The Mariners finished off the Athletics once again in their season finale against each other, winning 4-2 for the second night in a row. It was starting to feel a bit like Groundhog Day, as that made it the 12th straight win for the Mariners against the Athletics.
As the game was going on, I found myself sitting there thinking “I wonder what the most wins one of these teams has in a season against the other”. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. If I was, well, I hope some of you are curious now as well.
The Mariners set an M’s record for most wins in a season in their rivalry.
Yup. You read that right. With the Mariners win last night, their 15th of the season against Oakland, the Mariners set a new single-season record for their most wins between the two teams.
That means that they went 15-4 against Oakland this season, finishing them off with those 12 straight wins. If you’re quick enough, you’ll realize that it means that at one point earlier this season, Oakland was actually leading the season series 4-3. Imagine that. It’s the end of July, you’re opening up a four-game set against Seattle, and have just had a career-best 13 K’s from Sean Manaea. You’re 4.5 games up on Seattle.
Two months and one week later, Seattle has won the remaining 12 games against Oakland, and they are now the ones that are well ahead of Oakland, leading them by four games.
The Mariners had actually gone 14-5 against Oakland twice before, back in 2007 and 2009. So last night’s win was needed to set their new season record of 15. They still fell short of the most wins in the rivalry. Back in 2006, Oakland actually went 17-2 against the Mariners, winning 15 straight against the Mariners over the course of the season. Not sure if this counts for 100% of the payback, but it sure feels good to see. OH! This eliminated Oakland from the WC race as well.
0-0 heading into the 6th, Oakland once again scored first, plating the opening run of the night with a Tony Kemp solo home run. Gilbert almost made it through the rest of the inning, but a walk with two outs to Mark Canha was enough, and he was pulled after 92 pitches and 5.2 innings worth of work. He might be the one lined up for a potential play-in game or Wild Card game, so keeping him under 100 pitches was a nice saving grace.
It didn’t take long for the Mariners to answer, in large part to Oakland’s defense… or lack thereof. France would be safe at first on an error by Kemp. After a Seager strikeout, France would be safe at second on a grounder off the bat of Haniger, this time due to an error by Josh Harrison trying to turn two at second. Jarred Kelenic would come up next, and he would come up big.
The lead wouldn’t last, as Diego Castillo would give up a solo home run in the 7th to Seth Brown, tying it at 2-2. The Mariners would once again go back up in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a Dylan Moore walk, a JP Crawford single, and a Ty France sacrifice fly.
It’s a good thing we lost that Kendall Graveman trade so badly, or else the Mariners wouldn’t have been able to hit a solo home run in the 8th, done off the bat of Abraham Toro, giving the Mariners a nice insurance run, and making it 4-2.
The insurance run would be for naught, as Drew Steckenrider would come in and shut things down in the 9th. The save was his 13th of the season and gets the Mariners to 89-70, keeping them 0.5 games back in the Wild Card race in advance of their off-day Thursday. The Mariners just keep winning, and it’s a fantastic time to be a baseball fan.