Cal Raleigh and Luke Raley's bromance fuels Mariners' clutch gene

For a team that's played a league-leading 21 one-run games this season identity and clutch are key. Two players are leading the charge on this fronts.
Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners
Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Backstop Cal Raleigh and outfielder Luke Raley have a budding friendship, which includes a lot of time spent talking and working on their games behind the scenes. The Mariners released a brilliant video this week highlighting that connection. Both players praised each other's work ethic and values, and Raleigh even said he wouldn't mind playing his entire career with Raley. This public display of friendship was similar to Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly's unveiling of their unlikely friendship at one of the critical events of their lives. 

While Raleigh and Raley have a unique connection and are forming the identity of this team, what sets them apart is their thrilling late-game performances, as demonstrated in one of the most exhilarating games of the year- an 8-4 comeback win against the White Sox. 

Luke Raley and Cal Raleigh are leading the Mariners

Raleigh, at 27, is leading all MLB hitters in game-winning hits this season with five, and Raley, with his clutch gene, adds an element of excitement to a team that often finds itself in nail-biting situations. The chart below vividly illustrates their late-game effectiveness this season, surpassing everyone on the roster except for Josh Rojas (.600/.684/1.617), another key contributor. 

Late-game stats












As the Mariners traverse the arduous baseball season, they are finding their strength in the performances of key players. We continue to witness the rising star in Julio Rodriguez, the guiding voice of JP Crawford, and the unwavering focus of Mitch Haniger. While the arms undeniably drive the team's performance, it's crucial to acknowledge the pivotal role of two players who stood out from an otherwise underperforming offense.

With their clutch performances in critical moments, Cal Raleigh and Luke Raley's hard work and dedication to winning mantras are proving to be the identity and driving force behind the team's late-game success. And if that includes an ever-elusive American League West Pennant and a stop at the Catalina Wine Mixer, we'll surely take it.