It’s a time of adjustment — or else — for young Mariners

The Mariners’ season has long passed the point when a victory is the greatest thing to be accomplished in a day. Take today, for example.

The Mariners were thoroughly thrashed by the Chicago White Sox – 9-3 on Gavin Floyd’s pitching and some heavy hitting by the Sox.

The lessons learned?

• That the young Mariners hitters who experienced success after they were called up now are getting a lesson in the age-old art of teams that are using scouting reports to exploit their weaknesses. If they can’t make an adjustment to how teams are pitching them now, there could be a question mark on their future.

• And regardless how well a pitcher believes he’s throwing the ball – as Mariners starter Jason Vargas said he was today – it’s not a good thing to put a few runners on base and then serve up a pitch that a hitter can blast out of the ballpark.

First, those Mariners rookie hitters.

Dustin Ackley went 1-for-4 and struck out three times today, leaving him 2-for-12 in the three-game series.

Casper Wells’ 0-for-4 game left him 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in the series. In seven games since he was hit on the nose by a Brandon Morrow fastball Aug. 17, Wells is 3-for-27 with nine strikeouts.

Kyle Seager went 1-for-4 and has a nine-game hitting streak but finished the series 3-for-11.

And Trayvon Robinson, 0-for-4 with two strikeouts today, went 1-for-8 against the White Sox.

Manager Eric Wedge says this is a great opportunity for the young hitters to make adjustments to teams that now have a good scouting report on them. It’s also why, Wedge says, that it’s been important to have the kids up here throughout the season and not just as September callups when the sample size is too small to make a sound judgment.

“It’s big-league baseball. They’re going to attack those holes,” Wedge said. “They’re going to attack you with some experience, with some video and with some scouting reports. And now it’s up to the kids to make the adjustment back.

“That’s one of the benefits of having young people up here early (in the season) opposed to September. That’s why it’s tough to evaluate in September because you don’t have time to go through that process. You’re seeing some consistencies with how these kids are being pitched. We’ve got 30 games left. We’ve got time to make that adjustment back and move it in the right direction.”

As for Vargas’ pitching, here is his self-evaluation of today’s outing:

“I didn’t feel like I pitched bad today,” he said. “I was able to get ahead (in the ball-strike count) most of the day. They got some runners on base and hit some good pitches.”

Granted, I see the game from a different angle in the press box than what the players experience on the field, and it seemed like Vargas was especially sharp in the first three innings when he allowed two hits.

But nine runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings?

Like Jeff Fassero used to say, he made only one bad pitch. The problem is that it followed two singles and a walk to beat him.

In the fourth, Vargas gave up two hits and then Dayan Viciedo’s three-run homer for a 3-0 White Sox lead. And in the sixth, after singles by Paul Konerko and Alex Rios, then a walk to Viciedo, Tyler Flowers hit a first-pitch grand slam.

There’s your nine White Sox runs and a third straight Mariners loss.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Silvertips’ Andrew Petruk (26) fights for the puck during a game between the Everett Silvertips and Victoria Royals at the Angel of the Winds Arena on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. The Silvertips won, 5-3. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Some good, some bad for Silvertips in season-opening split

Everett was missing three key players over the weekend but significantly outshot its two opponents.

Washington's Sami Reynolds bats during a Women's College World Series game this past June in Oklahoma City. (UW Athletics photo)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Woman of the Year in Sports: Sami Reynolds

The Snohomish grad capped an outstanding five-year career with an All-American season and one of the biggest moments in UW history.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 18-24

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 18-24. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Prep roundup for Tuesday, Sept. 26

Prep roundup for Tuesday, Sept. 26: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

The 1987 Cascade boys soccer team poses for a photo in front of the Space Needle in Seattle. (County Sports Hall of Fame photo)
County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 bio: 1987 Cascade boys soccer

The 1987 Cascade boys soccer team won the AAA title and kicked off a run of five straight appearances in the state title game.

Arlington’s Caleb Reed is thrown into the air by lineman Dylan Scott after scoring a touchdown against Ferndale on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep football power rankings after Week 4

Here are our top 8 local teams after all the action from Friday and Saturday.

Monroe’s Mason Davis (1) celebrates with Trent Bublitz (11) after Bublitz’s touchdown reception against Edmonds-Woodway on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, at Edmonds School District Stadium in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Reader poll: Make your picks for Week 5 prep football games

Do you think you can beat the experts in our weekly high… Continue reading

Mike Thomas (6) owner of the Everett Royals, shares a laugh after practice at Archbishop Murphy High School on February 2, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Everett’s new arena football team announces owners, coach

The franchise had been shrouded in mystery since the league announced it was relaunching in April.

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III is tackled by Carolina Panthers linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Seahawks have dangerous 1-2 punch at running back

Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet have helped Seattle recover from a bad opening loss to win two straight.

Most Read