The Seattle Mariners lost to the Texas Rangers again on Sunday, June 12, damaging what had been a shot to move up in the American League West. The Mariners lost the deciding game of the series 6-4, falling five games behind the Rangers in the process. Entering the weekend, the Mariners had a chance to cut a four-game deficit down to just one game, but losing 2-of-3 games against the Rangers has placed the team in a much worse position.
The offense had difficulty getting on the scoreboard, and pitching struggles put the team behind 6-1 by the sixth inning. The Mariners would later add two runs in the eighth inning and one more in the ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Rangers. Now the Rangers (39-24) have a commanding lead over the Mariners (34-29) and the rest of the contenders in the AL West. That’s now how fans wanted this particular homecoming to finish.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, bad news about Felix Hernandez’s injury also came in earlier in the day. Hernandez could be out until August due to his latest stint on the disabled list, putting the Seattle Mariners in an already difficult position. Now the team has lost five of the six games it has played the Rangers since the beginning of June. Those five losses have pushed the Mariners down the standings to a place where they are at risk of losing the wild card spot as well.
The Seattle Mariners are certainly not out of contention, despite struggling during the month of June. The team still possesses a 34-29 record and holds a slight lead over the Toronto Blue Jays (35-30) for the second AL wild card slot. That won’t last long if the team continues to lose close games, though, nor can the team continue to lose seven of its last 10 games. Those are patterns that have to change if the Mariners are going to hold off what will become even stiffer competition during the summer months.
Many more games against the Texas Rangers are also on the regular season schedule. The Mariners have a three-game series from August 29-31 down in Texas and then a four-game homestand at Safeco Field from September 5-8. It gives the Mariners seven more chances to help the cause, with the added pressure that the games come late in the season. If the team can find a way to surge in June and July, the end of August could hold excitement that has been lost on Seattle in recent years.
The Seattle Mariners begin a tough 10-game road trip on Tuesday, June 14, with a reality present that this could be a trip that defines the entire season. They begin with three games against the Tampa Bay Rays before playing three games against the Boston Red Sox and then finishing the road trip with four games against the Detroit Tigers. The Mariners have to fly from Washington to Florida, then to Massachusetts, and then to Detroit during the two weeks, with no days off providing a chance to rest.
There are still some holes on the roster that new general manager Jerry Dipoto could have to fill very soon. James Paxton was basically the limit of depth at the starting pitcher position, so should anyone else struggle or get injured, a trade may be required of the team. As the first MLB trade deadline approaches on July 31, the Seattle Mariners may need to be active to stand a shot at battling with the Texas Rangers for the American League West crown. Recent struggles haven’t ruled the team out just yet, but time and opportunities are starting to run out for the Mariners.
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