Are the Mariners gearing up to make a big run down the stretch?
It’s no secret the Mariners have underperformed for much of this early season. It’s no secret some fans are starting to thoroughly question if there is any life left in 2017. That said, it’s also no secret the Mariners have been beleaguered with injuries.
The Mariners injury bug is finally meeting it’s long overdue demise. With Paxton returning Wednesday, Haniger coming back after an imminent rehab stint, and Felix and Iwakuma’s bullpen sessions going well the other day, things are starting to look up in Seattle.
They’re coming off of a road trip that felt like walking through the valley of the shadow of death when they were 1-4 and had been shut out in two of the games. Then they pulled it together. The offense put out three solid games. The pitching was quality, and everything worked.
Seattle wound up .500 on a road trip that pitted them against the #2, #8, and #4 teams respectively in ESPN’s MLB week 8 power rankings. The M’s sit 27th on that list for what it’s worth. Now obviously the power rankings don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of thing, but to take one from each of those teams, and two from the last one, is quite an accomplishment for this weary Mariners team.
So where does this leave Seattle?
Coming into an 11 game homestand, the Mariners are getting the last two games of a home-and- home series against the Rockies, the aforementioned #4 team. Then it’s three against the Tampa Bay Rays who come in at 12 on the list. The AL Central-leading Twins, #10 in the power rankings, come to town right after. Finally the M’s get the Toronto Blue Jays who saw their season turn around after they swept the M’s earlier this year.
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If Seattle can pull 8 of the 11, they’ll wind up 32-32. If they can do any better, they’ll be on the fast track to climbing back in the thick of the hunt. They currently are just 4.5 games back of a wild card spot, and they really are poised to take a leap here.
The Mariners are 13-9 at home this season, while being 11-20 on the road. If they can continue that trend of success at home, they will be sitting nicely come mid-June when their starting pitchers begin to return.
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So here’s to hoping the M’s can rock this homestand as they have rocked the last three games, they will be ready for a big second half run that may just vault them into the playoffs to end their 15-year drought.