For the Seattle Mariners, their nine-game road trip started off very well with a series victory over the New York Yankees that left them one game short of .500. Then, the bottom fell out. First came Cleveland where the Indians took four in a row including three walk-off victories. Seattle was unable to rebound and lost two straight in Anaheim and now find themselves with a season high six-game losing streak. The two Angel losses were bad: Anaheim won 12-0 on Tuesday and 7-1 last night. In two games, Seattle got beat by a combined score of 19-1, and the pitching staff gave up 19 runs to the Angels on the heels of giving up 27 runs to Cleveland. Add it all together and Seattle has been outscored 46-16 in their six-game losing streak, and they’ve been shut out twice. By comparison, they gave up 47 runs in their previous sixteen games.
Lack of Offense. After rallying and fighting back all weekend against Cleveland, the offense showed little pop against the Angels. Seattle was shut out by Jerome Williams on Tuesday in a 12-0 loss managing only six hits. No Mariner starter had more than one hit. They only had three at-bats with runners in scoring position compared to the Angels who went 6-11 with runners in scoring position. Last night wasn’t much better. By the third inning last night, the Mariners found themselves in a 7-0 hole. Seattle scored one run in the eighth inning off starter C.J. Wilson to avoid going scoreless for the series. Seattle’s 5 through 8 batters (Smoak, Shoppack, Ackley, Andino) went 0-for-15 with one BB.
Back of the Rotation Problems. Right now, Seattle looks to have a two and a half pitcher rotation. After Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Joe Saunders at home, it’s been dicey, and this two game series showed that. Pitching for the first time in two weeks after a back issue scratched his last start, Aaron Harang went 3.2 IP on Tuesday allowing nine hits and seven ER. Harang has only gone 6 IP in two out of six starts, and he stands at 1-5 with an 8.58 ERA. The Mariners were hoping to bounce back with rookie Brandon Maurer last night, but he only lasted three innings allowing eleven hits and seven earned runs. Maurer, who turned in the best performance by a starter in the Cleveland series, had shut out the Angels when he faced them earlier this season in Safeco Field. He fell to 2-6 with a 6.80 ERA. With the No. 4 and 5 starters sitting at a combined 3-11 and both having ERAs over six and a half runs, Mariner fans may see some movement in the rotation soon.
Three vs. the Rangers. The Mariners now find themselves at home for the first time in two weeks looking to snap this six-game slide. They will be facing their third first place opponent out of their last four when they host the A.L. West leading Texas Rangers. Joe Saunders will start the series Friday night, followed by the 1-2 punch of Hernandez and Iwakuma. Texas is coming off seven games at home, having gone 4-3 vs. the Tigers and A’s. In the good news department, Seattle will miss Rangers staff ace Yu Darvish (7-2, 2.84, 91 SO). The Mariners are 2-5 against the Rangers this season; 2-2 in Seattle.