Wedge frustrated after offense struggles again

Ichiro Suzuki swings and misses on a third strike in the first inning of Monday's 3-1 loss to the Braves. (Elaine Thompson/AP photo)

Mariners manager Eric Wedge sounded at the end of his rope after tonight’s 3-1 loss to the Braves, with another tough night at the plate leaving exasperation again following another wasted outing from starter Erik Bedard.

Much like Doug Fister, Bedard is showing little for his efforts as he fell to 4-6 despite a 3.00 ERA and a run of starts that has been as good as any in baseball over his last two months.

But with just five hits and one run from the offense, the Mariners fell into a familiar rut. And one thing we’ve learned about Wedge, he doesn’t like seeing his team spin its wheels in the same rut for very long. The last time he spoke out sharply was in Chicago after a couple one-run outings when he didn’t like the approaches at the plate.

Apparently Monday’s approach didn’t sit well either.

“We had a very poor night offensively,” Wedge said afterward. “We’ve had some tough nights this year offensively, but tonight was particularly disappointing. We gave away some ABs, we didn’t have people step up when they needed to step up. We had some opportunities.

“Bedard went out and pitched another fantastic ballgame. But these guys are going to have to find a way to get tougher up there, start squaring up some fastballs. They can’t feel sorry for themelves, can’t get down on themselves. The only way you’re going to get better is fight through it, be more aggressive and be tougher. Otherwise this game will beat the hell out of you.”

It’s easy to wonder how long Wedge will keep trying to squeeze something out of Chone Figgins, who went 0-for-3 while getting a spot start at third and now is 0-for-16 since Dustin Ackley’s arrival to drop his already dismal average to .186.

Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez is another struggling hitter after his 0-for-3 leaft him at .197.

The Mariners got two hits from Mike Carp — a ringing double and a little nub single in front of the plate — and Ackley continued to impress with his 10th straight game reaching base. Otherwise, there wasn’t much to like in this one.

“To be a good offensive ballclub or to get out of the funk, you’ve got to go up there and be more aggressive and have that fighter’s mentality,” Wedge said. “It’s a controlled aggressiveness, but you’ve got to stick your nose in there. You can’t get caught up about what type of game we’re in, what the guy did ahead of you or what you did your last at-bat. You have to keep the mind in the now and get to it.”

Here’s the key with Wedge. He’ll be patient with players, to a point. But when he keeps seeing the same unproductive strategy repeated over and over, that’s when he draws the line.

“You’ve got to stay positive, stay optimistic, but you also have to be realistic about what the hell you’ve seen out there,” he said. “What I don’t want to see, and the biggest disappointment for me, is when I see certain individuals going up there doing the same thing time and time again, expecting different results. I mean, that’s ridiculous.

“So like I’ve said before, I do believe we’re going to get better. I do believe we’ll be a better offensive club. But they have to believe it collectively and individually within themseves. We’re about a couple games from halfway through the season. So there’s a longway to go. But having said that, there has to be a sense of urgency there, too. That’s a fine line, but that’s what this game is all about.”

2 Comments

Any chance a trip to Tacoma could be in the offing for Figgins? It seems he’s totally baffeled with pitchers at this level and some more consistent work with less skilled pitching might be the answer plus give the clubhouse chemistry a bit of a rest while he’s absent.

Coach, Put in a lineup and leave it alone!, rest the players from time to time but they don’t know if they are going to play or be sent down. You need a group that knows what they will be doing tomorrow. Quit screwing with the lineup!!!!

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