Yes, as most of you know by now, the Seattle Mariners haven’t been to the postseason since 2001. But is that about to change?
The Mariners have 23 games left: nine against the Houston Astros, three against the Toronto Blue Jays, four against the Minnesota Twins, and the seven against the Oakland Athletics. That’s 12 games against contenders (Astros, Blue Jays) and 11 games against teams evaluating their talent for next season (Twins, A’s).
The American League West title will be won by the Texas Rangers, but the AL Wild Card is very much up for grabs going into Thursday games. The Baltimore Orioles are a game up on the Blue Jays for the first Wild Card spot. The Blue Jays currently lead the Detroit Tigers by one game for the second spot, with the Mariners just half a game behind Detroit. The New York Yankees are two games back of the Blue Jays.
The Mariners are off on Thursday, but all three teams ahead of them in the Wild Card chase are playing. So if you’re a Mariners fan, it’s time to root for the Tampa Bay Rays (vs. O’s), the Los Angeles Angels (vs. Blue Jays), and the Twins (vs. Tigers). It’s always fun to be able to scoreboard watch and root against teams other than the Yankees and Boston Red Sox in September and October, isn’t it?
The O’s and Blue Jays are each playing a four game series this weekend, so M’s fans will have to hope the last place Angels and Rays can steal a game or two. The Tigers face off against the Indians, who currently lead the AL Central, so no cake walk for them this weekend.
While scoreboard watching is fun, you still have to win your games, and for the Mariners, who are currently riding an eight-game winning streak, it won’t be easy the next six games. This weekend, the Astros come to SafeCo still with postseason hopes. They sit three and a half games out of the second Wild Card, so they, like the M’s, need to get a series win this weekend.
The Mariners are 9-1 in their last ten games and are averaging 7.3 runs per game during that stretch. The pitching staff is doing their part as well, allowing 3.2 runs per game. If they can keep up a similar pace over the next couple of weeks, the postseason drought could be over in Seattle.
This is the best time of year and nothing beats October baseball, so enjoy the ride and let’s hope the Pacific Northwest and Mariners fans across the country can be rooting for their team on October 4.