Battle Tested Early: Mariners Have A Tough Schedule To Start 2014

3 of 6
Feb 22, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics infielder Eric Sogard poses for a portrait during photo day at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Versus the Athletics it’s a Sprint, NOT a Marathon:

After the May 7th game against Oakland, the Mariners will have already played 10 of their 19 games against the A’s for the entire season. For those keeping score at home, that’s 52.6%.

(On an aside: how is Eric Sogard in the semi-finals for MLB’s #FaceofMLB? To keep him from winning it all somehow, vote for King Felix Hernandez in the semifinals against the Mets’ David Wright).

These 10 games against the A’s are important for a lot of obvious reasons. First off, they won the division in 2013, and an even a 5-5 record against them to start the year would prove that: 1) either the M’s might be going somewhere or 2) the A’s aren’t built to win in 2014 (and you know the A’s are going to win games).

The A’s over the last several seasons have been built on great pitching depth and smart, fundamental baseball. The Mariners need to take notes in these early season games, and get after it and show the A’s, the AL West, and the MLB that the youngsters are going to perform and that this team will be hanging around come September.

Especially because the Mariners will be relying on young starting pitching, they need to give the A’s a taste of their own medicine and make a statement early in the season.