There have been good times and bad throughout their first 65 games, and the Seattle Mariners may have hit a new low tonight - losing to the San Diego Padres, 6-2, for their fifth consecutive loss.
Five hits and the team batting average at Safeco Field is now an impossible .198 - lowest among 30 big-league taems. And this one came after a pre-game meeting Eric Wedge held with Mariners hitters.
"We've got to get out of this funk we're in here," Wedge said.
The funk has built a 10-18 record at home, where the Mariners have a 3.41 earned run average but don't seem the same team that has a .257 road batting average.
“We’re facing the same teams, the same pitchers we faced on the road,” Wedge said
Scoreless through four innings, the game got away in the fifth when the Padres scored three times against rookie Erasmo Ramirez. After a ground ball single and a bloop base hit, the inning got away on a sacrifice bunt attempt by catcher John Baker.
“On that play, the ball is Ramirez’s,” Wedge explained. “(Kyle) Seager read it and went to the bag. If Ramirez fields it, we get the runner at third and it’s an entirely different inning.”
Instead, the bunt loaded the bases with no one out.
After a pop out, Ramirez gave up a single to Will Venable to get one run home, and two more scored on a fielders choice and an error on a double play pivot by Dustin Ackley and San Diego took a 3-0 lead. Three more runs in the sixth and the game was gone.
“On the road, we’ve set the tone early, gotten out to a lead,” Wedge said. “We’re not doing that at home.”
At Safeco Field, a significant drop off in the Mariners power numbers is understandable – it’s a ball park where the ball doesn’t carry, especially in cool weather.
But exactly why that’s kept them from hitting for average? No one seems to have an answer to that.