After irrationally considering every win a step towards the World Series and each loss a step towards total oblivion, I tried buying into The Plan. You know, the whole, “we’re not contending this year, but we’re still worth watching” Plan. And as much as I hate to say it, Jack Z may be onto something.
Tonight, some of the Mariners looked great, and some of the Mariners looked awful. Hector Noesi made a strong showing through 8 innings, surrendering 3 runs on 3 hits, walking 2, and striking out 7 of 29 batters. With the help of Lucas Luetge and Steve Delabar, he snapped both the Rangers’ 15-game home run streak and the Mariners’ 3-game streak of handing out home runs.
As a team, Texas is batting just .161 against Seattle this week, stranding 21 and going 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position. It’s not as if the Mariners have bragging rights, however, as they went 1-for-9 with Justin Smoak’s RBI single. Then again, it’s worth pointing out that they managed a 6-1 win yesterday and only went 2-for-9 with RISP. Go figure.
While it may be ill-advised to get excited about a team who struck out 20 times in 2 games, I can get behind a rotation that is starting to look a little more solid behind Felix Hernandez. Sure, Kevin Millwood’s complete game shutout was a wonderful anomaly, and Blake Beavan’s 6-4 win may have more to do with the fourth-place Rockies than the third-place Mariners, but a 7-strikeout game against the Rangers is nothing to sniff at.
On Wednesday, Millwood faces RHP Scott Feldman, a last-minute replacement for Neftali Feliz, who landed on the DL Monday with a right elbow sprain. Perhaps by tomorrow afternoon the Mariners will manage to coordinate their defense and offense for a series win.
Next game: vs. Rangers | May 23 | 12:40pm