The Mariners finish the homestand 6-1 and and win the series with the Padres. And apparently it was all hugs and kisses afterward. Well, at least we know Carlos Silva is useful for something. The Mariners are now 4-2 against the Pads, 2-1 against the Giants, 3-0 against Arizona, 0-3 against Colorado in interleague play.
A few thoughts ...
1. It was a good homestand and the Mariners played pretty decent baseball.
2. The Mariners will not face a starting pitcher as bad as Wade LeBlanc over the upcoming road trip.
LeBlanc was not good. He is not good and he should be catching a Horizon flight to Portland this evening.
Here's what his manager, Bud Black, had to say about him.
"Starting pitching is such a critical part of a Major League team. So every night, you want to give your team the best chance to get a victory and that starts with the starting pitcher."
"The responsibility that starting rotation members have is (for me) the biggest on the team. Over the long haul of the season, if you have a solid rotation, you give yourself a chance every night. When you don't get it, you have games like today."
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Which brings me back to earlier point, it's all well and good that the Mariners beat the Padres and had a solid homestand, but they did so against two teams with losing records. Now they will face three of the best teams in baseball. And that's what much of the postgame conversation dwelled on.
"Everybody talks about where we are going," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "But the thing I like about this club is we take every game and we try to play the best we can. We'll see how we stack up on this road trip."
Nine games, 10 days, three against the Dodgers, three against the Yankees, three against the Red Sox.
"Nine big games," said DH Mike Sweeney, who was 4-for-4 on Thursday. "We're going to be playing three of the best teams in baseball, hopefully we play good ball. And it puts us in position around the all-star break to be buyers not sellers."
Ah yes, they have the nine games and then come back for four with the Rangers right before the all-star break. The Mariners could be in the middle of the AL West or in the middle of selling off the loose pieces.
What's the ideal outcome for the road trip. At a minimum 4-5. That would be acceptable, but below that, could be trouble since the Angels face Arizona on the road, Texas on the road and Baltimore at home over that span and the Rangers have the Padres at home, the Angels at home and Tampa Bay at home in the same time frame.
It's not only the games, but the teams. New York and Boston and their patient approaches are brutal on pitching staffs. And the Mariners' staff isn't exactly at full strength.
"It will be a test," Washburn said. "If we pitch well, we'll have a chance every game."
Perhaps, but they need to hit and they will have to so against pitchers better than LeBlanc, Josh Geer, Greg Burke and such.
"I don't care who we are playing," Sweeney said. "If we go out and play like we did today, I'll take our chances against anyone."