Another weak outing from starter Hisashi Iwakuma cost the Mariners the game and the series to the Houston Astros Wednesday at Safeco, the 5-2 defeat making for 2-1 series loss. The Astros won six of 10 games at Safeco in the concluded season series.
In the race for the American League’s second wild card berth, the Mariners (79-66) lost no ground to Detroit (80-66), which fell 3-0 to Central Division leader Kansas City (80-64). Nor did they slip against the holder of the first wild card spot, Oakland (81-64), which lost in Chicago 2-1 to the White Sox, its 10th loss in the past 13 games.
The Athletics, who play in Chicago Thursday while the Mariners are off, come to Safeco for three games starting Friday.
Lasting 4.1 innings, Iwakuma had control problems. He gave up four runs on six hits and two walks. He has given up 15 runs in his past four starts over 18 innings, well off his pace of earlier in the season.
Meanwhile the Mariners offense was stuffed by Nick Tropeano, who won his major league debut. He pitched five innings and gave up four hits, the only damaging one a two-out double by Mike Zunino in the second that scored all the Seattle runs.
In losing three of the past four, the Mariners have scored seven runs. They went down in order from the third through the eighth innings, thanks in part to three double plays.
Manager Lloyd McClendon did not hide his displeasure.
“I managed bad, they played bad,” he said. “Very disappointing. This was first game we had like this this year. We swung at a lot of bad pitches.”
Asked about the ability to bounce back, he said, “I sure as hell hope so. We only got two weeks left.”
The game drew 16,931 for a three-game total of 43,893.
Not good. This is a series the M’s should have swept though the Astros have given them problems in the past. The Wild Card race is too tight to let things like this happen. It isn’t all on Kuma, the hitting wasn’t there tonight. Jackson having 4 K’s is not want from your leadoff hitter and Morales hasn’t bounced back from missing the first quarter of the season. Hopefully they can bounce back from this.
Not good. Also not the end. Relax and enjoy.
This is in part why the attendance is in the “wait and see” mode. It will be up this weekend for a series that will likely determine the wild card participants. I hope we don’t witness the historical self destructing that has (although usually earlier in the year) broken the hearts of fans for over a decade. Thankfully the Tigers and Athletics are solidly engaged in the same mode. Go M’s!!!
My guess is nothing gets decided until the last weekend, not this weekend. The historical destruction has nothing to do with this team and this manager, because none of have been there.
… now 37-38 at the home un-baseball stadium.
real contenders don’t lose series to the friggin astros
No such thing. Great teams lose, bad teams win over 162 games. Watch a whole season sometime.
No surprise to me. The Mariners have done pretty well against team ahead of them in the standing (especially on the road), but they lay down and die against bottom-feeders like Houston. At least 16,000 showed up for this one.
Dustin Ackley where at thou? With out Dustin’s bat we are doomed. Hey, never thought I would write or say that.