As sunshine made an unexpected appearance on an otherwise mostly cloudy Father’s Day morning and early afternoon, a packed T-Mobile Park, largely disappointed by what they’d been watching, was briefly energized by a hint of warmer, if not better, days ahead for them and the baseball team.
Following another abysmal, but not altogether surprising, offensive performance where they couldn’t muster a solitary run, let alone two or three, and yet another highlight for the Mike Trout for American League MVP campaign, the Mariners closed out a miserable homestand by getting shut out for the second straight game in a 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
A healthy amount of deserved boos initially rained down on the Mariners when Adam Frazier struck out to end the game. They likely won’t be the last or the loudest in the months ahead.
The booing didn’t last long as fans quickly turned their attention to the exits in the search for something else to do with their Sunday. That feeling of interest elsewhere also won’t fade.
Summer will officially arrive in two days even if it felt like spring was skipped this year.
Given the disappointing and underachieving start to this season filled with expectations, and what has transpired on an 11-game homestand where they finished 3-8, the current trend of lackluster performances and the lingering absence of key players, it seems there will be another summer of baseball irrelevance in Seattle.
The Mariners are now 29-39 on the season and going nowhere slowly. They lost four of five games to the Angels, who recently went on a 2-17 stretch which led to the firing of manager Joe Maddon.
When the flashing lights and buzzing sounds of a fire alarm went off in the sixth inning at T-Mobile Park, delaying the game for more than five minutes, the easy metaphor to purvey on social media it signaled the season is sinking.
But getting shut out in back-to-back games by a collection of pitchers, who as a whole are borderline big- leaguers, is a sign the Mariners have already hit bottom.
With no game Monday and an afternoon flight to Oakland, there is a growing belief that the embarrassing failures of this homestand are the tipping point to force changes.
It was Logan Gilbert’s seventh consecutive quality start – six-plus innings pitched, three runs or fewer allowed. He went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Unfortunately, a perfect effort wouldn’t have been enough.
In the fourth inning, Gilbert gave up a single to Taylor Ward and then battled Trout. A 3-2 fastball left in the middle turned into a two-run homer to right-center.
It was Trout’s fifth homer of the series and 52nd of his career against Seattle – though it feels like more.