15 straight losses
That’s a franchise record. The 1992 team is off the hook. The 2011 team now owns sits atop the record books for streaks of frustration and futility.
With a 12-8 throttling by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, Seattle lost its 15th consecutive game, eclipsing the previous high of 14 straight losses set by the 1992 team. It’s the longest streak in baseball since the Kansas City Royals lost 19 straight games in 2005. The longest losing streak in the modern era belonged to the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies at 23 games, while the longest American League losing streak was 22 by the 1988 Orioles.
“I honestly feel like every time we suit up we are going to win, but this is beyond Groundhog Day,” shortstop Brendan Ryan said, referring to the Bill Murray movie where the lead character experiences the same day over. “It’s pretty unbelievable.”
What’s more difficult to believe is that this team was once a half game out of first place on June 19 when they were 37-35.
Now they are 43-58. That means they are 6-23 since that infamous game in DC where Brandon League got hurt with a 5-1 lead and David Pauley came in and gave up that grand slam, and then the walk off hit.
But on to the streak and the game today.
The Mariners scored eight runs on 13 hits and got a grand slam from Brendan Ryan and still lost. Even worse, it didn’t feel like they were going to win after the first inning. And just about the time you thought it was possible, the fifth inning happened.
Michael Pineda struggled in the first, giving up six hits and a homer — all on fastballs. His location wasn’t good.
“I don’t know what happened,” Pineda said. “I wanted to throw pitches my down and some of them were up.”
“He was missing some spots with his fastball and they were aggressive,” Wedge said. “They came out and tried to get on him early.”
However, Ryan hinted that Pineda might have been tipping his pitches.
“Obviously something was going on there,” he said. “You are not teeing off on a guy like him just coincidentally.”
His catcher Miguel Olivo wasn’t certain, but thought it might be a possibility.
“In the first inning, they were taking all the sliders and swinging at only his fastball,” Olivo said. “I went to the mound and he changed a little bit and it worked. I’m not 100 percent. But maybe.”
Part of it is the Red Sox ability as hitters too. They hit the fastballs, even at speeds up to 97 and 98 miles per hour.
“They have good hitters, everyone is like a No. 4 hitter,” Olivo said. “You can’t make a mistake, or they will make you pay.”
I’m sure if that’s the case, the Mariners will pick up on it.
The Mariners made it manageable in the fifth, cutting it to 5-3.
After Pineda got runners on first and second with one out and a run of left-handers coming in the lineup and Pineda’s pitch count at 85, Wedge went to lefty Aaron Laffey.
But the left-on-left matchups didn’t help.
David Ortiz reached on an infield single when Laffey fielded the ball in front of the mound and looked to third base only to see that no one was there because the Mariners were shifted over.
“He has to be aware that Adam Kennedy is going to come after that ball too,” Wedge said. “He has to know that if he fields that ball his only play is first.”
The free out loaded the bases, but they were quickly unloaded as Carl Crawford singled home two runs and Reddick doubled off the wall in right-center to score another run. Saltalamacchia continued the pounding by ripping a two-run single to right-center.
Laffey was lifted without getting an out. Five runs scored while he was in, but two were charged to Pineda.