The Seattle Mariners, as of this writing, have hit a league-worst 62 home runs through 100 games played. Aside from standing as a handy conversion between kilometers and miles, this ratio also puts the M's on pace for a nice, round 100 home runs at year's end.
100. The Blue Jays are on pace for 246. 100, for a team, is not altogether unheard of. The Mets just hit 95 a year ago. The Giants hit 94 the year before that. But those are National League teams, stupid teams playing with stupid rules to make the game more stupid. The American League's a different story. And to find the last American League team to finish a year with 100 or fewer home runs (in a non-strike season), you have to go all the way back to 1992, when the Angels hit 88, the Red Sox hit 84, the Brewers hit 82, and the Royals hit 75.
So now the question becomes: will the Mariners do it? "Do what?" you might ask, since I didn't really lay anything out, but everybody likes the way '100' feels when they roll it around in their brains, so let's go with that. Will the Mariners manage to hit triple digits, or will they fall woefully short?
For the curious, here's how they've been doing:
April: 9 homers in 23 games
May: 21 in 27
June: 19 in 27
July: 13 in 23
They bumped up their rate for a little while, there, but they're back down in July, as 13 in 23 is a 92-dinger pace over a full season.
I remember talking about this with Matthew in podcasts during spring training. We joked about the 100-homer figure, but when we broke things down player by player, we figured the M's would be able to exceed it by a healthy margin. Trouble is, we didn't figure that, come the end of July, they would've received a grand total of six home runs from Ken Griffey Jr., Jose Lopez, Chone Figgins, and Jack Wilson. That's kind of thrown a wrench in the works, forcing us to confront this issue once again. Sure, the M's have Branyan now. Sure, they have Smoak, and Saunders, and a slumping but moderately powerful Gutierrez. But they've also managed just two home runs in the last nine games, and can't count on much from several spots in the lineup.
So, because I can't look into the future, this calls for a poll. What I've discovered recently is that polls work as conclusions for the lazy writer. I wish I would've picked that up in high school. My papers would've been way more inclusive.