The Mariners were treading water on this past road trip, going 3-4 this week after trips to Minnesota and Texas. They now come home for the stretch of 16 home games in their next 19. Of the five teams coming to town, all but one of them has a losing record. It is time for the Mariners to make hay at home and make up some ground.
As the Mariners get healthier, they are running out of excuses. Felix Hernandez, Jean Segura and Hisashi Iwakuma are all scheduled to return sometime during this homestand. That essentially puts all the key pieces back aside from Drew Smyly (who seems to be progressing towards a rehab stint very soon).
Let’s take a look back at the week that was in Seattle baseball before a crucial homestand.
The Mariners averaged 6.3 runs per game this week. The week got off to a great start with a 14-3 pounding of the Twins. Mitch Haniger went 4 for 6 with four runs scored and two RBI. Nelson Cruz added 4 RBI and Danny Valencia and Mike Zunino each homered.
Zunino ended up hitting .429 with three homers this week. His average went from .219 last Sunday to .248 today.
Ben Gamel quietly had another solid week. He was third in all of baseball with 13 hits this week, which gave him a .448 average. He also hit three doubles and led all of baseball with 11 runs scored in his last seven games. His average is at .346 for the year.
Jarrod Dyson has set a new career high with four home runs and it’s only mid-June. He has been a nice surprise at the plate, hitting .300 this week.
Valencia seemed to snap out of his funk with two homers and a .250 average this week after a dreadful second week of June.
Kyle Seager hopefully snapped out of his slump on Sunday, as his weekly average is at .242 even after his breakout Sunday. Taylor Motter is reeling with a .158 clip in his last five games with four strikeouts and just two hits.
Any week in which you give up 20 runs in a game, the grade is not going to be very good. Seattle’s staff allowed 20 runs in a 20-7 thrashing at the hands of the Twins on Tuesday. It started with Christian Bergman getting rocked for nine earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings. Casey Lawrence came in relief and didn’t fare much better, allowing six runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Overall, the staff had a 7.71 ERA this week. With that number, it’s a minor miracle the M’s won three of their seven games. The staff allowed double-digit runs on three separate occasions this week, twice over the weekend to the Texas Rangers.
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James Paxton is starting to become a concern. After a red-hot start, he has taken a big step back. In his lone start this week, he could not finish the fourth inning after allowing seven runs to the Rangers. Yovani Gallardo may be reaching the end of his rope, as he had a 6.55 ERA in two starts this week with two major rotation pieces scheduled to return very soon.
The lone bright spot was some of the bullpen pieces. Chase De Jong pitched four innings of shutout ball in mop-up duty. James Pazos, Tony Zych and Nick Vincent all had a scoreless week in multiple appearances. Closer Edwin Diaz earned one save in two games and only allowed two baserunners and struck out four.
The Mariners committed three errors this week, leading to two unearned runs. Aside from that, they played solid defense as usual. They are currently at +8 Defensive Runs Saved as a team. That is 11th in Major League Baseball. They also stole four bases while only being caught once. The M’s are currently 7th in baseball with 45 steals.
Player of the Week: Ben Gamel (.448 avg, 11 R, 1.067 OPS, 3 2B, 1 SB)
The week was highlighted by Gamel’s ridiculous catch in left field in Minnesota, sans hat.