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The Mariners, home runs, and those hard to come by RBIs

Or yet another reason why the Mark Trumbo trade makes no sense.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The way the Mariners opened up the second half of the season against the New York Yankees seemed like a story that has already been told thousands of time this season. For starters, the Mariners continued their standard win-loss-win format. Secondly, the Mariners hit four home runs in the series -- and scored a grand total of eight runs.

We all know the Mariners' offense has its fair share of issues. Runners in scoring position apparently means nothing to anyone on this squad that has seen a frustrating amount of strikeouts in key situations, base running blunders, and just an overall lack of production.

Except for one key category: the Mariners, for the most part, can hit homeruns. The grand total might be a bit inflated, thanks to Nelson Cruz's torrid start to the season. But as of July 20, the Mariners were tied with the Rangers for ninth in MLB in home runs as a team with 97. And it is a good thing they hit a bunch of home runs as well, because without it, things would be dire. The Mariners have just 302 RBIs, which is second to last place.

There seems to be a big discrepancy there. The Astros, who have the most home runs in the majors, are third in the league in RBIs. The Blue Jays and Yankees, tied for second for most home runs, are first and second in RBIs, respectively.

For the Mariners, this is problematic, but it isn't surprising. The Blue Jays have a team OBP of .330 and the Yankees have one of .322. The Mariners, of course, have a team OBP of .295, good for third to last in the league. So when the Mariners are launching bombs, as of now, 64 percent of them have been solo shots. That isn't too far off from the norm, however, and is good for 11th most in the league.

With such a team preference for solo shots, it isn't much of a surprise that the Mariners are 20th in the league with 1.51 RBIs per home run (the lowest is 1.40 with the Rangers and the highest is 1.79 with the A's). The reason why it isn't as drastic of a problem for the A's, or the second place Twins, or third place Giants, or fourth ranked Nationals, is that none of those teams rely on home runs for offense nearly as much as the Mariners do.

When it comes to how many runs scored from home runs account for a teams total offense, the Mariners have a huge crutch on the long ball. Here is how all thirty teams stand.

team % of offense total RBIs
Yankees 49.2 398
Astros 48.6 391
Dodgers 48.4 376
Mariners 48.3 302
Reds 44.3 327
Angels 43.3 353
Orioles 42.6 385
Rockies 41.0 383
Nationals 40.8 358
Blue Jays 38.5 480
Cubs 38.5 327
Rangers 38.1 357
Rays 38.1 318
Tigers 37.7 387
Athletics 37.0 387
Red Sox 36.9 355
Mets 36.5 304
Brewers 35.6 362
Padres 35.1 345
Twins 35.0 371
Marlins 34.5 319
Diamondbacks 34.0 379
Phillies 33.4 308
Giants 32.3 371
White Sox 31.8 289
Cardinals 31.8 355
Pirates 31.8 343
Indians 31.7 350
Royals 31.1 376
Braves 24.9 334

It is turning into a dead horse for all the ways the Mariners failures to get on base hurt this team, and, honestly, it is hard to understand why more value isn't placed in just flat out getting on base. This team has the legitimate tools to launch some bombs, and that has been with the Grandpa Robbie Cano version that has been hanging out in the clubhouse for much of the first half.

It seems real stupid to say, if the Mariners got on base more, they would win more, because theoretically it isn't that simple. But, really, it might be that simple. The Mariners have a painful amount of one-run losses. A lot of those one-run losses might have become one-run wins when the long ball struck.

That is also what makes the acquisition of Mark Trumbo even more baffling, but we will leave that mercilessly beaten and dead low OBP/high HR horse in its grave where it belongs. The Mariners offense, as it stands right now, relies on the long ball with the best of 'em. The difference between the Mariners and the rest of the best of 'em is those teams have figured out how to score runs on the side as well.