Heading into Oakland, things were starting to look a bit dire for the Mariners. They were four games back in the Wild Card (if I remember correctly), and were going to need to win at least three games against Oakland to have any chance at staying in the hunt for the wild card.
Well, they weren’t able to win just three games in the series. THEY WON ALL FOUR INSTEAD! They went into Oakland and showed why sometimes things like run differential don’t matter. It’s your record against good teams that matters more… at least to me it does. Don’t tell the dumb-dumbs over at ESPN, but the Mariners are 41-37 against teams over 500, while the Athletics are just 28-48.
The Mariners took care of business by sweeping the Athletics right out of the playoff picture
Even better is when you take a look at the Mariners record against the Athletics on the season. You play each team in your division 19 times during the season. The Mariners already have an 11-4 record against Oakland. It’s their second-best winning % against any American League team. Oddly enough, their best is against Tampa at 6-1.
Oh, that gives the Mariners the 8th best record against winning teams as well, with Oakland way down there at 22nd. Yup. Sounds like a team that should be 11th in power rankings. Hehe.
As for the series, the M’s outscored the Athletics by a total score of 19-10. That’s almost as many runs for Oakland as they had fans in the stands (they averaged 4,357 fans per game. EMBARASSING). It moved the Mariners up to 2 games back in the standings to the Yankees and just a game behind the Blue Jays. It also knocked Oakland down to four games back, and with six games left against Houston and three against the Mariners, they are essentially out with nine games to play.
There’s no doubt about it, the Mariners took care of business in the best way possible. Multiple good starts from their pitchers, big innings when they needed them, stellar bullpen work, and a nice comeback in the finale despite a bad start and tons of walks early in the game. Oh, and some great defense throughout by Kelenic, Bauers, and Crawford.
Yeah, that’s some stellar defense all over the place. It was an amazing series, and with just nine games left in the season, fans are the most optimistic they have been in nearly 20 years. Regardless of what happens the rest of the year, we are all blessed to have a team like the 2021 Mariners, and its gonna be a wonderful finish to the season thanks to this team that refuses to… give up? quit? stop trying hard? oh, wait. That’s right.
Refuse. To. Lose.