The Mariners are on quite the winning stretch of late. They were 5-3 last week (my weeks, for the purposes of these posts, go from Monday thru Sunday). Their most recent road trip saw them go 7-2. Since the 8-game losing streak, they have gone 13-5. This has been nice. It probably won’t keep being this nice, but I’m enjoying it now for what it is.
Would’ve been a lot better had we won on Sunday. That’s a tough one to swallow. The defense was horrible, the home plate umpire was frustrating (another AAA ump hellbent on ruining it for all of us fans of the Major Leagues), and the pitching could’ve been better. It was a real team effort, except somehow the offense was pretty amazing and did more than enough to deserve the win.
It’s mostly disappointing because going into Sunday’s game, the Mariners were one of the leaders for the Wild Card spot. Isn’t that shocking? Again, it’s early, but it’s also not. We’re through six weeks and there we are, in the thick of it! Normally, around this time, Mariners fans would be looking ahead to the next batch of disappointing prospects, wondering how many games we’d have to lose to get a top draft pick.
THIS year has potential! Let’s keep it going!
A .500 baseball team won’t contend for a Wild Card spot. You want to be in the 90-win range to be on the safe side. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s 18 games over .500. That’s winning, over the course of a full season, 55.5% of your games. After six full weeks, the Mariners are just two games over .500, at 20-18. It’s a start! It’s a good start. But, it won’t be enough if we just play .500 ball the rest of the way.
The way things are going, as Mariners fans, you’d have to be pretty happy if the Mariners are at or above .500 by the end of May. At that point, hopefully Paxton & Walker will be very close to returning. With those guys in the fold (or even just one, as at this point Chris Young is an adequate fifth starter), we can start entertaining thoughts of post-season contention.
Let’s say the Mariners, at the end of the night on May 31st, are 28-27. That’s pretty good, pretty reasonable. You’d like for them to be better (we play the Rays & Twins this week, they’re pretty underwhelming; we have four against Houston and four more against Anaheim … but, that’s neither here nor there), but let’s just go with this for a minute. 28-27. For them to get to 90 wins, the Mariners will have to go 17 games over .500 the rest of the way. Four months. Four months of going 4 to 5 games over .500. That’s do-able, right?
You’re damn right it is! Let’s get into this thing!
Some other thoughts as this post gets pushed back a day thanks to the NFL draft:
This James Jones kid looks pretty decent, but don’t they ALL look pretty decent in their first couple of weeks, and then the league takes over, and they start struggling until they’re inevitably sent back down to Tacoma? I’ve seen it a thousand times …
Most everyone is hitting in the .250-ish range except for Brad Miller. Not too shabby. I’ve said all along, I don’t need a bunch of amazing hitting artists; I just need a lineup full of guys who can hit around .250. Not .200, not .190. You didn’t see too many A’s of the last couple years hitting .160.
Speaking of .160, Brad Miller is quite the mess. He really needs to break out of this soon, or it’s curtains. Which probably wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Lots of people say they don’t want Nick Franklin playing everyday short stop, but isn’t what we’ve been getting out of Miller lately about a thousand times worse? For a guy who is supposed to be a plus defender (maybe not in the Brendan Ryan range, but supposedly still pretty good), Brad Miller has sucked more dicks out there than I care to count. I’m not calling for his head yet (mostly because we’re winning), but the time is coming soon if he doesn’t pull himself out of this nosedive.