AL West-leading Rangers and the playoffs still a possibility.

“We just created an incredibly tough moment. We’re gonna have to somehow get ourselves into a position over these next four days where we do amazing things because we created a situation where we’re going to have to,” he said.

Dipoto later added: “We dig down, we fight back, we dig ourselves a hole and then we dig ourselves out. And part of that, just like growing up, is making your mistakes, learning from them and moving on. I think that’s the life of a baseball season. We’ve played 158 games and we’ve learned that about ourselves is that we are making our mistakes, hopefully we’re learning from them, and that will allow us to grow moving forward.”

So what is Dipoto looking for from the Mariners over the last four games of the regular season?

“Just play well. You can’t really control outcome,” he said. “I’d like to tell you, ‘Hey, we’ve got to win four games.’ It’s just play well. If we do that, our talent is really good, and for the last three months in general we’ve been one of the better teams in the league. We have played quite well over a long stretch of time and we have not played well here over a smaller stretch of time.”

Dipoto thought the Mariners “did a lot of really good things” in Wednesday’s loss to the Astros but that strikeouts were a problem. Seattle struck out 16 times.

“The lack of contact really got us, and then we were not able to deliver that big hit,” Dipoto said. “But it’s just 26 men, go out and do the thing that you do and play well and give us a chance.”

As far as the keys when playing the Rangers, Dipoto said it centers around free bases, which the Mariners have had issues with both against Texas last weekend and the Astros this past series.

“We can’t give them free bases. You can’t put guys on base, you can’t allow them to advance that extra base. When that happens, that’s when it gets sloppy,” Dipoto said. “Yordan Álvarez hits a solo homer last night? That happens. He’s one of the top hitters in baseball. What crushes you is the three-run homer. I think when you’re in this type of series – and regardless of what might be required to get to the top of Everest – you’re not going to be able to play against championship-quality lineups giving away free bases and putting yourself in a position for those homers to be crooked numbers. You can survive the solos, but you’re really not going to survive too many of the three-run variety.”

Listen to the full Jerry Dipoto Show at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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What Dipoto is looking for during Mariners’ final 4 games