The only remaining winless team in the majors, the Mariners have lost their first five games—one shy of the franchise record, established in 1991.
“We’re playing backwards,” said Seattle right-hander Gil Meche, who took the loss in Saturday’s 2-1 setback to the A’s. “When we get good pitching, we don’t get good hitting. When we get good hitting, we don’t get good pitching. We need to get out of this rut, I know that.”
The Mariners have been one of the best teams in the league during the first month of the season the past three years. In both 2001 and 2002 the Mariners opened 15-4, cooling off in 2003 with an 11-8 start.
To end their current slide, the Mariners will have to beat one of the top left-handers in the American League.
Mark Mulder, who missed the last seven weeks of the 2003 season with a stress fracture in his right leg, was strong in his first start this year, a 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday. The 26-year-old southpaw pitched seven strong innings, allowing one run and five hits while striking out four.
“That was the first time I felt completely normal since July,” Mulder said after the win. “It’s good to go out and just make your pitches and not have anything bothering you.”
Mulder will be following a masterful performance by A’s right-hander Tim Hudson, who pitched a four-hitter Saturday for the first complete game in the majors this season. Hudson threw only 86 pitches and retired his final 11 batters.
Marco Scutaro had two hits, an RBI and scored a run for the A’s.