Tuesday’s 19-9 rout at the hands of the Detroit Tigers may have perfectly encapsulated the early season problems for the Seattle Mariners.
As the saying goes: “When it rains, it pours.” This seems especially appropriate for the Seattle Mariners right now, and not just because the city has set a record for rainfall between October and April.
In some ways, Tuesday night’s defeat in Detroit epitomizes the Mariners’ slow start to the 2017 campaign. Everything that could go wrong did, as the team with the longest current MLB postseason drought now finds itself with a record of 8-13 entering Wednesday’s action.
Thanks in large part to a nine-run blitz in the fifth inning, the Tigers routed the Mariners 19-9. Amazingly though, the scoreline wasn’t even the worst news on a horrific evening for Scott Servais and his team.
Things started off well enough for the Mariners. Buoyed by the return of Jean Segura, they took an early 2-1 lead before things started to unravel.
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The problems started when Felix Hernandez was forced to leave the game after just two innings. Dealing with what Servais described as a “dead arm”, the pitching ace had a disastrous outing, allowing six hits and four earned runs.
As reported by Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times, Hernandez was visibly upset after the game, as he quickly left the clubhouse. He will now head back to Seattle to have his shoulder examined.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, there was more bad news to come. Mitch Haniger, arguably their best hitter so far this season, was also forced out of the action during the third inning.
As reported by Bob Dutton of The Tacoma News Tribune, Haniger’s injury was diagnosed to be a strained right oblique. This type of injury usually takes at least four weeks to recover from, dealing another significant blow to the Mariners.
"“The game doesn’t really matter when two of your best players leave the game,” said Cano. “Those are guys you don’t want to lose. We lost the game. They beat us, but you are thinking about your teammates. That makes it even harder. You feel bad for Felix and Haniger. You never want to see that.”"
It wasn’t all bad for the Mariners as they produced 16 hits, to contribute towards a record 40 combined hits in a nine-inning game at Comerica Park. Segura looked particularly good in his return, with three hits, one homer, three RBI and two scored runs.
Regardless, the Mariners will now anxiously await an update of Hernandez’s status, although you imagine he will miss some time for a rotation already dealing with the absence of Drew Smyly. Meanwhile, Danny Valencia should get the chance to replace Haniger in right field, in an attempt to make up for his terrible start to the 2017 campaign.
As for the team as a whole, they need to find a way to overcome this latest adversity and get on track, after entering the year with so much optimism. There is only so much longer the M’s and their fans can say it’s still early in the season.
How has the latest adversity affected your outlook on the Mariners’ chances this season? Are you still optimistic about their postseason chances, or are you now losing hope for what lies ahead in the coming months? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.