Monday, July 25, 2011

Offense Has Been Looking Better

Yeah, I know we've lost 15 games in a row as we head into Yankee Stadium today. I know that we have suffered a serious belting of our pitching staff, starters and relief. The one thing that has been dismal all season long, our offense, has looked pretty good in the last week.

We score a run in the first, the opposing team scores two, or more. We score three in the fifth, our opponent scores five. That's been the Mariners luck as of late as they have continued to add up losses in a string of 15 to date. That is more consecutive losses than any Mariner team has had all time.

Am I irritated? Frustrated? Angry? Not really. It sucks to lose everyday, but one thing I do know is that we do have really solid pitching, although they are struggling right now, they worked their tails off and were probably overworked through the first half. The things that make me excited are things like the top of our batting order that really seem to be gelling. The Ichiro, Ryan and Ackley 1,2,3 punch is really starting to come around and look like a promising threat like it was supposed to.

Obviously we are still lacking a true number 4 hitter as Jack Cust has been truly horrific anywhere in the lineup. I'm actually still surprised that Cust is still a part of this team after another strikeout with the bases loaded the other night when the M's failed to capitalize on a bases loaded no outs situation versus Boston in the 8th. I'm also happy to see that they have dropped Smoak down in the lineup. Smoak has been really struggling as well and has been striking out or popping out in every key situation that he has faced. He is supposed to be a centerpiece in this rebuilding project and as of late he has looked like an anchor for the Rainiers. Hopefully he comes around.

One thing I am truly happy about, is that now the M's are completely out of contention. Yeah, I'm happy about that. I was so afraid that Mariner fandom was going to try and force Jack Z's hand into making a deal for a bat that would not have been enough to win it all. Even if we won the West, there is no way we would have been the team to win the whole thing. All pressure off, we can now look at what is best to continue this process of rebuilding, evaluating and adding the proper pieces needed to make this team a winning team. Those pieces will come a lot cheaper in the off-season than they would be at the trade deadline.

So here's to the Mariners 15 game losing streak. Hip Hip Hooray!!! Not that any of it has been done on purpose, but I have questioned it at times. We are looking a bit more like we are chasing an opportunity for another number one pick in the draft than we are a pennant. Could be part of the plan. We'll see.

The only thing I would like to see as this season plays out is the addition of guys like Matt Mangini and Alex Liddi to our lineup. I would love to see what they could do against the MLB pitching. Maybe that would be after Cust finally gets released or Figgins slips from the end of his already short rope.

As the final two months of the season approach there is only so many things that we can hope for. Offense is crucial. We need to find out if anything is going to come of our entire back half of our order. Guti, although a bit soft at the plate is here for the long haul as our center fielder and Olivo will be our catcher next year. Everything else is up in the air. We all love Kennedy too, but will he remain as a utility player in the M's future? I guess we'll wait and see.

Everybody has their opinions and I'm sure their will be irate fans that want to bash my opinion of Smoak, but there you have it, to the M's and their last two months.... onward and upward!!!!


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