Mathematically, the Ms are done this year. Seattle sits 22 games out of first, 14.5 games out of second, and 14 games out of 3rd. To put it another way, if the Mariners began a 47-game winning streak tonight, they would finish the season 91-71. Texas is on pace for 93 wins (I realize the win streak would imply 6 wins against Texas, but you get the point). All this being said, there’s reason to keep watching…
While missing the playoffs is not fun, winning is fun, and winning with kids my age (23) is really fun! Since last Friday, the Ms have put together a 4-2 record that is likely to gain steam over the next week, a week that sees them play 6 games against Cleveland and Baltimore. The O’s are the only team in the AL worse than the Ms this season, and Cleveland is not too far behind in the futility race. This Sunday, Felix Hernandez goes up against the much underrated Tribesman, Justin Masterson (5.37 ERA, but 4.06 xFIP). If a pitching duel is to your liking, then either that matchup or Doug Fister vs. Kevin Millwood the following Tuesday would be a good game to catch. Despite Millwood’s 2-12 record, his K/BB rate sits at a healthy level, and and his BABIP has been a very unlucky 0.342. His primary flaw is that he gives up too many flyballs and therefore too many homeruns. It just so happens the Ms can’t hit homeruns (dead last in the entire MLB), so it’s his best chance to shine.
Throughout the rest of the season, we’ll be watching lineups with as many as 7 guys in their twenties (Justin Smoak, Michael Saunders, catchers Adam Moore and Rob Johnson, Jose Lopez, Casey Kotchman, Franklin Gutierrez and Josh Wilson), and a rotation that averages 26 years of age (Hernandez, Fister, David Pauley, Jason Vargas and Luke French). All this in combination with a new manager–possibly auditioning for a job next spring–makes the rest of this season something to pay attention to.
Go Ms 🙂