Warning: If you’re looking for positivity, you won’t find it here.
The Mariners lost, again. They lost ground on the Astros, the Angels, and are poised to lose ground on the Athletics. They’ve lost seven of their last eleven games. More importantly, they looked completely offensively inept against Jon Gray and the Rockies bullpen, scraping just one run off Gray in seven-plus innings before being shut down by Adam Ottavino. I want to believe in this team, but they are making it really hard. This isn’t over-reacting: in July, the Mariners have plummeted to 26th in MLB in wRC+. The pitching staff has struggled somewhat, with Félix and Pax headed to the DL and everyone else without security blanket Mike Zunino. But the real fault lands squarely on the offense. Here’s the wRC+, in descending order, for the Mariners’ hitters in the month of July:
- Denard Span: 201 wRC+. Blessings on your sweet graying head, Denard.
- Chris Herrmann: 158 wRC+, which explains why Herrmann is getting the lion’s share of starts over Freitas (63 wRC+).
- Mitch Haniger: 133 wRC+. That will go down after an 0-for-4 night tonight that saw him ground into a double play.
- Kyle Seager: 121 wRC+. Nice to see Seager starting to turn things around.
- Nelson Cruz: 99 wRC+. Cruz finally made an appearance tonight, with a single.
- Dee Gordon: 90 wRC+.
- Jean Segura: 81 wRC+, down from 138 in June
- Ben Gamel: 48 wRC+. Gamel came into this series in Colorado with a -16 wRC+ for July.
- Guillermo Heredia: 47 wRC+.
- Ryon Healy: 27 wRC+.
The pitching tonight wasn’t exemplary—Wade LeBlanc battled through just over four innings and was charged with four runs, although rookie Matt Festa gave up two of the hits that led to the last two runs. LeBlanc also gave up a two-run home run that was stung to center field. Roenis Elias had maybe the best outing of the night, with a crisp 1-2-3 inning where he collected two strikeouts, flashing a plus changeup along with an improved look to his curve. Casey Lawrence also turned in another strong inning of work, giving up a double but working his way out of it, as he continues to campaign for a spot in Seattle’s bullpen in the second half. Juan Nicasio was Juan Nicasio, giving up a hit but escaping without damage.
However, the pitching staff did enough in the offensive-heavy environment of Coors Field to hold up their end of the bargain. It was the offense that disappointed, striking out seven times and taking just one walk against Jon Gray, who shut them down over the better part of eight innings before handing the game over to the deathly combo of Adam Ottovino and Wade Davis. If you’re feeling down about the offense, you’re not wrong, and you’re definitely not alone. The Mariners have to stop this freefall at some point, or they’re going to prove an awful lot of doubters right.