BY SPNW Staff 05:13PM 09/29/2013

Mariners Go Out Lamely, Losing To A’s 9-0

The Mariners, who are going to have a difficult, if not impossible, time coming up with a positive message to sell the 2014 season, ended 2013 with a kind of lame effort that has characterized their entire campaign. A 9-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics, played out in front of 17,081 at Safeco Field, ended another woeful year with a 71-91 record, the fourth time in six seasons with 90+ defeats.

With departing manager Eric Wedge twice in the past two days trashing the club’s front-office “vision,” or lack of same, for the future, the Mariners posted their fourth consecutive losing season and 12th sans playoffs. To end 2013, the Mariners lost nine of 14 and 14 of 20.  Seattle’s 9-18 September marked the fourth consecutive year that the Mariners failed to win in double digits in the season’s final month.

At the heart of the 71-91 record: Seattle went 19-29 in one-run games, 6-15 in extra innings, sustained 13 walk-off losses, and 27 losses in their opponents’ final at-bat. At the heart of that: the Mariners hit .229 with runners in scoring position, failing to capitalize on dozens of opportunities that could have made a difference.

The season-ender featured little drama. The Athletics scored four times in the second, four more times in the fifth and added a so-what run in the ninth. The Mariners, who had five hits, none for extra bases, stranded nine and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

The Athletics battered starter Erasmo Ramirez in the second, scoring four runs on Chris Young’s two-run single and run-scoring doubles by Seth Smith and Brandon Moss. Ramirez only made it through 1.1 innings after allowing all four runs on three hits and a walk.

The Athletics added four more in the fifth on Alberto Callaspo’s run-scoring single, Josh Reddick’s run-scoring double and Daric Barton’s two-run single. Oakland’s final tally came in the ninth on Andy Parrino’s run-scoring double.

In the ninth, Raul Ibanez, with 29 home runs, came to bat for the final time in 2013. Sitting on 29 home runs, he had a chance to break a tie with Ted Williams for most home runs in a season by a 41-year-old. But his at-bat ended in a fly ball to left, which drew a standing ovation from the Safeco Field crowd.

“It was a special moment, and I’ll never forget it,” Ibanez told Root Sports. “The ovation was great. I’m okay with tying Ted Williams; it’s a great honor even to be associated with Ted Williams.”

Of now ex-manger Eric Wedge, Ibanez said, “He’s a warrior, day in and day out. I’m always going to remember how great he was with us. I like where the team is headed, I think great things can happen here.”

ARMS: After Ramirez departed, Hector Noesi threw 3.0 innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Noesi finished with a 6.59 ERA . . . Bobby LaFromboise and Carter Capps worked 3.1 scoreless innings.

BATS: Brad Miller, who hit two homers, including a grand slam Saturday, had two hits Sunday and finished his rookie season with a .265 average . . . Dustin Ackley went 1-for-3 and finished at .253, and Nick Franklin 0-for-3 for a .225 mark.

QUOTES: “I told them (the players) how much I appreciated their effort and how much I cared about them. I wanted to get in front of them and thank them and tell them that. These young players are in the process of learning how to win ball games. For me, this is tough. I wanted to see this thing through. But it became clear it’s not going to happen, I’ll move on to the next adventure. It was just painfully clear to me this was not going to work and you make the decision to move on.” — Eric Wedge, ex-Seattle manager, in his final press conference Sunday

NOTES: Wedge, who twice since Friday said that he didn’t agree with the “direction” the Mariners are taking, had a more positive spin pre-game Sunday on his final day as the club’s skipper, telling mariners.com, “The encouraging thing here for the fans is, they’ve got to look at the close losses and late-inning losses and see we were right there. It’s a pitch or play or an at-bat that’s the difference. But the experience they gained this year is really going to come back to them . . . I think one thing the fans have to look forward to next year is the fact all these kids will be there from the outset. That’s pretty exciting, with all the experience from this year. Those are all positives.” . . . Wedge finished his Seattle career with a 212-273 record and no winning seasons.

NEXT: The Mariners open Cactus League play Feb. 27 vs. the San Diego Padres at Peoria (AZ.) Stadium. Seattle will play at Safeco Field April 8, 2014, in its home opener against the L.A. Angels.


YourThoughts

  • Jamo57

    How about ’2014 Seattle Mariners. It can’t get any worse can it?’

    • RadioGuy

      Awww, man, you took the words out of my mouth. Oh well, let me take that thought and try putting some positive spins to it…

      “Mariners baseball: Nowhere to go but up!”
      “Mariners baseball: We’re still here!”
      “Mariners baseball: PLENTY of good seats available!”
      “Mariners baseball: We’ll always have 1995!”
      “Mariners baseball: Making relevance relative!”

      On second thought, forget it. Truth in advertising still matters…

      “Mariners baseball: When you can’t get Sounders tickets”

      • Jamo57

        You’ve got a whole campaign ready! How about ‘Seattle Mariners: Saving Port jobs by reducing traffic congestion since 1977′.

      • Jamo57

        BTW when the commercials come out each spring, my son and I have a pool as to which ones will be pulled first because the players are no longer on the team.

  • Trygvesture

    Or

    “The Clownship of Baseball presents

    Your…

    2003x

    2004x

    2005x

    2006x

    2007x

    2008x

    2009x

    2010x

    2011x

    2012x

    2013x

    2014 Mariners!

    This Time for SURE !”

  • jafabian

    So when Wedge says it’s obvious it isn’t going to work is he talking about the overall vision that Howard, Chuck and Jack have for the franchise? Well, that’s been painfully obvious the past ten years. Unless their plan is to have one of the best ballparks in the league. We got the biggest video screen and Edgar’s Cantina for this season. I’m figuring next season brings a resurrected Fun Forest beyond the centerfield wall and Buhner’s Burger Bar next to it. Anything to hide the fact that 2014 will bring no more than 79 wins for the fans.

    My worst fear: trading Felix for prospects.

  • Leon Russell

    “At the heart of the 71-91 record: Seattle went 19-29 in one-run games, 6-15 in extra innings,”
    Statistics like these mean nothing. That also means that the M’s lost 62 games by MORE than one run, and lost 76 games that were NOT extra-inning games. So, what?
    Here is the main stat: the M’s were out-scored by 130 runs this year. That was the 3rd-worst run differential in the AL, and 5th-worst in all of baseball. The M’s were not good offensively, defensively, or pitching-wise.
    The M’s’ best hitter this year, who led the team in avg., HR’s and RBI — Kendrys Morales — is not under contract for next season.
    Arguably, the M’s second-best hitter this year was Ibanez, who should not be back next season.
    Iwakuma this year very likely had the best year he is ever going to have, so there is little likelihood that he will be as good next season.
    The M’s are a long, long way from being a good team. That means more bad seasons in the next few years, or the M’s will have to really open their wallets and maybe double their team player payroll if they want to field a competitive team next year. Since this is the M’s, they will probably go half-way, like they did this year, and next year will be a similar failure.

  • jafabian

    A small thing, but last season the players would say something like “Go Mariners” at the end of interviews and it would be all of them. None of them did that this season. Makes me wonder if some of the players are just going through the motions during the season.

  • Larry GAHLHOFF

    Seattle Mariners- We have the best lawn in town- come watch us grow!!!