Mariners Analysis: Another Worry For the M’s

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Is it bad, or just typical negative Mariners fandom, that even after an amazing complete-game performance by Mike Montgomery and a game that saw the Mariners hit, that I’m still worried about what could go wrong?

Who knew the A’s were only 1.5 behind the Mariners?: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

I looked at the standings this morning to find that Astros walloped the Angels last night, keeping the M’s at 8.5 games out of first place. I’ve been so focused on the Mariners keeping afloat with the Astros, Angels, and Rangers, that I never even thought about the team behind the M’s — the dreaded Oakland A’s.

The A’s, disappointing for the entire season, are suddenly winners of three straight and now sit just 1.5 games behind the Mariners. That’s right, the M’s are just 1.5 games away from being in LAST place in the American League West. That’s quite a depressing and sobering thought.

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I still think the Mariners can turn this around, perhaps in direct contrast to my usual pessimism. Hisashi Iwakuma’s return, James Paxton’s eventual return, and the hopeful continued turnaround of Fernando Rodney into a useful bullpen piece lead me to believe that the pitching will continue to get even better.

Furthermore, the development of Brad Miller and the performance of Robinson Cano even have me encouraged about the offense. Cano has hit the ball much better of late, really dating back to the San Francisco series. Nelson Cruz has been cold of late, and he won’t remain that way. Even Mike Zunino is swinging the bat better. He can’t possibly be this poor all season, can he?

Thus, I think the Mariners can continue to tread water in the AL West, especially with a huge series against the Angels coming up. But, the M’s better continue to play well, because the A’s are right on their tails.

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