As we sit here just over halfway through the month of August, the Mariners still have an outside chance at reaching the playoffs and snapping their 20-year playoff drought. Part of the reason is due to the starting pitching. As discussed in my previous post, the starter’s ability to go 5 + innings in their starts has translated to more overall success.
With the bullpen pitchers staying fresh and healthy, the overall performance from the relief pitching staff has been outstanding. Save a couple of outings where they struggled (NYY series in particular), the bullpen staff has consistently shut the door in the last few innings of the game.
Let’s see how effective the pitching staff has been so far this month.
Mariners Pitchers now have a 2.63 ERA in 15 games this month
In the month of August thus far, the Mariners are 8-7. A tough road trip to the East coast took the wind out of our sails temporarily, but after a strong homestand, the Mariners are back on track. While the hitting has been inconsistent, the pitching has been extremely consistent. The starters and bullpen pitchers combined have a 2.63 ERA in 15 games this month according to MLB.com.
Looking at FanGraphs, the bullpen pitchers in August have been statistically phenomenal. Looking just at ERA, trade deadline pickups Joe Smith (0.00 ERA) and Diego Castillo (2.16 ERA) have been leading the charge this month. Other members of the bullpen have been pitching well also, like Casey Sadler (0.87 ERA since returning from the IL), but it cannot be overlooked how impactful both Smith and Castillo have been since being acquired.
Hopefully, the Mariners pitching staff can continue to keep the team in games by producing more quality starts and shutting the door when they get the chance to. Now, we need some of the heat from the pitching to rub off onto the bats!