The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Should we be concerned about the Mariners?

Post-break series loss is a good microcosm of the season in whole
Sam Taylor
Seattle hosted the MLB All-Star Game for the first time since 2001, July 11, 2023 at T-Mobile Park. The event attracted 47,159 devoted baseball fans.

The 2023 Seattle Mariners had high expectations going into the new MLB season after the accomplishments they had in their previous two seasons. Last year, the Mariners made the playoffs for the first time since 2001, ending the what was the longest active playoff drought by any American professional sports team.

Young stars like Julio Rodríguez, Jarred Kelenic and Cal Raleigh have been mixed with a young but hardy pitching unit that consists of Luis Castillo, George Kirby and Logan Gilbert. Along with other talent such as J.P. Crawford, Ty France, Eugenio Suárez and Teoscar Hernández, expectations for the Mariners have been at an all-time high.

Despite those expectations, the first half of the season has been underwhelming to say the least. Only a few players have played to their true potential, and it has not mattered. Hernández, Suárez, Rodríguez and more have consistently been striking out as the offense has not been able to produce runs when it is needed.

The team has shown glimpses of promise and what they are capable of, but ultimately, it has been trumped by a constant struggle to win close games or put together an effective offense. 

The Mariners stumbled their way into the All-Star break with a record of 45-44 after winning seven of their last nine games. The All-Star break was seen as something that could potentially divert the Mariners’ momentum, as a four-day break could stall the team. Mariners fans saw the importance of their first series back from the break against the struggling Detroit Tigers. A three-game sweep of the Tigers seemed possible and would go a long way. 

Game 1

The Tigers beat the Mariners 5-4 in the first of a three-game series. Castillo pitched for the Mariners giving up four hits and three earned runs. This was not enough as the team was losing 3-0 halfway through the game. 

The offense struggled to get going, only scoring in the final two innings of the game, with a pinch-hit home run by Mike Ford, a new favorite in Seattle.

While this was not what Mariners fans were hoping for, the team still could win the next two games taking the series from the Tigers. 

Game 2

The team still could have won the next two games, but they did not. Unfortunately, the team lost 6-0 on Coug Night with Kirby on the mound. It was not an easy watch, as throughout the game boos were heard from Mariners fans.

Making matters even worse, the Mariners only recorded three hits during the game ending their chances of winning the series. This was one of the worst games they’ve played this season leaving fans uncertain of their success for the rest of the season.

The Mariners had to face the potential chance of being swept in game three by the below-average Tigers.

Game 3

Looking to avoid the sweep, the Mariners sent rookie pitcher Bryce Miller to the mound to set the pace in game three. Miller held the Tigers scoreless and the Mariners won the game 2-0.

The offense did not contribute much to the victory with the only runs coming from a Kelenic RBI double and a Raleigh home run. This got the job done, but only because the pitching staff held the Tigers to only six hits. 

Ultimately, the Tigers won the series, gaining confidence as they look to catch up in the AL Central division. On the other hand, Mariners fans are left with many questions: Why are they losing to an underperforming team? When will the offense get going? Why have their stars not been able to perform? 

So should Mariners fans be worried? I believe that there should be some concern as they have struggled to perform well. However, it is not time to panic yet. A lot can still happen.

Currently, the Mariners are four and a half games out of the playoffs with 68 games remaining. They are very much alive and in a close race to the postseason. While their competition will increase, a little momentum and winning some games in a row could do the trick. That needs to happen soon because time is quickly running out.

Being a Mariners fan myself, I know better than to get my hopes up. Despite that, I still have to believe in them as the playoff race ramps up.

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About the Contributors
Seth Stern, Evergreen reporter/Copy Editor
Seth Stern is a Sophomore in Broadcast News from Auburn, Washington. He has always had an interest in sports and enjoys writing about them. He also works at Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe on the WSU campus. Seth began working at the Evergreen in spring 2023.
Sam Taylor
Sam Taylor, Evergreen sports co-editor
Sam is a senior multimedia journalism major from Lacey, Washington and the sports editor for spring 2024. He was the sports editor for the 2022-23 school year and managing editor for the summer and fall 2023. He plays the trumpet in the Cougar Marching Band, loves sports and has worked at the Evergreen since fall 2021.