Yusei Kikuchi pitched a fantastic game giving up one run on three hits. The Mariners took the lead in the top of the fourth inning when Jay Bruce hit a home run for the only run of the game for the Mariners. The Cleveland came back to even the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth with a couple hits. It was the only scare on Kikuchi game. He struck out ten batters in seven innings. Kikuchi was strong after only pitching one inning which was planned in his previous outing.
Shane Bieber the starter for the Cleveland Indians pitched a good game as well but was not as great as Kikuchi. The Mariners were able to get six hits off Bieber in seven and two-thirds innings. three different times the Mariners had runners in scoring position where they could have scored at least one run or more.
The problem the Mariners are having at the plate in these five games is scoring runs without hitting a home run. Actually the problem has gone back further than that. In almost every eighteen games the Mariners have won they have hit the long ball. In now the sixteen losses most of them they haven’t.
Not only haven’t they hit too many home runs in this stretch Mitch Haniger had only one hit. In fact, in his last seven games, he has only two hits batting .080. Dee Gordon started the game back in the lead-off spot. He had two hits in the game. One of the hits was a single up the middle that moved shortstop Tim Beckham from second to third. It was hit too hard for Beckham to score. Gordon was able to steal second base but Haniger who was batting second couldn’t drive him in.
The Mariners need to find a way to score runs without depending on the home run or hit more home runs that is for sure. After getting off to the historic proportions hitting a home run in 20 games the Mariners haven’t done much in that regard since.
The Mariners put us in a place getting off to a tremendous start I am sure we expected this to continue. Of course, Jerry Dipoto told us this was a year of re-imagining or re-tooling so we shouldn’t have expected a team that would be up at the top of the standings all year long.
The Mariners have been beating teams with losing records while losing to those with winning records. It does make sense to a degree but they need to be able to beat the good teams as well at least some of the time anyway.
This road trip will say a lot with the team playing the Indians, the Red Sox, and the Yankees. I was hoping for a split of games going 5-5 but I guess 4-6 wouldn’t be so bad either. Anything worse would not be a good sign.
Right now this team is looking like the one that played the second half of last season instead of the one in the first half. Servais will need to find a way to get the players all together again. Unlike the team in the second half of last year, I am sure they haven’t given up yet. The pressure should not be on them since no one expected them to be this good anyway. I guess we could say they are showing their true colors. I hope not though.
Ryon Healy left the game early with a groin strain. Not sure yet whether he has to go on the injured list or not. The Tacoma Rainiers took Shed Long out of their game shortly after Healy’s injury. So it looks like if Healy isn’t available for several days Long will take his spot on the roster. Not sure whether Dylan Moore will see most of the action at third base or Long. Moore will likely be in the game Saturday afternoon even if Healy doesn’t go on the IL.
All interesting since Kyle Seager is about ready to go on a rehab assignment. He wouldn’t be eligible to come off the injured list for three weeks at the earliest though. This means time for Moore, Long and or Healy for three more weeks.
Mike Leake pitches for the Mariners Saturday. We need to see a better performance out of Leake than his last outing along with scoring runs to end this losing streak. Go M’s.