April was a very bad, no good month for the Seattle Mariners. Even my most pessimistic prediction of the team going 3-7 in the first 10 games ended up being somehow too optimistic. Only by one game, but still. 2-8 is a pretty shitty way to start a baseball season. Part of that is due to the fact that seven (SEVEN!!!) of those first 10 games were against the very good Houston Astros who beat the Mariners in both surprisingly and highly predictable ways in 5 of those 7 games.
Let's see, what else went wrong? Oh yeah, injuries! Jean Segura was tearing the cover off the ball at the lead off spot and then pulled his hamstring on April 10. Then the darkest of dark Tuesday happened on April 25 with Mitch Haniger (quite literally the most productive player in all of baseball in April) strained his oblique and Felix Hernandez was pulled from the game after 2 innings and later diagnosed with bursitis in his shoulder. Oh, and Drew Smyly is out until July at the earliest after overdoing it in the WBC.
Surprisingly, the rotation gave the team a fighting chance in most games, despite being held together with Band-aids and balsa wood. Lots of bad luck, bad bullpen management and performance, and a whole shitload of runners left in scoring position is what led to most of the losses.
But, the tyranny of April is finally over and it's now May. It might even stop raining in Seattle this month. Huzzah. Let's look at the schedule and do some prognosticating.
- Week 1: Need to win both of these series at the very least against the Angels and Rangers to get back in the thick of the AL West. As I type this, Diaz just gave up a dinger to Calhoun in the 8th inning of game 1 to blow the lead because Scott Servais still fucking sucks at bullpen management. Off to a great start, dipshits.
- Week 2: I do not care about the Phillies or anything from the state of Pennsylvania, but I think they're supposed to still be not great? And Toronto is off to an even worse start than the Mariners so a sweep or series win in Toronto would reaaaally go a long ways.
- Week 3: Two awful teams that I can't stand. Lovely. Neither are particularly good this year, but we all know Oakland will win 1 to 2 games in some annoying way.
- Week 4: Then it's off to the East Coast for what will probably be a true pummeling by the Nationals and Red Sox. Yikes. Should probably win a bunch in the first 3 weeks to offset this dumpster fire week, but I'm not a doctor or baseball manager.
- Week 5: If Cruz doesn't launch one out of Coors Field, I'm quitting the season. Not really, but I want to see moonshots in those 2 games. Just give me something fun, guys.
So yeah, it's uh, a bit grim. Not as grim as April was at face value, but unless the Mariners bulk up a bit in the first few weeks and get up around .500, that last road trip of the month could be their actual undoing for the season and my June post will probably be about the upcoming fire sale.
Until then, roll damn Mariners.
PS: On a personal note, I started helping out a bit at Lookout Landing about halfway through Spring Training. It's been an absolute blast. Wrote my first regular season recaps last weekend here and here, if you're interested. Kate even lets me run the Twitter account sometimes and somehow hasn't banned me yet! Woo!