The schedule has the Seattle Mariners traveling from New York to Baltimore to Anaheim on their current road trip, but truth is, this is a trip through reality for the team.
Reality isn't kind.
Now 1-4 five games in, the Mariners can look ahead to facing Ervin Santana, Dan Haren and Jered Weaver when they face the Angels, and even starting Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Jason Vargas may not be enough to pull out wins there.
The Mariners are 51-61, or two games better than they were through the same number of games as a year ago. They're a better road team, a worse home team. Their team batting average (.233) is five points higher than in 2011.
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Playiing two very good teams and another winning club on this trip, they've been reminded how far the gap is from where they are to where they and their fans want them to be.
The one game Seattle won, the Mariners scored one time. Felix made it stand up. Last night, they scored seven runs and lost in 14 innings - missing opportunity after opportunity to win a game they once led, 7-2.
Kyle Seager has been their most productive hitter, with 12 home runs and 66 RBI, but he's batting .247. Jesus Montero, the power-hitting catcher/DH, has 10 home runs and a .265 average.
Is that what you expected? Moving forward, is it enough in 2012 to beat up on Kansas City and lose to anyone with a winning record? Is that progress? Here's tonight's lineup - and the numbers of each player in it:
Dustin Ackley 2B (.225, 8 HR, 35 RBI)Michael Saunders CF (.251, 10, 35)Jesus Montero DH (.265, 10, 42)John Jaso C (.282, 5, 31)Kyle Seager 3B (.247, 12, 66)Mike Carp 1B (.221, 5, 20)Trayvon Robinson LF (.261, 0, 3)Eric Thames RF (.244, 4, 13)Munenori Kawasaki SS (.221, 0, 7)Kevin Millwood RHP (4-9,. 4/01)