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Equals in futility: Phillies vs. Mariners series preview

The Phillies will face a team that somehow has a much longer playoff drought than they do

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners
Is Adam Frazier disappointing? Or is this who he is?
Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports

Do you think it’s frustrating being a Phillies fan? Well, it is! It’s extremely frustrating! But this week, the Phillies are travelling to Seattle to take on a team that has been even more frustrating to its fans, at least as far as playoff success goes.

Phillies fans can at least look back on seven World Series appearances and two titles. The Mariners have zero titles to their credit and are the only team to never even play in the World Series. Being the first to 10,000 losses doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

Seattle Mariners

Record: 13-16 (Third place in American League West)

The last time they met

These teams last met up in 2017 with a pair of two-game series at each other’s stadiums. The Mariners won the first two games in Philadelphia, and the Phillies returned the favor by winning both games of the later set in Seattle.

What’s the deal with the Mariners?

There was hope that the Mariners would end their lengthy postseason drought in 2022, but things aren’t looking great so far. They’re similar to the Phillies in that their overall numbers don’t look too bad (Fifth in the AL in runs scored, eighth in team ERA), but the results just haven’t been there.

Play Adam Frazier games, win Adam Frazier prizes

Maybe Mariners fans shouldn’t have been too optimistic about 2022 when one of their biggest moves was bringing in second baseman Adam Frazier.

Yes, the longtime Pirate made the All-Star team in 2021, but he was on the Pirates. Making the All-Star team as a Pirate often comes with a “every team needs a representative, no matter how little they deserve it” asterisk.

All-Star berth aside, Frazier has had a decidedly average career, and in his age 30 season, it was tough to expect he’d be much more than that this year. Unfortunately for the Mariners, he hasn’t even been average this season. His OPS currently sits at .660, and his defense hasn’t rated well either. (At least that’s better than fellow 2022 import Jesse Winker is doing. He’s currently batting .196 with one home run.)

Anyone who knows my track record in discussing opposing players in such a manner knows that a huge series by Frazier - and maybe Winker too - is forthcoming. You’re welcome, Adam!

As for Robbie Ray

The Mariners bought high on the 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner, and the early returns haven’t been great.

He will face the Phillies this series, which is actually probably good news for the Phillies, since they’ve always done very well against him. His career ERA against the Phillies is 5.63, and even in last year’s Cy Young season, he gave up four runs in 5.2 innings.

Playoffs? What are those?

The Phillies’ ten-year streak of missing the playoffs is bad, but that’s nothing compared to the Mariners who haven’t seen the postseason since 2001. Living on the East coast, I don’t exactly have my finger on the pulse of the Mariners’ fanbase, but I’m wondering if they have the same “Same crap, another year” attitude that currently permeates Phillies fandom.

Checking in on J.P. Crawford

Phillies prospects have notoriously disappointed in recent seasons, so it’s nice to see that someone from the Phillies’ system is succeeding, even if it isn’t happening in a Phillies uniform. My estimation of how Crawford reacted upon being traded from the Phillies:

Crawford currently has a .981 OPS, and history says that won’t last for the entire season. However, he has established himself as a Gold Glove-level shortstop who generally holds his own with the bat. I wish the Phillies could find guys like that.

And to be fair, the trade of Crawford wasn’t even necessarily a bad one for the Phillies. They got Jean Segura in return, and also got rid of the ill-fitting Carlos Santana.

Who’s cold?

Eugenio Suarez has six home runs on the season, but he’s been very boom or bust, as evidenced by his .204 batting average. That number drops to .146 over the past two weeks.


Last series’ answer: Jimmy Rollins, Marlon Byrd, and Cody Asche all homered for the Phillies on Opening Day 2014. SLDH got it right.

This series’ question: In the most recent Phillies-Mariners game, two players who appeared in the game for the Mariners would eventually play for the Phillies. Who were they?

Non-Phillies thought

Anyone ever been scratched in the eye by a cat? I wouldn’t recommend it. On the bright side, I will have the most authentic Nick Fury costume at Halloween this year.

Closing thought

The Mariners are one of the easier teams on the Phillies’ May schedule. But as we saw against the Rangers, that doesn’t mean a thing as to how successful the Phillies will be.

It feels like one of these teams is due for a turnaround in their fortunes this week. Normally I’d say that will probably be the Phillies’ opponents, but this is the Mariners - a team that often out-Phillies the Phillies. I could see just about anything happening over the next three days.