The Seattle Mariners started the latest home stand in great fashion sweeping the Detroit Tigers in four games however since then they struggled to get any wins. The first game against the Houston Astros they won with the return of King Felix however they lost the final two games to the Astros though circumstances could have been where they would have won at least one of the two and then they lost both games against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The two games against the Phillies were very disappointing because the Mariners are playing at home against the worst team in the major leagues. We know that the Phillies would have the incentive to win because of the two losses to the Mariners in a large margin back in Philadelphia a few weeks ago.
I know that most of us expected that the Mariners would win both games or at least split the series but losing both makes us shake our heads. The losses both came down to the poor pitching performances by closer Edwin Diaz.
The loss in the first game Diaz came in with the Mariners behind so it was understandable that he needed the work however he gave up four runs before being replaced. Although he was behind the Mariners at least had a chance to come back to win however in the second game the Mariners were leading by one run going into the top of the ninth inning. King Felix pitched six innings giving up three runs on five hits. He looked like he was in line to win. James Pazos and Nick Vincent kept the game where the Mariners had the one run lead. All Edwin Diaz needed to do was shut the door on the Phillies however he gave up a home run to Tommy Joseph in the top of the ninth with no outs. The Mariners still had a good chance to come back to win if Diaz got the final three outs but walked a batter than a balk before giving up a single for the Phillies to take the lead. The chances are the Mariners could have still won the game however the go ahead run made it difficult. The Mariners were unable to score in the bottom of the ninth. So this made the home stand end up being a 5-4 record. I am sure most were hoping for a 7-2 record after the sweep of the Tigers.
The Seattle Mariners seem not to be able to get over the .500 mark for any length of time. Now they go to Anaheim to take on the Angels who have been playing well without the services of Mike Trout. Before the last four losses going to Anaheim looked like a good short trip as the Mariners return home after playing them three games. Now we hope that the Mariners can regroup against the Angels.
The series against the Angels seems more in need than it did before playing the Astros and especially now after the Phillies. At least the Mariners have Thursday off before playing the Angels on Friday. It will be important for Sam Gaviglio to pitch the way he has for the Mariners so far. If he can go five or six inning giving up three runs than the Mariners have a good shot. We hope that Diaz can correct himself in his pitching. According to manager Scott Servais it is his pitching selection as much as anything. I have heard that the pitcher has the last decision on what he selects as his pitch. Personally I think that is wrong when you are speaking about a young pitcher like Diaz. I believe that Diaz should throw whatever Zunino request him to do. If that is not the case than Servais and Zunino need to go over the pitching selection with him making him understand his responsibility.
After the series at Anaheim the Mariners come home to take on the Kansas City Royals in three games followed by the Oakland A’s for four games. When those series end it will be the All-Star break. The Mariners have ten home games for the rest of July after the break. It is important that they take care of winning in July because in August they have only seven games at home from August 10 thru the 16th.
The series between the Royals and the A’s will decide how the Mariners will do before the trading deadline.
The key going into the All-Star break is the play of the three guys in the middle of the lineup Cano, Cruz and Seager. They all have struggled to some point or another. Although he has had a few home runs of late Seager has been struggling at the plate for the most part. Also his defense has been questionable at times in key situations at time. The Mariners will need Seager to have a better second half for them to succeed over the first half. The Mariners will need the upper and lower part of the batting order to continue what they have been doing. Go M’s.