Monday, April 18, 2011

Mariners Fans Are Hella Depressed And Frustrated

Well that didn't take long.

A promising 2-0 for Seattle has been overshadowed by a sobering 3-11 record since. Felix Hernandez has looked mortal in three consecutive starts, the bullpen has made a habit of imploding and Chone Figgins continues to struggle. In fact, the M's bats are swinging even worse than last year's historically awful offense. But at least they're getting on base at a decent clip (2nd in baseball in walks) and being aggressive (top ten in stolen bases).

Michael Saunders' refined swing shows glimpses of potential while Justin Smoak continues to lash doubles and demonstrate good patience. The M's won't be a slugging team but will likely improve upon its dismal BABIP and become a slightly below-average unit. Doesn't sound like much but it would be a huge improvement over what the Seattle offense has been outputting for the past two years.

The biggest development of the past week has been the emergence of RHP Michael Pineda. He's still raw against lefties but his fastball can dominate by itself. Every start from him is now must watch. It's safe to say the M's now have another solid starter behind the King.

It's been a bad start and the playoffs are basically a pipe dream but the Seattle Mariners have a lot of season left to improve. It can't get much worse.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Mariners Losing Without Looking Hopeless

The M's enter tonight's opening homestand at 2-4 after getting swept by the red hot Texas Rangers in Arlington earlier this week. Even a solid effort by King Felix proved fruitless as a pair of Jack Wilson errors doomed the M's to their third loss in four games. Wilson was later replaced in the finale by Luis Rodriguez, which didn't seem like a big deal. Wilson had been adjusting to second base and probably could have used a mental breather.

But now it's been revealed by Eric Wedge that Wilson asked to be pulled from the game. And while he obliged the request you can bet the mustachio'ed manager did not appreciate the quitting.

TEAM CHEMISTRY UNBALANCED WITHIN THE FIRST WEEK! Even the ass backward 2010 squad played nice for a month before grandpa Griffey started falling asleep during games.

Wilson's situation aside, Seattle has actually played okay and there are several positive signs going forward. Felix is Felix (obviously) but Erik Bedard (injuries) and Michael Pineda (inexperienced) were major question marks heading into 2011. They both pitched well in their initial outings, alleviating some anxiety amongst M's fans. If Bedard stays healthy and Pineda develops his secondary outings the Seattle starting corps suddenly becomes a huge asset.

Speaking of assets Justin Smoak was the major piece acquired in the Cliff Lee trade last summer but struggled so badly he was sent to AAA to regain his confidence. Early this season Smoak looks like the bruising, switch-hitting slugger his lofty prospect status projected him to be.

It's early and the record isn't pretty but things are not awful in Seattle. Not yet.