|The King. Felix Hernandez left thirteen strikeout victims in his wake at Petco Park Sunday.|
This is not a pretty team, at times. They are bi-polar. Their offense is vile. Crap. Bad, with a capital bad. In runs scored they rank 28th, and batting average, 29th, next to last, in the majors. For the past two years, they've raised frustratingly stranding runners on base to an art form. They are so bad at failing to score or advance runners with consistency, their un-funny follies should simply be termed "Marinersesque." For example:
It's the third inning of the 2012 World Series, the Phillies lead the Yankees three games to none. In a 0-0 ballgame, Jeter leads off with a walk and Robinson Cano, trying to hit the ball to right side and advance the runner, taps a soft liner back to Doc Halliday, who doubles Jeter off first.
Joe Buck: Gee Tim, that was just poor execution. When your team is struggling, you have to be able to execute and do the little things to help them score.
Tim McCarver: Yeah Joe, you got that one right. Playoff baseball is about execution and if you're going to beat Halliday and stay in this thing you've got to execute.That was just Marinersesque.
It's been nearly two weeks since the Mariners made Milton Bradley take his act on the stage, the first one out of town and called up Carlos Peguero and Mike Wilson. Both are struggling to produce consistently, as one would expect of untried rookies. Yet there's no denying, they both bring an athleticism and energy to the team that was lacking before. Peguero homered twice in the last home stand and has looked both tremendous and clumsy in left field. Friday's play at the wall to rob Jorge Cantu of a homer and throw to Brendan Ryan in time to relay to first base to double off Ryan Ludwick was a thing of beauty. At other times, Peguero has been just short of making the great plays. The dropped ball in the ninth inning of the same game is an example. Wilson, trapped as the right hander in a platoon, hasn't had the chance to play much yet. But Saturday's gapper was a game breaker and insured the demise of the even weaker hitting Padres. It's unclear exactly how much these two young players will contribute to the offensive improvement of this team. Just too small a sample size.
|Michael Pineda leads the team with six wins and is only going to get better. He's a hard worker and studies the game carefully-oh and he throws 97 mph with control.|
|Eric Bedard is my favorite story of the spring. Opposing batters don't care for him quite so much. Ask the nine Padres he struck out on Friday.|
|Despite his opening night meltdown, Jason Vargas has been a steady starter for the Mariners.|
|Mr. Fister. When he's on, he's very good.|
|Dustin Ackley is the heir apparent to the starting second base job; it's just a matter of time. He may be a very good hitter, but he isn't a savior. The M's need at least one more bat.|
What about another bat? A consistent uprgrade at left field, third base, or designated hitter are all possibilities in my mind. It's still early, but if the left field situation is unsettled, if Figgins and Cust continue to struggle, and the M's are close to the division lead, or (silly me) leading the division at the end of June, Jack Z must pull the trigger on a deal that will improve the Mariner offense. The M's have a waning fan base, but during these little winning streaks, when the pitching is so dominant, maybe the best there is in the game right at this moment, there is a spark and every long suffering Mariners fan, waiting for a sniff of redemption believes, that with just a little help, we could win it all. Okay, our division. We can smell it Jack, get us a bat dammit.