Seattle scored a run in the first inning Sunday in Texas. That ended a 20 inning scoreless streak, but did not prevent the Mariners from being gunned down by the Rangers, 11-3, and getting swept in the three game series. Sunday the Mariners were 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position The high hopes for a better offensive attack has hit rocky shoals for the Good Ship Mariner. The entire lineup is in a funk.
It is not just the young guys who are not hitting, but the veterans as well. Going into Sunday’s game, Kendrys Morales was batting .254 with one homer and while Michael Morse has hit 6 home runs, his average has dropped into the 230’s. His broken pinkie may be worse than he is letting on. Raul Ibanez is below .200 and Jason Bay barely above the Mendoza line.
Are Mariner hitters pressing? If so, they have been pressing for two years. It is not surprising attendance keeps dropping. Other than watching Felix Hernandez pitch, there is not much reason to go to a Mariners game. Nobody wants to watch a dozen or two ground outs.
Before Sunday’s game they were hitting .218, 29th in the majors. They had scored 58 runs, 25th in the majors. At least they were 17th in home runs with 16. Kyle Seager, on a 12 game hit streak, homered in the 9th. But one guy hitting does not help.
Firing the hitting coach is not the answer. The Mariners have hired a few hitting coaches the past few years and none have made a difference. What that tells you is that the Mariners have players who can not hit with consistency. Coaches can teach, can guide, can suggest, can go over video, but if you have poor students, you get no results.
Firing the manager is not the answer. The manager can not will players to hit. Nor is there another manager out there who can magically transform this team to win.
But one can look to the general manager, Jack Zduriencik. He is the one responsible for drafting the players and trading for players. He is the talent evaluator. He traded for Justin Smoak who is a failure. He signed free agent Chone Figgins. That was a disaster. He brought Brendan Ryan to Seattle. I love his glove and arm, but he has no bat. He drafted Dustin Ackley; he traded for Jesus Montero. His list of failures are growing.
The young guys may yet begin to hit, at least Kyle Seager has the best chance. Ackley, Smoak, and Montero have been in a funk far too long.
Is there hope? If there is, it is getting as thin as an anorexic super model.