Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
June 2, 2008 10:43 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
Even Bucky Jacobsen, pictured above, can no longer bear to watch the Mariners go down to another defeat as he leaves in the top of the ninth inning. They could have used some of his power tonight.
No chance for the Mariners against Ervin Santana and the Los Angeles Angels. Santana went 7 2/3 innings and gave up only a Richie Sexson single after the third until Jose Lopez hit a solo homer to end his night. Santana left with a 4-2 lead that wound up being the final score.
A big reason the Mariners stayed so close to the Angels for most of last season was Santana going just 1-10 with an 8.38 ERA on the road. He's now 5-1 away from home with a 3.59 ERA. Overall, he's 8-2 with a 3.02 ERA. Not in the cards for Seattle this year.
Mariners manager John McLaren said afterwards he was pleased with two strong plate appearances for Sexson, who had a single and a walk. But he also grounded into a double play that ended the second inning with two on and the game still scoreless.
Seattle didn't do much against Santana from then on.
"He throws so hard and he's got some secondary pitches to come at you with,'' McLaren said of Santana, now 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA in two starts spanning 15 2/3 innings against Seattle this season. "He gets you to chase pitches and when you chase pitches it's going to be a long day.''
Actually, it wasn't all that long.
This dull game seemed to rifle along in pace. It was one of the more lopsided 4-2 contests I've seen in a while. Never thought Seattle had a chance in this one after the Jeff Mathis homer in the third.
That part is disturbing to me. This loss came about far too routinely. A little too easily. Good pitchers make games seem that way. But if this continues, with good pitchers being able to breeze by on a six-hit night, this team will hit 100 losses.
"It's baffling,'' Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn said after going 5 1/3 innings and taking the loss. "It's hard to believe that our season has gone as badly as it has.''
Hard in some ways, yes. But the M's also have yet to recieve the type of consistent one-two punch out of their starting rotation that Santana and Joe Saunders have given the Angels.
Washburn no longer has the stuff he once did. He can't get away with mistakes and knows it. He made one to Mathis on a breaking ball that caught too much plate and paid for it.
"It seems like one or two key mistakes in every game come back to bite me,'' Washburn said with a sigh.
Washburn is what he is right now. A fifth starter on a bad team. A team that pitches well enough to lose on most night. Hits that way, too.
Seattle is now 13 1/2 games back of the Angels and fading face. This isn't a race any more. It's a rout. Someone needs to apply the mercy rule and reset this video game to next season.