BY Steve Rudman 01:54PM 04/24/2014

Seager’s walk-off HR ended an infamous slide

Kyle Seager’s stunning, three-run walk-off home run Wednesday afternoon put an end to one of the most miserable losing streaks in Mariners history.

Kyle Seager, batting .156, hit one of the more remarkable walk-off home runs in franchise history Wednesday against Houston. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

In 37+ seasons encompassing 5,890 games (2,743 wins, 3,147) losses, the Mariners have endured 18 losing streaks of eight or more games, topped by a 17-game slide under Eric Wedge in 2011. Only three of those were snapped with a walk-off home run, Kyle Seager the latest to lift the Mariners out of a morass with his ninth-inning shot off Josh Fields that beat the Houston Astros Wednesday.

Prior to Seager, the last Mariner to stop a losing streak of eight or more games with a walk-off home run was Adrian Beltre, whose solo shot off Ron Villone of the Yankees Aug. 21, 2006 ended an 11-game losing streak.

The only other time that a Mariner hit a walk-off home run to end a losing streak of eight or more was April 29, 1985, when catcher Donnie Scott ripped a two-run, 10th-inning blast off Ray Searage of Milwaukee for a 9-7 victory that halted an eight-game losing streak.

Seager entered Wednesday in the worst slump of his career, batting .156 with no home runs, two RBIs and a slugging percentage of .219. He not only became the first Mariner to hit a walk-off home run with a batting average under .170, he became the fourth player in major league history to hit two homers, including one of the walk-off variety, while driving in all (minimum of five) of his team’s runs.

Seager hit a two-run homer off Jarred Cosart in the seventh and his three-run homer off Fields in the ninth, accounting for all the runs in Seattle’s 5-3 victory. According to Elias, only George Kelly of the Giants (1924), Sam Chapman of the A’s (1941) and David Ortiz of the Red Sox (2007) ever had such a game.

Seager is the eighth Mariner to hit two home runs in a game that also included a walk-off, and the first since the above-referenced Beltre shot off Villone in 2006.

Date Player Opp. Home Runs
4/12/80 Leon Roberts Tor Solo (Mirabella, 6th), solo walk-off (Garvin, 10th)
5/31/82 Paul Serna Milw Solo (McClure, 7th), 2-run walk-off (Augustine, 11th)
4/8/86 Jim Presley Cal 2-Run (Moore, 9th), GS walk-off (Forsch, 10th)
9/24/95 Tino Martinez Oak Solo (Ontiveros, 6th), 2-run walk-off (Eckersley, 9th)
4/13/03 Bret Boone Tex Solo (Thomson, 7th), solo walk-off (Dickey, 13th)
4/20/04 Raul Ibanez Oak Solo (Harden, 7th), solo walk-off (Mecir, 9th)
8/22/06 Adrian Beltre NYY 2-run (Karstens, 1st), solo walk-off (Villone, 9th)
4/23/14 Kyle Seager Hou 2-run (Cosart, 7th), 3-run walk-off (Fields, 9th)

Seager’s walk-off against Fields, selected by the Mariners in the first round of the 2008 amateur draft and traded with Erik Bedard to the Red Sox in 2011, prompted the predictable home-plate pileup as the Mariners celebrated the end of one of the nastiest losing streaks in franchise history.

In all losing streaks of eight or more games over 37+ years, the Mariners had never dropped as many as five to a last-place team. But this eight-gamer featured five such embarrassments, including three at Miami, a last-place team (NL East) when the Mariners encountered them last weekend, and a pair to the Astros (AL West).

Although other losing streaks have been longer – nine have exceeded 10 games – only three were more abysmal offensively. The Mariners averaged 2.2 runs per game, batted .208 overall and .183 with runners in scoring position and left 56 runners stranded.

They also struck out 62 times, including 14 times twice in back-to-back games against the Astros April 21-22. The lameness made this eight-game losing streak the fourth-worst stretch of futility in team history based on a .562 OPS (on base+slugging):

Year Dates Manager Rec. R/Gm. BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 4/30-5/8 Don Wakamatsu 0-8 1.5 .173 .266 .221 .487
1988 6/12-6/21 Jimmy Snyder 0-9 1.3 .174 .251 .253 .503
1980 7/26-8/6 Darrell Johnson 0-12 2.5 .221 .294 .264 .558
2014 4/14-4/22 L. McClendon 0-8 2.2 .208 .252 .311 .562
1989 8/16-8/28 Jim Lefebvre 0-12 2.5 .206 .275 .288 .563
1985 4/21-4/28 Chuck Cottier 0-8 1.7 .205 .271 .295 .566
2011 7/6-7/26 Eric Wedge 0-17 2.5 .218 .260 .308 .568
2008 9/11-9/22 Jim Riggleman 0-12 2.3 .232 .283 .308 .591
1983 6/17-6/24 Rene Lachemann 0-8 2.7 .220 .271 .333 .604
1986 9/26-10/5 Dick Williams 0-9 4.0 .221 .269 .306 .615
2007 8/25-9/2 Mike Hargrove 0-9 3.2 .253 .295 .333 .628
1978 6/7-6/17 Darrell Johnson 0-10 3.1 .243 .288 .347 .634
1992 9/2-9/18 Bill Plummer 0-14 2.9 .242 .301 .343 .644
1977 8/17-8/15 Darrell Johnson 0-9 2.7 .238 .274 .376 .651
1979 4-13/4-26 Darrell Johnson 0-11 2.9 .256 .316 .338 .654
2004 7/2-7/11 Bob Melvin 0-9 3.2 .257 .302 .383 .685
1981 8/20-8/30 Darrell Johnson 0-10 4.6 .265 .348 .357 .704
2006 8/10-8/20 Mike Hargrove 0-11 3.2 .272 .315 .409 .724

The only good news is that, without Seager, the Mariners would begin a three-game series with the Texas Rangers Friday night at Safeco Field in last place in their division, a half game behind the Astros.

NEXT: LHP Roenis Elias (1-2, 3.22) goes Friday to start the Texas series.  Elias allowed a season-high six runs (four earned) over 5.2 innings in his last start, April 19 at Miami (7-0 Seattle defeat). The Rangers will go with LHP Robbie Ross, who did not give up a run in 7.2 innings against the Mariners April 15. The first-place Rangers (14-8) took three of four from Seattle between April 14-17, have won 11 of 13 and are coming off a three-game sweep at Oakland.


YourThoughts

  • 1coolguy

    1 game win streak – break out the Champagne.
    I’d like Art to do a once a month interview with Cano so that we can track his comments and attitude over the season.

    • Trygvesture

      Cano spoke unedited exactly twice. He said a Lou: We need a bat. Worse, he named players.
      He suddenly became absolutely silent on that path outside the company line.
      Lincoln brooks no opinion except his own, tolerates no voice except his own and those echos who are reading his script– and woe to the independent voice spoken aloud!

      • Skip Horne

        Absolutely nothing changes until Lincoln and his clown posse leaves town on a rail. The sooner the Mariner fans realize this the better off they will come to grips that this team will NEVER succeed with this ownership group. But why would they sell this money making machine? Winning has never been a priority.

  • Trygvesture

    Love the stats. Pas you present them, they tend to focus one’s view towards the unarguable realities that define the Mariners. Always fun to read.

  • notaboomer

    the only conclusion i can draw from the amazing number-crunching is this: time to bring jesus (montero) back to seatown.