Sunday, June 26, 2016
Raise the Sinking Mariners
I've never wanted to witness what the Mariners look like without Felix Hernandez at the top of the rotation. This season, however, that's what we've been forced to witness. Felix is on the DL for a little while, and the pitching is falling apart, bringing the M's to third, and bringing the momentum they had in April and May to a screeching halt.
It's very sad, because a lot of these pitchers had nice starts- Taijuan Walker, Wade Miley and Hisashi Iwakuma are all struggling about now- thankfully Nate Karns is keeping his stuff together, but it's not enough. Even with Felix in the rotation, the Mariners' rotation's weakness is the lack of depth. You get past the first few really nice arms, and you get to people you can hit with no problem.
It's alarming, because the lineup in Seattle is actually pretty impressive- Cano, Cruz, Kyle Seager, Seth Smith and Dae-Ho Lee are all doing really damn well. The lineup, with the exception of Nori Aoki or guys that aren't hitting for average, isn't especially the problem, which is kind of reassuring, as the Mariners have been dealing with holey starting lineups for too damned long.
At this point, I don't know if the M's can contend. They're close behind the Astros, but I don't know if it's their year or if it's the Mariners' year. If one of them overtakes the Rangers, the other will drop. I just don't know which is which. I can certainly hope for the Mariners to regain their stuff, and for Felix to come back, but it's very close.
Coming Tonight- Even if his team's disappointed, he's still one of the best first basemen in baseball, and he's still as impressive as he was before his team beefed up with contracts.