For the first time since the beginning of May (1-2 Baltimore, 1-2 Texas, 0-2 Dodgers) the Mariners have lost three series in a row. You’d be hard-pressed to have it happen at a worse time, as the M’s were faced with a golden opportunity to climb the wild card standings. Instead, they find themselves four games back of three different teams.
It came to a head in the series against Boston, where some of the chaos ball and luck seemed to run out. The bullpen was heavily used in the second game of the series, making for some difficult decisions for Servais in how to try and effectively manage their usage throughout the final two games.
The end result was another series loss, and the Mariners playoff odds are crushed
For the 2nd day in a row, the Mariners had to use six members of their pen. Whenever that occurs, the odds of all of them being “on” diminish, and it’s expected to see at least one of them have some type of struggle. It was Steckenrider in game two, and for game three the culprit was Erik Swanson.
He came in to start the 10th inning and seemed nothing like the pitcher who was having a stellar season early on before a short trip to the injured list. In case you haven’t seen his line (or you blocked it out of your memory, understandably), here is what he ended up with.
Woof. That’s… well, that’s plain awful.
Honestly, this stinks. It’s tough being a Mariners fan. We all know that. A lot of us try to stay even keel and keep our hopes and expectations low. It’s expected for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001. This year felt a bit different though. They had positioned themselves into a great spot. When they started the series with Houston back on September 6th, they were 13 games above .500 and had a legit chance to snag control of the wild card.
Losing the series to Houston hurt, but it was expected. They’re the better team this season. Losing to Arizona at this point in the year is unacceptable, and they blew prime chances multiple times against Boston. Shoot, they were 4-19 with RISP over the final two games compared to Boston’s 10-25. The chance was there, the Mariners just couldn’t convert.
I’m still not going to write them off. With 13 games left against the Angels and Athletics, anything can happen. Unfortunately, they are no longer in control of their own destiny and are going to need two of the three AL East teams at the top (Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays) to fall apart to have any shot at making the playoffs this year.