Mariners lose series to Chicago White Sox in a way that is more flattering than being completely destroyed

The Mariners woes against the Chicago White Sox continued this weekend as they lost two of three to Chicago’s south siders. They didn’t get the shit beat out of them, they were outscored by only one run in the series, and you could make a pretty good case for them being able to win all three games, and also for them to lose their Friday game and to surrender a sweep to a White Sox team that has destroyed them of late (They’ve won 25 of the past 30 matchups between the two teams).

Alex Rios hit home runs in every game of the series. That may seem shitty, but Alex Rios isn’t the same bad Alex Rios as you think he is. He was the White Sox best position player last year, and he’s been pretty good in two of his three years with the White Sox. Alex Rios is fine, and maybe better than he was when he was put on waivers by the Blue Jays, the transaction that brought him to Chicago.

Most notably, Rios hit a home run on Felix Hernandez‘s 0-2 hung changeup:

felix-rios

Courtesy of Brooks Baseball

And Ryan Divish authored the perfect description of such an event:

The Mariners, for their part, hit four more home runs in this series, meaning they’ve got nine on the season. Last year after eight games the team had four home runs. Seven games in this year the Mariners nine home runs. That’s a thing. It might not be the thing, but it’s a thing.

Mike Morse hit another home run today. Morse has been really good this year, and here’s visual evidence in generally inefficient metrics of success:

morse all over

From ESPN.com

This feels like the movie Multiplicity probably if I’d ever seen it.

In Hisashi Iwakuma‘s two starts this year he’s thrown 88 and 89 pitches. He struck out eight in six innings last Tuesday, and struck out three batters in eight innings in the series finale against the White Sox. Iwakuma missed 14 bats in his first start and only five today. Iwakuma was efficient, but different, and we probably shouldn’t expect either to be the norm for Iwakuma. Such is the plight of the average-stuff-having pitcher.

Justin Smoak had two hits in the series. That is more than zero hits, if you weren’t sure.

Michael Saunders is off to a good start. He’s got a season-cycle, with a double, triple, home run, and two singles. He’s walked three times and struck out three times. It’s good to see Saunders with only three strikeouts in 25 plate appearances, but it’s only 25 plate appearances. How you view that may define you as an optimistic or pessimistic fan, depending on whether your think it may be a sign of improvement, an indicator of regression, or absolutely nothing. It’s probably a little of everything, however temporary.

Kendrys Morales went 3-5 today with a double and a home run. If the Mariners are going to be successful this year, Morales will likely be a large part of their success.

The Mariners spent their first week of the season on the road against teams that aren’t terrible, and they nearly ended it with a winning record, but they lost while showing that they may have improved offensively. The Mariners lost games the right way, whatever the fuck that means.

  • maqman

    Got to watch the last two games with CWS, (finally got enough bandwidth to stream live MLB-TV) even bought a big new TV to watch the games on and they give me 19 innings of not enough. Saunders (the pitcher one) worries me but Hultzen may be ready in a couple of months.

    I see Noesi and Ruffin both pitched 6 innings in Jackson and each gave up only two hits and no runs, while Elias went 6 innings without giving up a hit. Walker looking like the weak sister so far. Go figure. Montero better get busy with his stick, Zunino going large right out of the gate.

    I liked Morse in 09 when he hit well in spring training and then face planted himself shortly thereafter diving for a fly ball. Really pleased to see him back, he looks like he’s going to be a force. I saw Multiplicity, Morse wasn’t in it.

  • Matthias_Kullowatz

    Smoak now has 4 hits, 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts. One of his hits came on April 4th, and he has received 4 plate appearances in all but one game. This can only mean one thing. Justin Smoak is moving to second base very shortly.