2013 Season Review: The Interleague Games


May 27, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Endy Chavez (9) and catcher Kelly Shoppach (7) celebrate after Shoppach hit a solo home run against the San Diego Padres during the 4th inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t even want to talk about last night’s extra-inning affair with the Royals. The 15th time the M’s have lost in extra frames this year. I will say this; the home plate umpire did an amazing job. The tag on Seager in the 10th was right. The call against Eric Hosmer, where he thought he fouled it but struck out, was right. He missed it by six feet. And finally, the call that ended the game, the called third strike of Michael Saunders was right. The pitch was right at the knees on the inside corner.

Let’s move on to the review.

As we continue to evaluate and make sense of the 2013 season for the Seattle Mariners, it’s time to look at the interleague games.

This season marked the first time in which interleague games were played year-round. This was due to MLB’s decision to move the Houston Astros into the AL West, giving six divisions of five teams and 15 in each the American League and the National League.

The M’s first interleague games of 2013 were May 7 and 8 in Pittsburgh against the Pirates (1-1). They played a home and home series against the Padres (May 27-28 at home (1-1), May 29-30 in San Diego (1-1)).

On June 25-26, the Mariners welcomed the Pirates to Safeco (0-2) and then the Cubs came to town on June 28-30 (1-2). The Mariners went to Cincinnati July 5-7 (2-1) and hosted the Brewers August 9-11 (1-2). The M’s then wrapped up interleague play September 13-15 in St. Louis (1-2).

So for the year, the Mariners were 8-12 in their 20 interleague games. They were 8-10 in 2012, 9-9 in 2011 and 9-9 in 2010. Since interleague play began in 1997, the Mariners are 161-143. Like every other facet of the game, interleague play is no different for Seattle. They are below-average at best.

In fact, the team’s meager .204 batting average in interleague play this year was the worst in all of baseball. The 67 runs scored were the 2nd-least among AL teams, second only to the Yankees. The pitching staff also allowed the 3rd-most runs among AL teams in interleague play with 95. Only the Twins and Astros allowed more.

Looking ahead to what’s in store for 2014, the Mariners will play another 20 interleague games. The teams and dates (subject to change) are as follows:

  • April 18-20 at Miami Marlins
  • June 3-4 at Atlanta Braves
  • June 16-17 vs. San Diego Padres
  • June 18-19 at San Diego Padres
  • July 21-23 vs. New York Mets
  • August 5-6 vs. Atlanta Braves
  • August 18-20 at Philadelphia Phillies
  • August 29-31 vs. Washington Nationals

Only seven of those games will be against teams that finished above .500 in 2013. Not that matters too much for Seattle. The Mariners seem to find new ways to lose on a consistent basis. But one can hope this favorable interleague schedule will help the club next year.