SEATTLE – A day after playing their most crisp and complete baseball game in recent weeks, the Mariners served up an unnecessary and unwanted reminder of how and why they have their current losing record– now 24-33 – and how it’s happened following a 13-2 start to the season.
That torrid start seems more like an impossible achievement than a distant memory given the uninspired, careless and noncompetitive baseball this team has played for stretches since then.
The latest defeat in this prolonged stretch of losing – an 11-4 drubbing Tuesday by the Rangers – was Seattle’s 10th loss in its last 12 games. After beating Texas in back-to-back games April 25-26 at T-Mobile Park to improve to 18-11, the Mariners have won back-to-back games just once since then while posting a 6-22 record.
And to make matters worse, young shortstop J.P. Crawford, who was performing well since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma, had to leave the game in the eighth inning after severely rolling his left ankle in a rundown between third base and home. Crawford, who had two hits and a walk in the defeat, had to be helped off the field by athletic trainer Matt Toth and was in obvious pain. A trip to the injured list seems likely.
For the second consecutive start, Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales lost in his matchup against the Texas combo of opener Jesse Chavez and nonstarting starter Adrian Sampson.
But unlike a 2-1 nail-biter down in Texas where Gonzales allowed two runs (one earned) and the Mariners provided no offense, this time Gonzales got rocked for eight runs in four-plus innings. And the Mariners’ offense? Well, it was slightly more productive. But when you give up seven runs in the fifth inning and find yourself down 11-0, the outcome is pretty well decided. The only drama becomes how bad will you get beaten and when back-up catcher Tom Murphy would pitch?