If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the season that the Mariners would be 16 games over .500, would win the season series against both the Astros (10-9) and the Angels (11-8), I would’ve locked this team into a playoff spot no doubt about it! Hell, I probably would’ve even had visions of a divisional championship!
But, alas, the Mariners this week were officially eliminated from A.L. West contention. Their Magic Number for the second wild card spot is apparently down to 4 games (any combo of M’s losses or A’s wins) with a whopping 10 games to go. It’s over. We knew that already, but it can’t be said enough, just in case you were holding out some glimmer of hope. It could be mathematically over as soon as this weekend!
OH WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!
God, where did it all go so wrong? The Mariners need to go just 6-4 down the stretch to be a 90-win ballclub. Ironically, the Mariners could go 9-1 and be a 93-win ballclub; as we all know, every time the M’s win 93 games, the A’s come from out of nowhere to rip our hearts out and steal our playoff spot. Wouldn’t THAT be a fitting end to this creature of a season?
You’d think 90 wins would be enough! That’s because it usually is. Here’s a list of seasons where 90 wins would’ve gotten the Mariners in the American League playoffs:
- 2010 (would’ve tied for the division lead)
It’s just so unreal. So brutal. A fanbase that’s had to live with this team through 17 consecutive years without a post-season, with this one being so tantalizingly close, only to have it snatched away from us yet again. Don’t get me wrong, the M’s have been “in it” before, but not like this. Never with a record THIS good. Not THIS much of a sure thing.
Want an answer to that question of where it all went wrong? I’ll tell you. Remember how the Mariners have generally been pretty great against the National League? Where even at our worst, we’d still rack up wins against the inferior league? Well, this year, the M’s are 6-14 against the N.L. If you just flipped that, and made the M’s 14-6, we’d have 92 wins right now (a full game up on the A’s) and this final week and change would actually mean something.
That’s a 1-5 record against the Rockies, a 2-2 record against the Giants, and an 0-4 record against the Padres. Flip 8 of those losses to wins, and you’ve got something. Sure, the Rockies are good, so let’s say we go 3-3 against them. But, the Giants are BAD! And the Padres are even WORSE!
That’ll be my biggest takeaway from this season. Once again, the Mariners just couldn’t quite get it done against the teams they’re supposed to dominate. You can look up and down their schedule for games they should’ve won. Series they should’ve won. But, for one reason or another (likely either the defense or the bats), they failed, like they always do.
Same ol’ Mariners, chugging on into the station. In less than two weeks, we can put all this unpleasantness behind us.