Mariners Progress Report: The Time Is Now

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 24: James Paxton
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 24: James Paxton /

The Mariners finished a strong week, beating up on the New York Mets 9-1 in a sunny Sunday victory. Seattle was 4-2 this week, winning both series against the then-first place Red Sox and the Mets.

The Mariners (before their opening series win against Texas) sit right at .500 with a 53-53 record. They are 3 1/2 games back of the Wild Card. Now is the time to make a move on the Wild Card. The Mariners are running out of games to turn it on.

It is time to stop hovering around .500 and break out a winning streak to get their heads above water.

SEATTLE, WA – JULY 25: Mike Zunino /

Batting: B

The Mariners averaged 4.5 runs per game this week. Not surprisingly, they were stumped against Chris Sale in their 4-0 loss to the Red Sox. Mike Zunino hit two home runs but otherwise struggled.

Kyle Seager seems to be evening out after a week of hitting .333.

Ben Gamel continues to be the cream of the crop. His .321 average is in the top ten of the whole league. He led the teams with nine hits this week.

Mitch Haniger struggled mightily and ultimately was put on the DL after being hit in the face. Perhaps some time on the shelf will do his swing good. We all hope he makes a quick recovery.

SEATTLE, WA – JULY 30: Starter James Paxton /

Pitching: A-

The pitching staff had collective ERA of 2.79, which is pretty stellar. However, that might be due to James Paxton doing his best Randy Johnson impression this week, or better yet the month of July. During July, Paxton is 6-0 with a 1.37 ERA with 46 strikeouts to only six walks. This week he made two starts and did not allow a single run in 13 innings, earning him co-AL Player of the Month honors.

Aside from Paxton and Yovani Gallardo’s one earned run, the rotation had some struggles. Andrew Moore and Ariel Miranda were both touched up for two home runs and four total runs.

In the bullpen, the Mariners have moved up to 11th in the league in bullpen ERA at 3.96. Nick Vincent had three scoreless outings. Unfortunately, newcomer David Phelps had a rough welcome to Seattle. He allowed two runs and six hits in one and two thirds innings. The bullpen was a bit shaky this week.

Felix Hernandez has been his usual 2017-self, up and down. He allowed eight total runs in two starts this week.

SEATTLE, WA – JULY 29: Second baseman Neil Walker /

Defense/Baserunning: C-

The Mariners committed four total errors this week. The Mariners are at 8 Defensive Runs Saved as a team, which is 13th in the league. On the bases, the M’s stole just two bases and were caught once. There were a few head-scratching moves on the base paths as well. Not the sharpest week in this category.

Player of the Week: James Paxton (2 W, 0 ER, 18 Ks)