I think you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who is disappointed with the Mariners’ performance right now. At times it feels like a minor miracle that they are even close to .500, nevermind second place in the west.
There’s no doubt about it, the Mariners are actually a baseball team again. Regardless of any future losing streaks, the Mariners have beaten some very good teams lately.
What’s fueled this recent success? How come the Seattle Mariners are winning again? Has there been any indication of this in recent years? As it turns out, last year was a very good indicator of this season’s success.
As of May 12th last season, the Mariners were 18-20. Certainly not terrible, and only two losses worse than they sit currently at 20-18. But there’s one major difference between these two lines. One-run ball games.
One-run games were the bane of the Mariners’ existence last year, in their first 38 games of 2013, the Mariners had already lost six games by only one run. Over the entire season the Mariners lost a ridiculous twenty eight games by only one run.
In a season that ended with the Mariners barely above 70 wins, there were nearly thirty that were left on the table, only one hit away from victory. During April of last year they also won 5 games by only one run. Put it this way, in only 38 games to start the 2013 season, 11 were decided by only one run.
The current Mariners aren’t on the same road to destruction though. They’ve so far lost only 2 games by one run. On the flip side, they’ve won 5.
What does this say? The Mariners are converting close games. In the exact same amount of time, the Mariners have managed to shave off four losses from last year’s sample. Over the season that equates to just over 16 more wins than last season.
How are they able to do this? There are a few reasons.