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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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August 20, 2008 3:27 PM

Yuck, squared

Posted by Larry Stone

Well, that might have been the worst game I've ever seen (from the Mariners' standpoint, that is. I'm sure White Sox fans loved it).

I'd have to say that was rock bottom for Seattle -- for now. They were completely non-competitive. I've gotten a few e-mails complaining about the effort, but I don't see it as an effort problem. It was just a totally out-classed team. Dickey's knuckleball was getting ripped around, but I cut him some slack. As Riggleman said after the game, he's been jacked around so much between starting and relieving, and both, that maybe somewhere along the line it sapped his knuckleball.

But whatever the cause, when you fall behind 8-0 after two, it's going to be a long, ugly game, and it was. They are now 46-80, With 36 games to go, the M's must finish at least 17-19 or better to avoid losing 100 games for the first time since 1980. In other words, they have to have at least a .472 winning percentage the rest of the way. That doesn't seem too much to ask, right? Well, consider that their win percentage for the season is now down to .365. And consider that their win percentage since the All-Star break is .290 (9-22). It doesn't look too good.

It looks terrible, in fact. I'd suggest they just throw the kids out there and let them learn under fire. Today's lineup had Clement, Balentien, Reed and LaHair. Good. They're taking their lumps, but that's OK. As Riggleman said, "I've tried to impress on them, your character as a man is judged in bad times, not good times. We're going through some bad times. They're passing the character test. Now we have to get over the hump and start winning some games.''

On that note, I'm heading for the airport. Geoff will return to his rightful spot here tomorrow.

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