Apologies for the tardiness of this post, as I was on vacation with my family and friends in the hippie high desert town of Bend, OR, at the end of July and beginning of August. Pro tip: Always park in the shade when road tripping with a baby. You never know when you might find a blowout. We lost a few good onesies along the way, RIP.
Speaking of road trips, here we are in August where the schedule makers decided, "Hey you know what? I don't think the Mariners travel enough. Here's every series save for two on the road, you plucky bunch of perennial underdogs!" Stay salty, schedule makers.
So, in line with previous espirt de corps strategies employed by the team, Manager Scott Servais got everyone tees that say "Bring It" which players have been wearing in warm ups this month. Oh it has already been broughten, friends.
This month is simple, really. Win every series and maybe the team will develop a decent cushion in the wild card race or at very least keep pace with the top teams. Easy, right? Well, looking at it now, yeah, it is conceivable. Not easy, but I honestly can see them winning most of these series. Whether or not most is good enough remains to be seen.
Thanks, Tom Berenger from "Major League." Couldn't have said it better myself.
They already won that Texas series. Should have been a sweep, but oh well, this is still the Mariners we're talking about. The current series with the Royals is arguably the biggest one since they are Seattle's closest competition in the Wild Card Race. They lost game one, but Paxton battled last night, as did the outfield bats, and they gritted out a win. That's seven wins in a row for James Paxton. Pitcher wins are a stupid, stupid stat, but that many wins in a row is dominance no matter how you stack it. Welcome to the Cy Young conversation, James.
Moving ahead, obviously they need to win the two game series in Oakland. Don't muck that up, Mariners. Oakland has white-flagged the rest of the season.
Then we have THE ONLY HOMESTAND OF THE MONTH featuring the Edgar Martinez Number Retirement weekend, which I am very excited for. I'll be there with the whole family on Saturday, August 12, probably crying a little bit over Saint Edgar. The Angels are more or less out of it, but any team with a healthy Mike Trout can't ever be taken lightly. After that is the resurgent Orioles, who are battling to stay in the WC Race. This is definitely a must win. Hopefully they put Trumbo back in the outfield (because he is very bad at fielding).
Then it's back on the dang road in Tampa Bay against the very good Rays aka Bizarro Mariners. I have a bad feeling about this one. Atlanta is also decent, so that's no walk in the park either. Then OH BOY IT'S THE YANKEES AND ORIOLES AGAIN.
So yeah, the big ones are the Royals, both Orioles series, the Yankees, and the Rays. But that doesn't mean the team can slack against the non-contender teams and blow "easy win" games. This month is make or break because September isn't a cake walk either. It's almost all AL West featuring 6 friggin' games with the Astros. Lovely.
I truly doubt this is a playoff team, but I am keeping a small amount of hope alive. The starting pitching just isn't deep enough to inspire more than that tiny bit of hope. This team can hit, but scoring 5-6 runs every night is clearly not sustainable for them. The bullpen has fortunately been nails the last month plus, so hopefully the grind of the long season doesn't get to them during the last tow months. Until next time, go Mariners.