The Mariners had little hope of avoiding yet another losing season. But how fitting, in a game they should have won, that their 82nd loss of the season came on a passed ball by Mike Zunino in the 10th inning?
The Mariners let another win pass them by.
The error ensured a fourth straight losing season for the underperforming Seattle nine. That’s the longest stretch of losing seasons for the Mariners since their first 14 seasons, ending in 1991 when they eked out a .512 winning percentage. It also marked their fifth straight loss, including getting swept by the Majors’ worst team, Houston.
I cheer again the inclusion of the Astros in the AL West, without whom the Mariners would very likely end up again in the division cellar.
Brandon Maurer registered an 81 ERA at home after serving up volleyballs to the Houston Astros last night. That lowered his overall ERA to 16.20 and record to 0-2. Those aren’t good numbers. Oh, and the Mariners got spanked 16-9 by the worst team in baseball this season and one of the worst of all time. Sure, you’re gonna lose a game here and there, but sheesh.
Fortunately, Maurer got a good talking to by pitchers Felix Hernandez and Kameron Loe. “I heard a story about Randy Johnson giving up a few in an inning,” Maurer told the Seattle Times. “That always makes me feel a little better, I guess. It happens.” Maybe Maurer should pick better mentors. Loe got tagged himself for six hits and five runs including three long balls in less than three innings.
But at least the team still enjoys fan support. Fully 10,745 packed into Safeco for the second home game of the season. Wait, that’s not very many people. In fact, that’s the worst attendance in Safeco’s history. Dear god.
The Mariners have already secured a softer landing in the AL West for 2013, though it’s not thanks to new players Jason Bay, Kendrys Morales or Raul Ibanez. And now it won’t be thanks to sloppy seconds with outfielder Mike Morse, lately of the Washington Nationals, and as of a trade today a Mariner anew. The thanks lie, of course, with Houston and the hapless Astros, whom Seattle fans are relying on to bring up the AL West rear.
Nonetheless, Morse is a potentially interesting acquisition. He managed a .291 average last year, with 18 HRs sprinkled in. That average is better than anyone on the Mariners for 2012.
And, like Ibanez, Morse knows what it is to wear teal on your hat and seems to be a fan of Seahawks running back, Marshawn Lynch.
The Redskins and Seahawks face off this weekend in a clash of ComingUpSmall mainstays. One will come up small.
There are any number of ways to attempt to glean the outcome, including Las Vegas lines, past meetings (see: The Skins Love Losing to the Seahawks, below), road and home records, etc. We present to you, reader, an alternative means of judging Sunday’s contest.
Worlds collide this weekend when the Washington Redskins host the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs. One of those teams will come up small. And the good money is on the Redskins again disappointing ComingUpSmall colleague Washdz. Combine the Seahawks’ recent scoring proficiency — 170 points in four games — with their maturing defense, and factor in Robert Griffin’s sore knee and one can expect some sad faces in Raljon, MD.
But there’s one other factor: the Redskins love losing to the Seahawks in the playoffs:
Is Raul Ibanez the answer? General Manager Jack Zduriencik thinks so. Ibanez will get his third go with the Mariners in 2013 and ComingUpSmall is pretty sure it’s not a home run. The man will turn 41 as a Mariner next year and at .240 last year he was not a sure thing in the batting order. But he’s got some power and could launch a few over Safeco’s new more hitter-friendly confines.
Zduriencik has been doing some interesting things this offseason, including trading away one of the Mariners’ most consistent pitchers of 2012 — Jason Vargas — for some oomph in the lineup by way of Kendrys Morales. Of course, Morales is a first baseman just like perpetual future-superstar Justin Smoak. That could set up some intrigue in spring training this year.
With these moves in place, C.U.S. predicts the Mariners will not finish last in the AL West. Thank you, Houston Astros.
Squawks fans are understandably thrilled with what has turned out to be their best season in recent memory. They are on the precipice of the postseason and are not pushovers, having beaten heavyweights Green Bay and New England.
That’s all about to change.
The Seahawks have gotten this far on the strength of their defense. But the league has suspended cornerback Brandon Browner for the final four games of the season, which includes a crucial home game against the 49ers, for testing positive for attention deficit disorder drug Adderall.
Here’s the rub: Richard Sherman, Browner’s fellow cornerback, may be out too for taking the same pills. That leaves some big holes in the secondary.
If the Hawks can get into the postseason Browner can return, but the trip to get there will be that much harder.