ARLINGTON -- While much of the Mariners offensive woes in the early season have been attributed to struggling youngsters, it's not hard to see how things have changed since Michael Morse broke the little finger on his right hand nine days ago.
After dropping Sunday's series finale, 11-3, to the Rangers, the Mariners have scored 16 runs in the nine games since Morse's injury, an average of 1.78 per game. In the 10 games he played prior to his injury, they averaged 4.2 runs.
The big slugger was hitting .293 with six home runs and nine RBIs in those 10 games before taking a 95-mph fastball off his hand. He then sat out two games plus an off-day, but has gone 3-for-24 (.125) with no home runs and one RBI in six games since, as his average sits now at .231 after a 1-for-4 day with a double on Sunday.
"No excuses. No excuses. It's all me," Morse said prior to Sunday's game. "I feel good. I feel all right. I just need to start hitting."
Manager Eric Wedge acknowledged the injury has impacted Morse, though he doesn't think the finger itself is a problem now.
"I think his timing has been a little bit off," Wedge said. "I don't think he's too far away though. Obviously that bump in the road has affected him. I don't think the finger is too much of an issue, but the timing has been a real thing. But, hey, it's not supposed to be that easy. When you lose three to four days in baseball, it's a long time. But he'll get it back."
The Mariners are hunting for answers after their expected offseason improvement hasn't translated into regular-season success yet at the plate. The club is last in the American League in scoring, batting average and slugging percentage.
"We just need to start hitting. There's nothing really more than that," Morse said. "Hitting can be contagious. It's just plain and simple. In order to win, you've got to hit and score runs."
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.