Strikeouts Becoming a Problem for Seattle Mariners’ Hitters

Kevin Jairaj- USA TODAY Sports

Remember when the Seattle Mariners where fresh out of spring training having crushed the ball for the entire month of March? That team obviously did not carry over their success into the beginning of the regular season.

The Mariners have scored a total of 61 runs this season, the lowest number of any American League team, yes, even lower than the Houston Astros. The Astros have scored 74 runs this year, 24 of which came in Houston’s series victory over Seattle earlier this month.

The Astros do have the Mariners beat in one category, and that is strikeouts. Houston has struck out 173 times, only six more than the Mariners, who have struck out 167 times through their first 20 games.

Manager Eric Wedge is not happy about his team’s free-swinging ways, saying, “I’m upset, to say the least, with our approach with two strikes,” Wedge told Mariners.com. “It’s something that has been addressed and something that has to be better. The strikeouts are ridiculous. We’re much better than that.”

These numbers are slightly skewed as the Mariners went up against some tough pitchers last week when they played the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers. Facing Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish, the team totaled 34 strikeouts against the starting pitchers, and 44 overall strikeouts in that three-game stretch, almost 15 per game.

An injury to his pinky finger has cooled slugger Michael Morse down. Morse hit six home runs in the team’s first seven games, but has not hit any since then and he currently leads the team with 20 strikeouts. Fellow free-swinger Justin Smoak isn’t far behind with 19 punchouts.

The Mariners can correct their lack of plate discipline when they play a three-game series against the Astros starting Monday. Houston’s pitchers are 29th in MLB in strikeouts with only 100 so far in 2013.

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