Felix Hernandez Needs Help, But Can Lead the Seattle Mariners to the 2014 Postseason
Normally I do the whole pregame breakdown: pitching matchups, lineups, who has the edge and the score predictions.
I’m not going to do that today. Today is for King Felix Hernandez, and the 2014 Seattle Mariners.
In what may be the biggest day of baseball for the Mariners since 2001, this group that wasn’t expected to win this year has an opportunity to force a tie-breaker with the Oakland Athletics for the 2nd Wild Card spot.
Oakland has gone 15-30 in their last 45 games, opening the door for a team that hasn’t done itself any favors. The M’s haven’t won when they could have, and haven’t won when they needed to.
But they’ve one three straight while the A’s have continued to scuffle. They’re 1 game back with 1 to play.
As many people have noted, the Seattle Mariners have been in this playoff race since day 1. They were in it for game 100, and they’re in it once again for game 162. For a team with a 13-year playoff drought, that’s all you can ask for: meaningful late-season baseball.
And who else would you want pitching the most important game in a decade than your ace, and arguably the best pitcher in the American League, Felix Hernandez. His last time out he gave one away; now he has been gifted an opportunity to take one back. Yes, the Oakland Athletics HAVE to lose for this Mariners game to have playoff implications.
But that doesn’t mean this game would be without meaning.
The M’s have a chance to win their 87th game, something most fans and experts hardly expected for this season (my co-Editor Dan fairly predicted an 83-win season). Time and time again this team has battled back from the brink, staving off elimination and doubters all the same.
They can do it again today, too. Though it’s a game that could get them into a tie-breaker game that would get them into a one-game playoff that would get them into the ALDS, it still means something.
It has revealed the character of this team, of Lloyd McClendon, Kyle Seager, Dustin Ackley, Robinson Cano, Logan Morrison, James Paxton, and everyone else.
They will fight, and now, they have refused to lost.
There’s one game left in the regular season. Might the Mariners and Felix Hernandez find their way into a game 163?
We can only wait, watch, hope, and see what happens next.
But no matter what happens, this team is one to be proud of.