Kyle Seager’s two run homer in the eighth was the difference in Seattle’s 4-2 victory over Kansas City. It sent the M’s home with a winning road trip and a 6-4 record through their first ten games. Jim Mone/AP
The M’s make their way home from Kansas City on the winds of 4-2 series clinching win. At 6-4 Seattle has to feel pretty good about where they are, taking two from Cleveland, winning their first road series, and splitting with an improved Twins team. They’re a couple games behind the streaking Angels in the division lead, and 1.5 games behind the world champion Astros. Not so good.
But think about the first ten games of 2017. The M’s were 2-8 and they would struggle to catch up to .500 throughout the year.
It’s ten games. There’s a whole lot we don’t know about this team–like how they will compete with those Angels and Astros. But we’ll find out soon, as the Astros motor into Safeco Field next week. But I do have some interesting observations
Except for Mike Leake, who was okay in his first two outings, each pitcher has had one start that was utter, stinking poo. I’m always amused by those who rush to judgment after a start to claim this pitcher is the next coming of Walter Johnson or that pitcher is done, get rid of him now. What the bad outings by James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Marco Gonzalez seem to indicate is we don’t know who they are going to be. They don’t seem to be a threat to unseat Corey Kluber as the best pitcher in the American League, but I also don’t see the M’s scurrying off to sign Yovani Gallardo after his release from the Reds. That’s comforting. Paxton looked good against the Royals today. Hopefully more of the same against the Astros, and perhaps into the seventh inning
Put away all the sharp objects and hand rails in the dugout now
Nelson Cruz, Mike Zunino, Ben Gamel and Ryon Healy. That’s lots of lumber the M’s were counting on to drive in runs for this season. But it’s all on the DL. The Mariners were touted as having a potent offense in the off-season. We’ve heard varying reports when these guys may return. According to Brent Stecker reporting for MysportsNW.com, Gamel and Cruz could return on Friday. Zunino, probably the following week. For Healy, anyone’s guess. It’s not just that the M’s have so many injuries. It’s the nature of them. Zunino and Gamel are recovering from oblique strains, and those things just happen in baseball. But Cruz slipped on a dugout step and sprained his ankle. Healy injured his ankle while working out after a game in Minnesota. Everyone needs to be assigned a keeper who can catch these guys when they’re falling.
But some guys are off to a great start
It’s pretty hard to look at the beginning Dee Gordon, Jean Segura, Robinson Cano and Mitch Haniger had and not just nod your head and say “yup.” Each is off to a quick start, and it’ s easy to fall into a dream-like state wondering how things would be if Cruz and Zunino were safely in the line up, instead of doing stretching exercises. While I like all those guys in blue, I’ll be happy to give Mike Marjama more time on the bench, while Taylor Motter and Andrew Romine duke it out to make the latest restaurant opening in Tacoma. There’s no point in delving into stats. Let’s give it forty games or so to see what we’ve really got.
So 6-4 after ten games and completing a winning road trip? Yeah, I’ll take it. Given the injuries and some of the pitching malfunctions, it’s a pretty good start. Let’s hope for at least more of the same as the M’s open a seven game series at home. Four games against the Astros? That seems unfair.