The Mariner manager thought the offense "had the opportunity to be something special" but instead it has struggled to score much of the season.
It’s a final call for the Mariners’ offense to start producing.
The Mariners need to get on a roll in September to have a shot at reaching the playoffs, and for that to happen, the offense needs to awaken after entering the game Monday against Baltimore ranked No. 12 in the American League in runs.
“We’ve got to score runs,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “It will be offensive driven, if we are able to put a streak together – which we certainly need to do. Are we capable of doing that? Absolutely. But have we seen it in quite some time? No.”
Servais said the lack of offensive production this year has been a huge surprise.
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“When we left spring training, we were really excited about our offense,” he said. “We thought we had the opportunity to be something special – obviously things changed when (Robinson) Cano was out – but the consistency of it has been a struggle, really from the beginning of the season.
“We’ve seen stretches where Nellie (Nelson Cruz) gets hot for seven or eight games, where he will roll out six or seven homers, and it’s, ‘Wow, we are awesome again.’ But it’s really one guy driving the train, and it’s got to be a lot of different guys.”
It has been rare this season when several players have been hot at the same time. Servais said Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura have been the most consistent offensively. Others have been hot and cold, and for a couple others, it has been mostly cold.
“Kyle Seager has struggled the majority of the season, and (Mike) Zunino has struggled the majority of the season, and they are big parts of our lineup,” Servais said.
Seager is hitting .218 and Zunino is hitting .192. It’s not too late for them and the rest of the lineup to change the narrative of this season, but that time is getting close.
“We’ve had a few guys who have tailed off here in the second half, but there is time to finish on a high note for each one of these guys individually,” Servais said. “When you get to the point where you have 400 or 500 at-bats, your numbers aren’t going to change a ton … but do what you can to help the team win a ballgame.”
* Haniger’s 14-game hitting streak going into the game Monday was not only the longest streak by a Mariner this season, it is also the longest current streak in the major leagues. Haniger is hitting .317 during the streak (19 of 60).
* Servais did not have details on the bullpen session thrown by left-hander Marco Gonzales, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a strained neck. Servais said Gonzales would likely throw another bullpen session before deciding on his return to the starting rotation.