The Seattle Mariners’ season is over tomorrow. It doesn’t matter on paper what they do, they will either be 72-90 or 71-91 on the season and the sure-to-be-busy offseason begins. But the one thing I have been hoping for the M’s to do in these past few weeks, was to play spoiler. They missed several opportunities, but eliminated the Royals from the wild-card hunt earlier this week and by defeating the Oakland Athletics Saturday, have given home field advantage throughout the playoffs to the Boston Red Sox.
Going into Saturday’s games, Oakland trailed the Red Sox by two games for the best record in the American League. A Boston win or an Oakland loss would secure home field for Boston throughout the playoffs, since the AL won the All-Star Game and home field for the World Series.
The Mariners jumped out on the A’s early, thanks to a 2-run homer by Justin Smoak in the first inning, a solo shot by Brad Miller in the 3rd and a grand slam by Miller in the 5th. With the score 7-1 going to the 6th, victory seemed assured. But then again, the M’s have made a habit of losing in strange ways this season and the bullpen likes a challenge.
Brandon Maurer left after 5 1/3 innings of six hit ball, allowing two runs and striking out five. Charlie Furbush pitched out of a jam in the 6th, so of course Eric Wedge pulls him for Chance Ruffin to start the 7th. Ruffin started out well, getting Coco Crisp to ground out before walking Josh Donaldson. But after striking out Jed Lowrie, Ruffin gave up a two-out, two-run home run to Brandon Moss, followed by a solo shot from Alberto Callaspo to cut the M’s lead to 7-5.
The season concludes tomorrow. Then the real fun begins. This offseason promises to be a busy one for the Mariners. Be sure to keep it here for all the latest Hot Stove news and rumors.