Mariners’ South Side Struggles Continue

by Scott Rinear

The Seattle Mariners’ struggles on the South Side of Chicago continued today as the White Sox jumped all over Felix Hernandez early on, winning the game 5-1 amidst sweltering 90+ degree temperatures. The loss officially ends the Mariners consecutive series wins streak at 6 straight, and tomorrow the Mariners will try and avoid the sweep.

 

April, 2009 was the last time the Seattle Mariners beat the White Sox in Chicago. Felix Hernandez was on the mound in that game, the night half of a day-night double header. Seeing “@ CHW” has not been a welcome site on the schedule for almost a decade. Since 2002, the Mariners are 11-29 at U.S. Cellular Field including 6 sweeps. I’d be surprised if another stadium has been as bad for the Mariners in that span, and it doesn’t seem to be a White Sox thing, as the Mariners are 23-15 at home versus the ChiSox in that same span. Sometimes another team, or in this case another stadium, just has your number for a while.

 

Even Felix Hernandez, the best month of June pitcher in terms of winning percentage (.800) the game has ever seen, was not enough to change that luck. South side slugger and Mariner-killer Paul Konerko put the White Sox up 1-0 with a solo home run in the second. The White Sox exploded for 4 runs in the 3rd with a 2-run triple by 44-year-old Omar Vizquel and a 2-run long ball by Carlos Quentin.

 

The Mariners lone run came on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Olivo in the 4th inning, as White Sox starter Phil Humber had the Mariner hitters off-balance all night.

 

The Mariners have dropped the first two games of this tough road trip, and I imagine the radio waves and internet will be swimming with the usual negativity about this Mariners team and the lack of offense. The reason I am confident in this is that before this current road trip the Mariners were 15-5 in their last 20 games since May 16. Only two other teams could say the same, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the surging Milwaukee Brewers. Before today’s first pitch, the Mariners were averaging 4.7 runs per game in June and five different players had combined to hit 9 home runs in 6 games. But, one 3-1 road loss later, and earlier today we were immediately back to panic button mode.

 

It’s not that I’m naive and not aware that this team is last in the American League in runs, hits, total bases, batting average, on-base%, slugging % and close to the bottom in most other offensive categories. How could I not be aware of this? It’s all anyone EVER talks about in one way or another. Today on the radio it was back to how terrible Jack Cust is and why hasn’t Mike Carp been brought up yet to DH. I actually agree with this move. I’m just tired of the constant seeking out of what’s negative about the Mariners. In the last 22 games, the Mariners have a better record than most MLB teams, including the Yankees and Rangers. My question is, if the Mariners can go 15-7 in their last 22 and be above .500 for the season and in striking distance of first place, and do all of this with the weakest offense in the league, how good could they be if their offense can find a way to improve?

 

Chone Figgins was able to get a hit today, but also struck out, committed his team-leading 7th error, and ended the game by hitting into a double play. I heard a great statement on the radio today, that the only thing Figgins has done consistently in the last 5 years is frustrate the Seattle Mariners and their fans. I have to bring up something I heard on the Root Sports broadcast tonight. In the 4th inning Mike Blowers and Dave Sims were talking about Figgins during his second at bat. Blowers mentioned how frustrating it is to the player when slumping, and Dave Sims chimed in that it was “more than for the fans at home, that’s for sure.” I just wanted to go on record in saying how tired I am of Dave Sims and his cocky and condescending statements. We as fans have the right to be frustrated about how players on our team are performing, and we have the right to voice that opinion. Sims’ comment, to me, took a shot at Mariners fans. I don’t want to listen to a broadcaster who is going to take shots at a frustrated fan base for being frustrated.

 

With that out of the way, at the time of this post the rest of the AL West was losing or had already lost, so hopefully we won’t lose any ground after tonight’s loss. I’ll be back out tomorrow rooting for our Mariners to break their unlucky streak in Chicago¬†and get back to the offense they showed at Safeco. Go M’s!¬†http://jeffsmariners.com

Comments

  1. Jim from Snohomish says

    Scott,
    I loved your article- I agree with your view on the Carp/Cust deal- maybe throw Josh Bard into the mix.
    JMc

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