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An Observation

When this team won five in a row, culminating with that wild extra-innings game in Chicago, we were all about the playoff fever.

When they subsequently dropped the next six, many of us were ready to give up.

Now that they've won five in a row (again) and seven of eight, including a sweep of the Red Sox, we're back on the wagon.

At first I thought we were just a hyper-emotional collection of fans, but the more I thought about it, the more reasonable it started to sound. For a few weeks now the Mariners have been in a position where every day has been crucially important. Head on over to Cool Standings for an idea of what I'm talking about. The average game in June has changed our odds of making the postseason by 2.5%. The win in Chicago raised the probability by 4.4%. The loss the next day dropped it by 6.1%. The loss to Cincinnati dropped it another 4.7%. And so on and so forth. This team continues to hover around the threshold of playoff relevance, and in pursuit of a good Cleveland and a better Los Angeles, there's been barely any breathing room. This team has to win, because those other clubs are really good, and we know that lost games are really difficult to make up. And that is what's mainly feeding our emotions right now.

It's incredibly stressful, and it's probably bad for our cardiac health, but right now every game seemingly carries the importance of five. Beat the Jays tomorrow and the high will only get higher. Lose tomorrow and the sweep will be forgotten. We're not in a position where we can afford to get comfortable, because there's no margin for error.

Taxing? Yeah. Exciting? You know it. The knot I had in the pit of my stomach when I thought the Mariners were going to lose yesterday was as uncomfortable as I've felt in weeks, but if I can still feel like that in September, it's been one hell of a season.