The Mariners just got beat in a series against the team with the worst record in baseball. In the first game they made a no-name pitcher look like Felix Hernandez. In game 2 James Paxton was dealing, and the Mariners blanked their opponent for the 9th time this season. Then, last night, the Mariners became the last team in Major League baseball to give up double-digit runs in a single game, as Erasmo Ramirez was bombarded by the Rangers en route to a 12-4 Mariners loss.
But guess what? Despite the poor showing in the series and the general lack of offense these last three days at Safeco Field, they still lead the pack for the 2nd Wild-Card spot, maintaining a 1/2 game lead of the Detroit Tigers.
The Mariners are now waltzing into the final stretch of the season that will either make them a playoff team or a thoughtless ‘also-ran’. The Washington Nationals come to Safeco this weekend as a dominant team that took a while to finally gel. But now that they’re in sync, they’re burning through opponents like wildfire.
Then the Mariners go on a 7-game roadtrip with 3 games against the Oakland Athletics who lead the Wild-Card by 6.0 games over Seattle, followed by 4 games in Texas against a team that just made the M’s look like they were pillow fighting.
After that it’s 3 against Houston and 3 more against the A’s all at home.
Then there’s a MASSIVE 11-game roadtrip seeing 4 games against the division-leading Angels, 3 against the Astros, and 4 against the fizzling Toronto Blue Jays.
The regular season ends with a 3-game series against the Angels at Safeco Field.
The M’s have 13 games remaining against their division-leading competitors, and 23 games left against the AL West as a whole. Putting it simply, the M’s could catapult themselves deep into the playoff picture this month, or find themselves dropped somewhere around .500 with a deflated clubhouse that could kill good vibes going into next season.
This series against the Rangers was rough. But with this tough schedule slated forward, the Mariners have a prime opportunity to bounce right back in the coming days.
The wild ride isn’t over, so buckle up.