THIS DAY IN SPORTS: The baseballs flew off the Mariners bats, then…

Presented by POOL SCOUTS.

This Day In Sports…April 11, 2019, five years ago today:

The Seattle Mariners become the first big league team to hit a home run in each of the first 15 games of the season. In the process, the Mariners won their sixth game in a row with a 7-6 victory at Kansas City. Former Boise Hawk Daniel Vogelbach, who had hit four home runs in all of 2018 with Seattle, led off the 10th inning with his fifth of the season to win it. The homer streak would reach 18 games before it ended.  

The rebuilding M’s were off to a surprising 13-2 start at that point, the best in franchise history, but reality would set in when they lost their next six games—and 30 of their next 40. They ended the 2019 season at 68-94, finishing in last place in the AL West for the first time in seven years. Five Seattle players hit 20 or more homers, led by Vogelbach with 30. But that was small consolation around Puget Sound.

This year’s Mariners have not been hitting at that 2019 rate. The M’s did beat Toronto 4-1 in 10 innings Wednesday, and they did get a homer from Cal Raleigh. They have 13 home runs for the season—middle of the pack. But Seattle is hitting just .211, currently 26th in the majors. After making the playoffs in 2022 for the first time in 21 years (and then being swept in the AL Divisional Series), hopes were high that the team had turned the corner. Then came last season, when the M’s missed the playoffs despite an 88-74 record, and the natives could not be more restless.  

Manager Scott Servais is in his ninth season at the helm, and he’s 621-586 in Seattle. But that one nondescript playoff appearance is a thorn in the side of Mariners fans. The M’s are now 5-8, not where anyone wants it to be, and Servais may have reached his shelf life. And team president Jerry Dipoto did very little in the free agent market during the offseason. The Mariners are the only MLB team that has never played in a World Series.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)


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