The Mariners are the Mayo Clinic for any struggling pitcher. Bring your lame, your arm weary, your downtrodden, or your limp armed, and the Mariners will find a way to lose. They cure a pitchers low self esteem, rebuilding his confidence with two hours of futility. After facing the Mariners, pitchers feel whole again, ready to take on the Yankees without giving a second thought.
No better prove is Saturday when Mitch Talbot, 0-5 in his last nine starts with an e.r.a. of 6.53, pitched 6.2 innings allowing five hits and one unearned run in a Mariner 4-2 loss.
When you can’t hit or score runs you make the other pitcher look better than he really is. Yet the Mariners split the four game series. How did they do that?
If a team has no offense and no power, you can not win a slugfest. Nor can you win many games giving up three or four runs. So you simply have to shutout the other team. You do that you win a lot of games.
And the Mariners did that, shutting out Cleveland twice. Luke French won Friday night 1-0 and Sunday Felix Hernandez won 4-0.
The Mariners lost 6-3 Thursday, which coupled with their 4-2 loss to Talbot, means they scored five runs in their two losses. In their two shut out wins, they scored the same amount of runs, five.
The Mariners have shut out the opposition ten times, including Oakland twice, where they will play a three game series beginning Monday. But the goose egg giveth and goose egg taketh, and the Mariners have been goosed twelve times.
It is time to goose Oakland.