Mariners start winning again, just won’t quit on 2017
I know, I know, I said the Mariners season was over. In fairness, I meant it. I genuinely thought this team had finally kicked the bucket on this confounding season, and we could ride into the sorrowful sunset of another year on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
Apparently the Mariners didn’t agree with my assessment of their play, and by winning four of their last five, hopped some teams ahead of them in the wild card race and now sit behind just two teams. Only 3.5 games separate the M’s from the second wild card slot.
Weirdly, things start to be clicking for the Mariners. Now 4 of 5 is a small sample size. But let’s be real, when the M’s were sending out five minor league caliber starters, things looked bleak. Yet now, with Felix looking solid in his return from the DL, James Paxton making his return tonight, Mike Leake’s acquisition, Erasmo Ramirez stringing together 6 consecutive quality starts, and Andrew Albers seeming to have found a never-before-seen stride, the pitching suddenly looks serviceable.
Then the bats, the bats have suddenly come alive for pretty much everyone. Mitch Haniger is playing out of his mind at the moment. He has reached base in 13 his last 14 games, raising his OPS and Batting Average 58 points and 30 points respectively. He went from being an overall okay player who started the season with a fluke stretch of brilliance to a solid player who appears to have just gone through a rough patch in returning from injury.
Nelson Cruz is tearing the cover off the ball (almost literally). Since August Nelson Cruz has hit more baseballs at 110+ MPH than 8 MLB teams combined. He is getting on base too, helping the Mariners topple Texas on Thursday.
Next: Mariners: Close the book on 2017 and that is totally fine
Yonder Alonso, Kyle Seager, and Jean Segura all are continuing to swing hot bats and the team continues to stay in the race. They currently are just 3.5 games back in the wild card race and aren’t out of it yet. If they continue this hot stretch at Houston, they could continue to make it up the standings.