September 1, 2017
When Average Is Better Than Average
If you’ve ever lived in the greater Seattle area, you’ll learn that though the weather is dismal during most of the year, the summers are glorious. The mornings tend to run bright and calm over Puget Sound, the days stretch long and languidly, and even the dusks are tranquil as the sun dips out past the Olympics and into the Pacific. It's the perfect place and the perfect time, and it’s only ever marred by the brutal emotional violence of Mariners baseball.
This year, the Mariners aficionados' poison of choice is pitching injuries. While the big-market Mets and Dodgers get perhaps an unfair share of the attention given to wounded wings, Seattle’s collection of pitching injuries—and the resulting patchwork rotation—rival any in the game. Offseason acquisition Drew Smyly has been more like Drew Frowny, undergoing Tommy John surgery and never pitching an MLB inning this season. The once-regal Felix Hernandez hasn’t been reliable, much less good. Hisashi Iwakuma, who caused even the Dodgers to balk at his injury risks, has been injured. And finally, budding ace James Paxton is currently out of commission with a strained pectoral muscle, ostensibly injured from carrying this damn rotation all season.