For the fifth time, the Mariners won the series rubber match, making them 5-0 in those games. This brings them to 11-3-1 in series record. They move to 10-11 at home. Tonight there wasn’t much to complain about. There was a lot to cheer about! Unless you live in Oakland. Or if you’re an A’s fan. But you’re not! You’re a Mariners fan and it is so glorious to be a Mariners fan!
Right away, Khris Davis muscled what seemed like a high fly out into the right field stands. The A’s would tack on a couple runs later, but it was too little too late. Iwakuma pitched a solid game, and the M’s relievers overwhelmed the A’s hitters.
The A’s spent veeeeery little time being the team expected to win.
One thing to note on the night was Leonys Martin was pulled out of the game after he tweaked his hamstring. Martin pulled into third base and had to be checked on by the coaching staff. He stayed in the game, only to be yanked pretty much when he stepped foot in the dugout. Despite staying in, Martin didn’t look good when he was stuck in a pickle. His leg seemingly dragged on the ground and he all but gave up right away. He’s listed at day-to-day, so hopefully it’s a precaution. Like Jerry Dipoto said, Leonys Martin with a bat is invaluable. And right now, he’s more than just a bat.
Before he came out, Martin went 1-2. His first AB he tried to bunt for a weird drag/slap bunt base hit.
How about Adam Lind? After struggling mightily all season, Adam Lind had the sort of night that we expected from him when we acquired him. Before tonight, Adam Lind was number one or two on my people-we-might-have-to-get-rid-of soon list. Which, to be clear, isn’t a good list to be on. Not that it matters, but Lind dramatically increased his numbers on the season tonight. Coming into tonight, he owned a .216/.246/.319 line with a .244 wOBA and 53 wRC+. After tonight, he’s walking out of Safeco with a .242/.270/.400 triple slash and .286 wOBA and 82 wRC+. Still not good numbers, but they are on their way to becoming good numbers! What. A. Night. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, because a platoon of Dae-Ho Lee and tonight’s Adam Lind would be lethal.
It should be noted that aside from Adam Lind’s six runs, the rest of the team chipped in seven. Our team scored more runs than Adam Lind! Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Luis Sardinas, and Nori Aoki all chipped in with multi-hit games. Steve Johnson and Joaquin Benoit had an scoreless inning each.
Yesterday’s game was looking bleak, in a game that looked like it was a for sure gimme. The Mariners were down 4-5, with 2 outs, with a 1-2 count. Before his dinger, the Mariners’ win expectancy was 13.4%. After the dinger, it rose to 100%. Why? Because we won, dingus. Leonys Martin deposited a ball in the right field seats, and all hell broke loose in Safeco Field. There may have only been 13,000ish fans last night, but it sounded like 40,000. Ya know, from my computer screen, that is.
The Mariners are ten games over .500! The last time the Mariners were ten games over .500 was 2007. Crazy, huh? Well, it should be crazy, because it’s not true. But how surprised would you be if it was? Not very, probably!
Not only are the M’s the sole leader of the AL West, but they are second in the American League, and fourth in the MLB. With an MLB best 18-7 road record, if the Mariners can figure out a way to win games at home, 2016 may be our first year since 2001 in which we make the playoffs.
In FanGraphs’ Season to Date Mode, the Mariners are expected to win 93.7 games, and have a 71.8% chance to make the playoffs. And… drum roll please… 6.4% to win the World Series.
At this point, emotionally driven or not, it’s starting to be irresponsible to write the Mariners off. The Mariners are real and the Mariners are fun. You can ignore me, you can ignore FanGraphs, or you can ignore FiveThirtyEight. The Mariners are legitimate, and we have the numbers to prove it.
We’ve been told this in the past, just as recently as last season! There have been times where numbers have told us that we’re the best in the AL, and it turned out that we weren’t the best in the AL. Not even close!
But this is a new team, a new GM, a new manager, and new life. I’ll say it again. The Mariners are fun, the Mariners are clearly resilient, and the Mariners aren’t the 2002-2015 Mariners. I suppose now is where I take my bat and point to center field and call my shot.
The Mariners are going to the playoffs.