With a 2-1 victory over the Blue Jays, the Mariners earned a stay of execution. Two games back of the second wild card with 10 games to go. Realistically, the Mariners have to win somewhere between 8-10 games to make the playoffs. And even then, we need help. Let’s take a quick look at how that’s done.
Toronto’s series win put them in the top wild card spot, a game over the slumping Orioles who have the second spot for now. With 10 games left, the Blue Jays host the Yankees for 4 games, Baltimore for 3, then finish in Boston for 3. Toronto playing well over the next week could really help us out by keeping the Yankees off our asses (they’re tied with us in the loss column, one game back in the win column) and further cementing Baltimore’s tank job. The Orioles have one more game against Boston on Thursday, host Arizona for three, then finish on the road with three apiece in Toronto and against the Yankees.
In short: we want Toronto to do well (I know, I know) and Baltimore to do as poorly as possible.
That leaves Detroit still in our way. The Tigers are stuck with a double-header in Minnesota tomorrow, then host Kansas City for 3 and division-leading Cleveland for 4. That’s where we make our hay. We need the Royals and Indians to clean up (Detroit finishes on the road with 3 against the hapless Braves, so that’s tough to count on).
If that works out, that still leaves Houston. Like the Tigers, we trail the Astros by a single game. Unlike the Tigers, we get to play the Astros three more times, down in Houston. Granted, that sounds like we have about as good of a chance of winning as Davy Crockett did in the Alamo, but at some point you’ve gotta take a stand and defy the odds. The 3-game series down in Houston IS our Alamo! Either we take them out and meet our destiny … or we die trying!
The Astros have us sandwiched between two series (and 7 games) against the Angels. Assuming we’ll need some help, I just wonder how much help Anaheim is going to be.
Of course, the Mariners get three games against the Twins (who will be fresh off that aforementioned double-header with the Tigers) and four against Oakland to close out the season. It’s all out there in front of us, STILL! Somehow! But, we’ve got to be better than we’ve ever been.
Timely hitting and lots of it.
Dominant starting pitching getting us late into games.
Lock-down relief pitching.
Clutch extra-innings performances like today’s.
And as much luck as can be mustered.
This is so huge, you have no idea.