The Seattle Mariners have had plenty of gold nuggets this season -- a no hitter, a player leading the league in home runs, a star pitcher on another great season -- but the team's overall fortunes have not reflected individual accomplishments, said KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel.
"The Mariners have had moments of individual stellar play but it hasn't worked as a group at all," Thiel said. "This is a pretty good baseball team but they haven't been consistent in the key elements of the game."
The bullpen has failed. The starting pitching doesn't generally go deep into games. A there is a lack of timely hitting.
The Mariners, he said, "are the worst in baseball" about driving in runs when runners are in scoring position.
"The Mariners lead baseball in extra innings games played. They lead in games decided by one or two runs. And they lead baseball in games lost in an opponent's last at-bat," he said.
Thiel said this means the team has played well and generally is in games right up until the end. But they don't hold leads well and they don't rally consistently.
"It's been a remarkable thing; there's been no one injury, no one trade or something that is easy to point to," he said. "A cumulative shortcoming by all parties has led to this dilemma.
"Yet they've won eight of the last 12."