It was fun while it lasted. But reality finally caught up with the Seattle Mariners this week. Pitching and defense alone, will not get you into the playoffs, especially when your pitching has a gaping hole in the middle of the its starting rotation.
Mariners General Manager Jack Zdurienck spent the offseason upgrading the defense, landing Endy Chavez and Franklin Gutierrez in a 12 player trade. Right now, it looks like the Mariners got the better end of the deal. The two have been impressive in the first five weeks.
The pitching has also improved. Felix, Bedard, and Washburn are out of the gate fast, with a combined record of 9-3. Carlos Silva is a topic for another day, but I guarantee you he just pitched his way out of the starting rotation.
So let's get to the heart of the problem, the offense. The numbers don't lie. They were able to hide from them for a few weeks, but they've been found. The gig is up!
The M's are 12th (out of 14) in the American League in runs, 11th in home runs, 13th in slugging percentage, and 12th in runs batted in.
The root of the problem, Adrian Beltre and Ken Griffey Jr.
Batting in the three and four spots comes with some responsibility, and these two are not getting it done. With batting averages hovering around .200, and two home runs combined, the Mariners face an uphill climb.
The good news, its only May. There's time for players to come around, there's time for Zdurienck to make some moves.
Pitching and defense may keep them in the chase. But if they don't pay the power bill, it will be lights out for the Mariners for the eighth year in a row.