The Mariners were shut down again Sunday at Safeco Field when Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics‘ bullpen pitched 3-0 shutout with a combined 11 strikeouts in the victory. The M’s collected only three total hits. Oakland’s scoring came via a two-run shot by Yoenis Céspedes in the eighth inning and a Josh Donaldson solo homer in the ninth.
Robinson Cano was supposed to offer a major force in the middle of the lineup, and he is hitting at a .333 clip, but has no homers and four RBI. Cano does get much support from the rest of the offense and after Justin Smoak displayed a hot bat early, he has gone the way of the rest of the team. Smoak is 3 of 28 in his last eight games. He now has just a .220 average. Third baseman Kyle Seager is also having a terrible season so far with a .121 batting average, no homers and one RBI. As a team, the Mariners have compiled just a .236 average. Obviously, those numbers must increase drastically if the Mariners have any real shot to win the American League West.
The Mariners have the starting pitching to be a pesky team and when Hisashi Iwakuma returns, the rotation will only be stronger. However, if the bats continue to slump, being contenders for an American League playoff spot will be just a pipe dream.