The whole point of acquiring additional talent before a trade deadline in professional sports is to improve a team. The dichotomy of Kendry Morales coming back to play for the Seattle Mariners has not been such since the organization traded for him. The Mariners’ offense has been frequently anemic at times in 2014, and Wednesday night in Cleveland against Corey Kluber was no different.
Another excellent outing for Felix Hernandez, another terrible showing by his supporting cast. Granted they did face a very talented pitcher tonight in the Cleveland Indians‘ Kluber. However, don’t clubs acquire talent via trades in order to prevent becoming prone to being unproductive toward some of the better arms in the league? Kluber earned his first career shutout in Wednesday’s pitcher duel.
The Mariners are usually better on the road, but were unable to do anything offensively versus their opposition. It took Kluber only 85 pitches to retire every hitter he faced through nine innings. That is how you embarrass an offense. In this day in age, efficiency like that is rarely a formality and rather an extreme luxury in pitching.
Morales did nothing to help his team out, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He is now hitting .215 on the season, which is almost identical to Justin Smoak (.208) and Corey Hart (.211), the two players he is supposed to take significant at-bats away from. The Mariners did not make a bad deal by trading away a pitcher who will probably never be more than an average reliever at the big league level in order to acquire Morales. They did, however, not make the right deal.
Seattle needs another bat capable of changing the course of the game in close contests. Morales was already behind the eight ball this season having not participated in spring training and being short of reps at the plate from missing over two months of the season. The Mariners need(ed) to trade for a hitter that can at least be consistent on a weekly basis, if not win them ball games.
Hernandez set a new MLB record tonight. He became the first pitcher ever to last a minimum of seven innings in 14-consecutive starts, allowing only two earned runs or less in each of those respective outings. For the Mariners to not have traded for a bat capable of helping King Felix out of jams in those close games seems almost unfair. He was saddled with the loss in tonight’s game, despite accomplishing something historical. There is still time for the M’s to act, but the clock is ticking very, very quickly.