Now Do You Buy Into Eric Wedge's Optimism?

Now Do You Buy Into Eric Wedge's Optimism?

Credit: Getty Images

TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 26: Seattle Mariners Head Coach Eric Wedge line up during the pre season game between Yomiuri Giants and Seattle Mariners at Tokyo Dome on March 26, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

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by Sportspress Northwest Staff

SportsPressNorthwest

Posted on June 1, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 1 at 7:30 PM

The Mariners entered Wednesday’s contest with the Texas Rangers having scored the fifth-fewest runs in the American League (207). There are a myriad of takeaways from Seattle’s astonishing three-touchdown (21-7) romp, but two stand out. First is that the Mariners scored 21 runs in Game 3 of the three-game series one day after scoring 10 in Game 2. Which means:

Seattle has scored 228 runs for the season and 31 – 13.6 percent – have crossed the plate in the past two games.

Prior to Tuesday, the Mariners, last in the American League in scoring in each of the past three seasons, had tallied just 11 runs in their previous five games combined.

"These guys really put it together these last couple nights," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge, whose team outscored the Rangers, 31-11, in the back-to-back wins. "You're seeing a lot of what we've been talking about with the potential of these young players. It's fantastic to see.”

We’ll get to the second big takeaway in a minute. But first:

The 21 runs are the most in the majors in 2012, and the most by a Seattle team since Sept. 30, 2000, when the Mariners recorded a 21-9 victory over the Anaheim Angels in a game in which they had 22 hits, including five home runs.

This marks the third time in franchise history that Seattle has scored 20 or more times in a game. The record: 22 in a 22-6 win over Detroit April 29, 1999 (Ken Griffey Jr. six RBIs).

The Mariners scored eight runs in both the second and third innings in their 21-8 rout of the Rangers. Seattle is the seventh team in major league history with consecutive 8+ run innings but only the fourth since 1900.

The other three: the Boston Red Sox against the Philadelphia Athletics May 2, 1901 (innings 2 and 3), the Cleveland Indians against the New York Yankees July 29, 1928 (innings 1 and 2), and the Chicago Cubs against the Los Angeles Dodgers May 5, 2001 (innings 7 and 8).

The Mariners rang up 21 runs on the Rangers five weeks after Philip Humber tossed a perfect game against them. The Mariners are the second team in major league history  -- and THE FIRST SINCE 1880, according to Elias Sports Bureau, to score 20 or more runs in a game in the same season in which they had a perfect game pitched against them.

According to Elias, on June 12, 1880, Lee Richmond threw a perfect game against the National League club from Cleveland, a team that earlier that season had a 22-3 win over Buffalo.

The Mariners' 16 runs in the second and third innings are the second most in club history in consecutive innings. The Mariners scored 17 in the fifth and sixth innings against Detroit April 29, 1999.

The Mariners had a 16-0 lead after three innings Wednesday. Their previous largest lead after the first three innings: 13-0, Aug. 22, 2001 vs. Detroit.

The Mariners had 20 hits Wednesday, the first time they have had that many in a nine-inning game since Sept. 1, 2008, also at Texas.

The Mariners sent 13 men to the plate in both the second and third innings, the first time they’ve batted around twice in the same game since April 22, 2002, and the first time they have ever done it in consecutive innings.

The Mariners had not had a player produce two hits in one inning since Justin Smoak had two singles in the fourth inning against Cleveland April 17. Wednesday, both Jesus Montero and Michael Saunders had two-hit innings, Montero a single and home run in the second, Saunders a pair of doubles in the third.

The other big takeaway from Wednesday's game: the Mariners scored 21 runs on 20 hits without a single swing of the bat from Ichiro, given the night off by Wedge.

Several on-line polls this week asked, "Would Ichiro benefit from the Mariners giving him more days off?" After Wednesday's scoring orgy, a more appropriate question might be, "Would the Mariners benefit from giving Ichiro more days off?"

Throughout the season, as the Mariners have struggled offensively, Wedge has maintained that his collection of largely young hitters are still learning how to bat at the major league level, but that they have the potential for sustained success . After 31 runs in consecutive games, are you convinced?

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