BY Art Thiel 07:09PM 03/13/2017

Mariners take losing to a fresh dimension: 24-3

Normally the outcome of a spring training game is barely worth the pixels to explain. But when the Mariners, who know something about losing, are defeated 24-3 (box), attention is demanded. The Milwaukee Brewers were the perps Monday at their park in Maryvale, AZ, and the Seattle victims, as determined by bits of forensic evidence, will be identified.

Mariners pitchers gave up 24 hits, including six doubles, a triple, four homers and five walks, aided by two fielding errors from SS Shawn O’Malley.

Starter Hisashi Iwakuma was terrible, giving up seven runs on seven hits, which included back-to-back home runs, and couldn’t last three innings.

But at least he wasn’t around for the 10-run fourth inning. RHP Ryan Weber gave up seven hits in a row before getting an out — a sacrifice fly. Minor leaguer Brett Ash walked his first batter, then served up a three-run homer to make it 18-1.

In 1.1 innings, Weber and Ash combined to give up 15 runs on 13 hits and two walks.

The game followed a 9-2 loss Sunday to the Angels in which starter Ariel Miranda gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in 1.2 innings.

Manager Scott Servais seemed a little shell-shocked.

“That was as rough as they come,” he said. “They hit the ball very hard. We didn’t didn’t pitch well at all. Kuma didn’t have a whole lot today. The guys behind him didn’t have much either. He wasn’t sharp. Nothing was coming out of his hand great. He’s healthy. He’ll work through it, and will be fine by opening day.

“Unfortunately, we had a couple of those in a row. We have to get back on track. You have them down here in spring. Not a whole lot to get excited about today.”

Iwakuma, 36 and nominally the Mariners’ No. 2 starter, said he had timing problems.

“Overall my timing, my balance, I couldn’t get my lower body to sync to my upper body,” Iwakuma told MLB.com. “I couldn’t get the feel for really any pitch that I had. Nothing was working. I have nothing to say today that went well.”

The Mariners (10-7) return Tuesday to Peoria, where LHP James Paxton goes against the Chicago White Sox in what was considered a spring training impossibility — a game with the teensiest bit of significance.

Just when the Mariners seemingly have explored all dimensions of defeat — four playoff teams in 40 years — a new frontier of futility is discovered. Columbus, Magellan and Vancouver salute them for finding the edge of the earth, and falling therefrom.


YourThoughts

  • Kevin Lynch

    Sweet.

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  • ll9956

    Good piece, Art. Let’s hope this isn’t a harbinger of things to come.

    • art thiel

      Just a moment of amusement.

  • 1coolguy

    Let’s see – The M’s got rid of Lincoln (finally), changed leadership in the owners group, changed (yet again) the GM and manager, all within the past 2 years, and this is what we have: What else is left? They are down to a name change and moving to another city – what else is there? It is said there is value to consistency, yet this is not what was meant – is this an indication of another “here we go again” season?
    They should have bet the farm on a proven GM such as Epstein, yet the M’s have a history of blowing GM hires since their one “grand slam” hire of Gillick, who should have been kept as an adviser, at least.

    • Steed

      We are just 1 year into the tenure of the new manager and GM. Too soon to freak out. Much too soon.

      • art thiel

        I agree that we have many important matters in the country more worthy of our limited ration of freak-outs.

    • art thiel

      Dipoto is an Epstein-class GM. I think the game was a sardonically funny story for a franchise with a lamentable history.

    • dingle

      Now, we’ve been over the overrating of Gillick before, and how he gutted the youthful ranks. He’s still overrated.

  • mindful

    Hopefully the leadership from cano and cruz will wake them all up , after mariners, been watching the WBC and see how much fun baseball is. maybe they all are just upset they could not play in the WBC, and have fun, and They just now realized how big WBC is outside the usa team. World baseball classic been amazing this year to watch.

    • art thiel

      For the left-behinds, not sure that spring training is exactly chopping wood in a Siberian gulag.

      • Nads

        Agree, Art. I’m down here in the Valley of the Sun right now. It’s a bit too warm for me this week but will return to a more normal low 80’s next week. So, all in all, no complaints. I remember talking to Kyle Seager over the rail a couple of years ago in late March asking him if he was ready for ST to be done and get going on the season. He averred and asked me how I would like to go to Cleveland next week for the opener. Going from the 80’s to the 40’s to play baseball is more like the gulag.

  • wabubba67

    It’s spring training. Doesn’t matter…at all. Last year the Diamondbacks won spring training and we’re nearly the worst team in MLB.

    • art thiel

      Still . . . 24-3. Most noteworthy development so far.

      • Tman

        It’s all about Woody Woodward.

  • Tman

    You gotta love those off season acquisitions.

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  • Geez, Mr Thiel, tell us how you really feel. You’ve got to stop holding back like this. Holding all that in can’t be good for your health.

    Enjoyed the column. Thank you.

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