It’s hard to overstate how abysmal the Mariners have looked in the past month and a half. Once 13-2, they have plummeted to a 24-33 record, going 11-31 in their last 42 games. For context, that’s a .261 win percentage, which is worse than any team has done since the Philadelphia Athletics in 1919.
With the Mariners looking so gosh-darn awful, it’s seemed to take a Herculean effort just to scratch out a win, while even the slightest miscue has meant certain defeat. With the perceived necessity of playing perfectly looming over the beginning of every game, this was a less-than-ideal way to begin tonight’s.
With that, the Mariners lost.
Not really, but why not? They would score four over the rest of the game, but a defensive failure that themed the entirety of the team’s season put the team in a hole from which it could not recover.
It was atrocious to watch. Future Core of the Team member Marco Gonzales pitched poorly, giving up six more runs over four innings. Daniel Vogelbach struck out twice. Kyle Seager went hitless, negating his solid start in his first few games back. Even if you don’t care about the winning, and you enjoy baseball for the sake of baseball, you might want to watch literally any other baseball team.
If there is to be one saving grace of this season, and if there was to be one saving grace of this game, it’s going to be the experience of enjoying the coming of age of a group of young prospects. J.P. Crawford, Shed Long, Daniel Vogelbach, and several other players have the chance to stake their respective claims in the team’s future. If you believe Jarred Kelenic, they’ll be staking their claims in a 2022 World Series roster.
So with that in mind, it’s 11-3 after five innings. The Mariners won’t be winning, and they won’t be winning anything meaningful any time soon. Let’s just enjoy the future.
Oh no. JP Crawford just twisted his ankle pretty badly in that rundown. He's hurting.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) May 29, 2019
I know that even just 50 games is a small sample size, much less one bad outing. But after watching Marco struggle as much as he did tonight, and after watching Shed Long make baserunning miscues, and after watching Mallex Smith’s 3-for-5 night raise his average to... .194, and after watching J.P. Crawford almost twist his foot off his leg like it was a Troll Doll’s head, being sold the future does not assuage my concerns.
Being served the future makes me extremely nauseous.
Watching the Mariners, in the grim reality of the Here and Now, is often an outlet for distraction as much as raw entertainment. Unfortunately, the Mariners seem to be mirroring the reality of the Here and Now.
On nights like these, so too does their future.