Welp, in case you were wondering, the Mariners still can’t beat the Rangers!
This whole season pretty much started going down the tubes in the first week of June, on a road trip that took us through Arlington. A 3-game sweep by the Rangers got us going on a dark and miserable path where we’d go 5-15, erasing what was once a 10-games-over-.500 record, and setting us up for a finish where we’d just go through the motions. The month of July didn’t really do us many favors, but a 10-game homestand to kick off August got everyone back in the (keep) fighting spirit!
At one point, we were even – you guessed it – 10 games over .500! The Mariners started off the month of August 14-5, were but a game back of the second wild card, and had a healthy lead over teams like the Astros, Tigers, and Royals.
Ever since, the Mariners have won 2 of their last 9 games, have fallen to 3 games back of the second wild card, and must leapfrog the aforementioned Astros, Tigers, and Royals to get there. The only thing even remotely keeping us in the race right now is the A.L. East owns both wild card spots, and they’ve been duking it out against one another for the last couple weeks.
The Mariners, on the other hand, are predictably faltering at the end of a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, and 33 games in 34 days. They’re also, let’s be honest, not the greatest team. They’re ESPECIALLY not great against good teams like the Rangers. Or teams with good pitching like the White Sox. And, if Iwakuma didn’t shit the bed every time he faced another starter from his homeland (Tanaka last week, Darvish last night), we might be in slightly better shape!
There are many culprits for why the Mariners have been as inconsistent as they’ve been. Injuries have hurt (literally!) (zing!), the bullpen has been unreliable for long stretches, the rotation has been unreliable for even longer stretches, and the starting nine are wearing down from overuse due to poor roster construction, a weak bench, and the needlessly archaic rules of Major League Baseball. Ultimately, what it all boils down to is that when this team pitches well, it tends to win; when it pitches poorly, there’s usually not much even a reliable offense (like Seattle’s has been for most of the year) can do to turn it around. They’ve maintained well enough with substandard pitching thanks to some late-game heroics, but ultimately there’s not enough magic in that old silk hat they found to carry this team to
the North Pole the playoffs.
So, what’s it going to take to get this team back on track? Well, there are 31 games left to go. To get to 90 wins, the Mariners would need to go 22-9. To get to 22 wins, the Mariners would have to win every single series the rest of the way, including the last two games of this series against the Rangers (which seems like a pretty tall order, considering they have Cole Hamels and we don’t). That means the Mariners would have to win 2 of every 3-game series, and 3 of every 4-game series the rest of the way (there are two 4-game series the rest of the way; both at home, one against the Rangers, the other against the A’s).
And, mind you, that just gets the Mariners to 90 wins. There’s no guarantee that even 90 wins is enough to get into that wild card game. Remember, there are 5 teams ahead of us vying for those two spots, and all 5 of them have easier roads to 90 wins and beyond.
Betcha didn’t realize that the Mariners’ season ended and we all blinked and missed it! That’s what a 2-7 stretch of baseball will do to you when you’re already a fringe playoff team and there’s only a month left to go in the season. Not that our caring any more would have mattered, but go ahead and remember all of those assholes back in April and May who kept telling us “it’s still early” when we lost yet another heartbreaker. Them shits adds up.