The Mariners have lost five straight games, scoring one run in each.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — After having to do so far too often a month and a half into this season, Mariners manager Scott Servais could no longer defend his team, its play and the results it produced.
His face still red in anger, and voice shaking while trying to control his obvious irritation, the Mariners’ manager questioned his team’s effort and intensity levels following their fifth-straight defeat — a 5-1 loss to the Nationals that didn’t really even seem that close. The Mariners fell to 20-27 and are battling it out with the Royals (19-27) for the worst record in the American League.
“We’ve got to pick up our intensity,” Servais said. “We are better than this. I’ve about had enough of this. We need to dial it up a little bit.”
Servais has opted not to be overly critical of his team, particularly when it comes to effort or commitment, in his media sessions. He chooses to hold those conversations in the privacy of his office instead of airing out grievances through the media. But his atypical response came after a fourth straight loss in which the Mariners fell behind early and showed little hope of coming back.
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The last time Servais questioned the intensity of his team came after a 2-8 start to the season. He met with his leadership group of Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez and Kyle Seager, and then spoke with groups of players before going into the second home series of the season against the Rangers on May 11. It resulted in four straight wins and a 5-1 stretch. But that was also when Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma and Mitch Haniger were all healthy and playing. Now the Mariners are forced to use a rotation held together by duct tape and Class AAA call-ups. Still, sympathy won’t help the Mariners throw strikes or score runs. And Servais…