In 2011, the Seattle Mariners were bad. Like, really bad. Historically bad. They finished the season with the third worst record in the league, tallying 67 wins and 95 loses, placing 29 games behind the AL West Champion Texas Rangers. The 2011 Seattle Mariners offense ranked dead last in runs, hits, runs batted in, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and probably a good handful of more statistics that I’m too depressed to look up. The 2011 Seattle Mariners lead the league in articles written about how bad their offense was.
Things weren’t so terrible earlier in the season. On June 20th, the Mariners were two games over .500 and one single game behind the Texas Rangers for the lead in the division. I swear to God I’m not making that up. Then the Mariners lost 8 of their next 14 games. Then the Mariners lost 5 in a row before the All-Star break. Then the Mariners were 7.5 games back of the Rangers. After the break, the Mariners continued to lose any time that they played baseball. They were swept by the Rangers, they were swept by the Blue Jays, they were swept by the Red Sox. By the time the Mariners finally beat the New York Yankees on the last contest of a three-game series, it was July 27th. They hadn’t won a game since July 5th. They had lost a franchise-record 17 straight games and their season was basically over. It all happened so fast. And so slowly.
But hey, the pitching was pretty good! Felix Hernandez was his usual amazing self, throwing 233 innings and striking out 8.55 batters per nine, posting a 3.13 FIP, a 3.15 xFIP, and continuing to prove himself as one of the very best pitchers in all of baseball. Michael Pineda made good on his promise and emerged as a serious up and coming talent, competing for AL Rookie of the Year all season long. Doug Fister remained underrated until he got traded to Detroit and became overrated. Jason Vargas ate innings and was no slouch himself. Erik Bedard pitched well a few weeks here and there when he wasn’t hurt. The bullpen was good too. Brandon League showed flashes of the pitcher the Mariners had traded for (throw the Split more, Brandon!) and saved 37 games while putting up an xFIP of 3.09. All in all, the Seattle Mariners pitching in 2011 was an inarguable success. The team’s defense was also really good. It’s been like that the last few years. You’ve probably heard about it a time or two.