Mariners fall 10-3 and split Vedder Cup series with Padres

The Mariners fail to sweep the series in San Diego, as they are dominated by the Padres and once more fall below .500 on the season.

While being a proponent of not kicking someone when they’re down, it’s tough not to be critical of this Mariners team. Quite rightly picked pre-season to be a playoff team, they continue to frustrate and underachieve.

There is no excuse for the Mariners being below .500 at this point of the season, especially with the talent they have. And yet that’s exactly where they are following Wednesday’s 10-3 beatdown by the Padres.

In addition, the two-game series versus the Padres highlighted just how inconsistent the Mariners are. Two such contrasting performances and results which have left manager Scott Servais searching for answers.

Servais theoretically has the recipe for success, but mixing it together correctly is another thing altogether. Speaking after the game to the media, he said:

“We’re at the point in the season where you want to put a nice run together. You look at our team, and I think we’re certainly capable of doing that, but it’s a combination of things. You need to have consistent starting pitching. You need guys in the bullpen to step up, but ultimately, you’ve got to score runs. It’s going to take more than four hits in a game — any game — to win it. And that’s been the most frustrating thing.”

Even though the four hits did result in three runs, the trio of scores were far too late to be of any consequence. Coming in the top of the eighth, the Padres had already built an insurmountable 10-0 lead by this point.

Kirby gives up a career-high 11 hits

On an individual level, George Kirby provided a major example of the Mariners’ inconsistency. After a tremendous three-hit, eight scoreless innings performance in his previous outing versus the Yankees, he self-capitulated on Wednesday afternoon.

Kirby lasted all of 3.2 innings on the day, in the second-shortest start of his two-year Major League career. He allowed a career-high 11 hits and — most importantly — five runs, while only striking out three batters.

The third was the key inning for the 25-year-old, which took him 37 pitches to get through. Seattle were down just 1-0 and had already recorded two outs, when Juan Soto came to the plate with no one on base.

Soto quickly fell behind 0-2, but then patiently worked his way back into the at-bat and eventually hit a single. It would be one of a career-high five hits on the day for the three-time Silver Slugger.

Kirby lamented what would subsequently turn out to be a crucial at-bat. He said:

“Finally, I threw a good freaking splitter and he just ate it. But yeah, he’s hard to strike out. He’s got a good approach. He doesn’t chase a whole lot so he’s a tough at-bat, but I could have done a little better job (in a) 0-2 count.”

A three-run homer spells trouble

Following another single, Gary Sanchez came to the plate and proceeded to hit a three-run blast and give a 4-0 lead to the Padres. Kirby said:

“(The pitch) probably needed (to be) a little bit higher. I threw a first-pitch slider to get (Sanchez) off the heater, but he put a good swing on it.”

Kirby was complimentary of the Padres’ offense in general. He said:

“They had a good approach all day. I didn’t get ahead as well as I wanted to, and especially with two strikes, I didn’t make good pitches.”

Servais’ post-game assessment of Kirby’s performance was open to debate. He said:

“He was certainly not as sharp as we’ve seen him. But I really didn’t think George threw the ball that bad.”

Mariners relievers unable to stop the bleeding

Regardless of if you agree with Servais’ take or not, it didn’t change the reality of a 5-0 deficit. And the situation didn’t improve with the usually reliable bullpen, forced to pick up the slack for the remainder of the game.

The bullpen combined to allow six hits and another five runs in 4.1 innings. As seems too often the case, Matt Brash and Chris Flexen pitched poorly and both gave up two runs.

Overall, Servais was understandably unhappy with the outcome. He said:

“Coming off a nice ballgame last night, I was hoping we could get a little momentum going. It didn’t happen.”

Instead, the Mariners once more fall below .500, this time at 30-31, which includes 13-16 on the road. As of Friday morning, they sit 5.0 games back of the final wild card spot in the AL.

Seattle now prepares for a three-game series in Los Angeles, against the Angels. Luis Castillo will get the call on Friday night, in a top-billing matchup versus Shohei Ohtani.

Do you agree with the opinion this Mariners teams is underachieving so far this season? Or are they just not as talented as perceived? Let us know in the comments section below.

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