LoMo patiently waiting for hits to start dropping
Slugger disappointed in early lack of production
SEATTLE -- Logan Morrison knows it's not the way you start, it's the way you finish. But yeah, he'd like to see some hits start dropping in soon and begin the process of elevating his numbers back to where he ended last season for the Mariners.
Morrison has had more than his share of hard-hit, tough-luck outs in the first 15 games of the season, and these things tend to balance out over the long haul. Still, it's not a good sign when the big fella has more stolen bases (one) than extra-base hits (zero) after his first 51 at-bats.
"It's tough to sleep sometimes, but it's not because I'm not hitting well," said Morrison, who takes a .176 batting average and .176 slugging percentage into Thursday's off-day. "It's because I'm not hitting well when we're not winning. It makes it a little easier if you're winning.
"You kind of take it on yourself and say, 'Well, we would have won if I'd done this here.' The other night, I left the bases loaded and runners on second and third [another time], then I decided to get a single with nobody on. Things like that eat at you."
Morrison hit just .176 in his first 20 games last season as well, a span that carried well into June because of some early time on the disabled list. But he emerged with a strong second half and was one of Seattle's most clutch hitters down the stretch, batting .321 with an .878 OPS over his final 51 games.
Manager Lloyd McClendon professes patience at this point.
"He's hitting with some tough luck right now," McClendon said. "He's hit some balls extremely hard. He's had a couple home runs brought back into the ballpark. And I looked at his numbers last year at this point and they were very similar. Obviously, you want to see it better and you want to see it very quickly, but history says he will hit."
Morrison believes that as well, saying he just needs to produce more consistent quality at-bats and the results will come. He's more concerned with the team's 6-9 start and wants to do his part to turn things around for a club expected to contend in the American League West.
Morrison said players have talked about not just relying on Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager to carry the load.
"We can't just wait for Nelson or Robbie or Kyle to always have the big hit. Sometimes it's not going to work out that way," Morrison said. "I think we're a different team this year. I think we're a better team this year. We just have to go out there and prove it."
One thing that's not different, Morrison said, is the knowledge that a slow start doesn't need to bury him or the team.
"Last year, we lost eight in a row in April," Morrison said. "It's a long season and you don't want to keep saying that. You don't want to give yourself that excuse and keep saying, 'We'll get 'em tomorrow. We'll get 'em tomorrow.' We want to get them tonight. But at the same time, you know you've got a lot ahead of you.
"It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. All the clichés you can come up with. It keeps you level-headed and steady, and you come to the field, ready to go every day, ready to beat somebody up and make somebody pay."