I would have thought that a three-game home series against the Houston Astros would have been exactly what the Seattle Mariners needed after going 3-4 in their first seven road games. The Mariners were fresh off of a devastating walk-off loss to the Chicago White Sox and were ready to right the ship against the lowly Astros.
New-acquisition Joe Saunders was impressive in his Safeco Field debut for the home opener, pitching into the seventh inning without allowing an earned run in the Mariners 3-0 victory. That was the only positive performance that a Mariners pitcher had in the series.
Rookie Brandon Maurer could not even make it out of the first inning in the second game of the series on Tuesday, allowing six earned runs and only recording two outs. The bullpen wasn’t any better, relievers Kameron Loe, Lucas Luetge, Charlie Furbush and Oliver Perez combined to allow 10 more runs on 15 hits in a 16-9 loss.
Blake Beavan again struggled in his second outing of the season on Wednesday, allowing five runs in five and two-thirds innings pitched, spiking his ERA to 7.59 for the season. Carter Capps also struggled, giving up home runs to Chris Carter and Marwin Gonzalez pitching in long-relief.
In total, the Mariners staff allowed 24 runs to the Astros in the series, a team that was coming in on a five-game losing streak, in which they only scored nine runs. The new Safeco Field dimensions were proved hitter-friendly as the Astros launched eight home runs in the series, a pathetic showing by the Mariners pitchers.
This was a Mariners’ pitching staff that was heralded as one of the better staffs in the MLB heading into the season, and hopefully they can rebound from this. The Mariners will be challenged this weekend when they play a four-game series against the division-rival Texas Rangers.