A Little Something On The Mariners (because I refuse to write about ANOTHER FUCKING LOSS to the Rams)

Well, the writing was on the wall coming into this weekend.  The Mariners were riding high on an 8-game winning streak, they’d achieved the height of their 2016 success – 10 games over .500 – for a third time, and like the two times before, they’d fail to get to 11 games over .500.

Frankly, I was expecting the Astros to sweep us.  So, to wake up from my rage blackout Sunday afternoon and find the Mariners had actually taken one back from those Houston turds was as welcome a surprise as I ever could’ve imagined.

Friday was the infamous dud of a Felix start, where the offense also failed to show up, resulting in a 6-0 shutout.  Saturday’s game was somehow even more infuriating, considering Paxton was perfect through 5 innings, then gave up two runs in the 6th, which turned out to be the deciding two runs in a 2-1 defeat.  Friday was what it was, but this thing turned bad on Saturday when the offense failed to show up for a second consecutive day.  In a way, Friday’s lack of offensive oomph made sense, since Collin McHugh has made us his bitch since he entered the league; but Saturday?  Against Mike Fiers?  Who has been average at best this season?  Going 6 shutout innings?  Have I asked enough questions to show how incredulous all of this makes me?

With those two games out of the way, it all hinged on Sunday afternoon’s game, featuring Ariel Miranda against Doug Fister.  You may recall we’ve lost the last two times we’ve faced Fister, as he had done just enough to keep them in the game while their otherworldly offense took care of the rest.  Miranda has been on a nice little run this month, but is still shaky, is still young, and is still prone to getting knocked around, particularly the third time through the lineup.

Which is what made his performance yesterday so impressive.  7 innings of 2-run ball with 8 strikeouts!  When you compare his numbers with us to what Wade Miley has done since going over to Baltimore, this trade looks like the steal of the century (at least in the early going).

On top of Miranda’s solid outing, the offense finally got its shit together, knocking Fister out in the 4th inning.  All told, it added up to a 7-3 victory, with the Mariners salvaging a 1-game lead over the Astros in the Wild Card hunt.

Probably the best thing to come out of this weekend is that the rest of the wild card contenders also have been struggling.  So, really, we somehow didn’t lose all that much ground (if any).  Right now, the Orioles have the first spot (thankfully, the Red Sox are starting to pull away, which is what needs to happen for us to have a shot), and the Blue Jays have the second spot.  The Blue Jays, not for nothing, come to town for a 3-game series starting tonight.  We are tied with the Tigers, two games behind the Blue Jays.  We can essentially write our own ticket (or, if you like, control our own destiny) by sweeping them out of the playoffs.  We can also greatly improve our chances if we simply win the series the old fashioned way; a 2-1 win will still pull us to within a game of the last wild card spot with a little over a week to go.

Losing this series absolutely can’t happen.  Getting swept is assured destruction.  So, of course, it figures we have to face J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez in this series, two guys absolutely fucking killing it this season.  Hope the bats stay out of hibernation this week, because we’re going to need ’em!

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