Game 50: Red Sox 6, Mariners 0

The Mariners were shut out for a second straight game at Fenway and everyone is frustrated. While the Red Sox celebrate their sixth straight win and their climb up the AL East Standings, the M’s suffered their eight loss in their last 12 games. The offense struggled, the pitching fizzled, and Mariners fans are looking forward to football season.

M’s Not Controlling the Zone

General Manager Jerry Dipoto and Manager Scott Servais preached the “Control the Zone” doctrine like crazy leading into the season. It simply means don’t swing at bad pitches and draw walks if you’re batting, and take control of the strike zone if you’re the mound. It’s actually a pretty simple doctrine that has paid dividends for the players who have been able to fully embrace it. Mitch Haniger, pre-injury, was rocking everybody’s world while drawing walks and smacking doubles, ending up with a .342 average before straining his oblique.

In the last four losses to the Red Sox and Nationals, the M’s have been out-walked 15-3 by their opponents. The talks of urgency or intensity may have turned into mild forms of panic or desperation at the plate, as that patience needed to draw a walk has gone out the window. In this loss, Boston starter Brian Johnson threw a complete game shutout in just 109 pitches, averaging just over 12 pitches an inning. That’s way too easy for a starting pitcher.

“We just have to go out there and change the attitude,” said Nelson Cruz. “We should go out there with a chip and be proud of what we do. This is embarrassing, you know? We shouldn’t be in this situation. I understand we have injuries and all that, but there’s a point you have to turn everything around.”

If by “be proud of what we do” he means “remember that we get paid insane amounts of money to play a game”, I couldn’t agree more. They should also be proud to play for the Mariners’ organization, which is honestly one of the best in the business.

A co-worker of mine and I were discussing Enes Kanter’s departure from the Utah Jazz a few seasons ago, when he admitted to taking nights off and not playing his hardest because he didn’t like where he played. The dude was getting paid about $3 million/season and was taking nights off. My co-worker and I agreed that someone could pay us $50,000 a year and we would play our heart out for whatever team it was every single night, for the sole fact that I’m getting paid to play a freaking game.

I’m not saying discontent or complacency or ingratitude is settling in, I’m just saying they need to play harder.

The M’s look to avoid the sweep in their last game against Boston before heading to Denver to face the Rockies.