I am just going to flat-out admit it; the Orioles series really bummed me out. Yes, I like both teams; but I was really hoping for a split series rather than the Os stomping all over us, but clearly, after the series in Baltimore this past weekend, they are definitely the better team. The Orioles have the hitting we don’t, and that really hit home for me over these two series. Sure, we took two from the Cleveland Indians, and that is helping us stay afloat and over .500, but I just really wanted to even things up with the O’s. I did have a great time at that series here, but when all was said and done, the Birds taking three of those four games was a bummer. Especially on Felix night that Friday. Ugh.
In any event, the Mariners are apparently still somewhat in the playoff hunt, though things after the All Star break have not been looking as good as they were prior to it (I’m using the word “somewhat” pretty loosely). I have started the process of divorcing myself from the idea that there is a post season for Seattle this year, and am gradually preparing myself for 2015. That may sound premature to some – there are two months-ish worth of baseball left, after all – but all I can see is the Athletics’ 69-43 record, and we’re still 9 games in back of the Angels, and don’t even get me started on the Tigers, and of course Baltimore. Things aren’t looking great for post-season right now. And we have the White Sox, the Jays (who are also doing pretty well for themselves in the AL East this year), the Tigers, and Nationals this month. I am not harboring high hopes. We play the Athletics for two series in September and the Angels for two series as well; that’s half a month taken up with two teams measurably better than we are. Just keeping my fingers crossed for that .500. A winning season would be nice indeed. September’s going to be terrifying.
News has it that Justin Smoak has been hitting .340 since he went back down to Tacoma. I know I’m a little late with the article linkage. I am wondering if we have the evidence we need that Smoak will not be a good fit for this major league club? I had high hopes that he would come as advertised, just like everyone else. But I’m not sure how many more times I can take the Smoak yo-yo game. And if it continues next year, I will honestly have to wonder how serious the Mariners are about fielding a playoff-bound team. I wouldn’t have any problem with Smoak staying in Tacoma or being turned over for a guy or guys we can use; but the time is running out for that, if it hasn’t already. It’s clear he cannot hit major league pitching, and his WAR is down at -0.3 from a consistent -0.5 or 0.5 since he first arrived on the scene in 2010. It’s been four years. He is at a career-high 24% SO rate, with a BA that is barely keeping its head above the Mendoza Line, and a BABIP of .250 (yes, I’m just pulling random stats). Things just aren’t looking great for Smoak and while he has shown flashes of brilliance, like I said, after this season it will be four years. Clearly the Rangers, getting to the World Series that year, got the far better end of that deal. Sigh.
I haven’t been able to watch a lot of games lately, though I did get to a pub last Friday to watch the game after work. I couldn’t see the game last night, but I’m listening today at work, and hope they go after Atlanta with a vengeance. So back to work, and the start of the game. Would like to see us go – however slowly – to a little more comfortable numbers than the .518 we currently sit at. Now I’ve got to get back to work…