I am sure everyone was hoping that the Mariners would sweep the Arizona Diamondbacks by winning Sunday’s game but they ended up losing 5-2.
The Mariners have the sixth best record in the American League being a few percentage points behind the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately the Indians have pretty well clinched a spot in the playoffs having a thirteen game lead in the American League Central. The Mariners are now five games behind the Oakland A’s for the second wildcard. The Houston Astros are six and half ahead of the Mariners in the division. The New York Yankees who have the first wild card spot right now have nine more wins than the Mariners. So it is going to be hard for the Mariners to make the playoffs no matter how well they play. They have Monday off then play two games in San Diego followed by four in Oakland. For the Mariners to have any chance to make the playoffs they need to win all six games or at least five of them. A tall order since the pitching and offense have been struggling though they are seventeen games above five hundred right now with seventy-four wins.
The Mariners led off the game in the first inning with Mitch Haniger getting a hit along with Denard Span with two outs then Kyle Seager drove in Haniger to take a 1-0 lead. It stood until the third inning when Mike Leake had his only bad inning pitching giving up three singles then a three-run homer to give the Diamondbacks a 5-1. The score stayed that way until the top of the ninth when Ben Gamel got a hit then scored on an error. The Mariners had a chance loading the bases without any outs however like in any of their recent games were not able to bring in any runs. Mitch Haniger lined out to third base and then Robinson Cano hit into a game ending double play. So close but so far at the same time with a 5-2 loss.
Mike Leake was able to go six innings despite the five runs in the third inning. Roenis Elias finished the final two innings giving up just one hit. With Monday off before facing the Padres the bullpen will be rested.
For the Mariners to have any chance in the six games remaining on this road trip the pitchers can’t give up big runs like Leake did in the third inning and the offense has to score more than two runs along with taking opportunities to score with the bases loaded with no outs. They need to be able to get at least a sacrifice fly to score one run in these opportunities or a single to drive in a couple. Also the offense will need to add on when taking a lead as well. Though the team has done well in one run games and extra innings it would be a good idea to win by at least two or three runs to take pressure off of the bullpen. The relievers have had trouble outside of Colome and Diaz along with the offense so the Mariners need everyone to step up especially in key situations. They could still win a high percentage of their thirty-one remaining games and still not make the playoffs. Right now though they need to think about taking of the Padres and A’s before coming home to face the Orioles and the Yankees.
Winning at least ninety games for the Mariners will be a big accomplishment after quite a few years but likely won’t make the playoffs anyway. For them to do it they must win every series remaining on the schedule. It may take at least a couple sweeps as well. We have to remember to enjoy the ride and the season even if they fall short in making the playoffs. So Mariners we are rooting for you and looking for “Refuse to Lose the sequel”. Go M’s.