For some, it seemed like the whole season shifted last night. As Felix Hernandez barely reached his record-breaking ultra quality start streak and the offense got Greg Maddux'd by Corey Kluber, emotions ran high. Toronto won, moving the Mariners to three games back in the Wild Card standings. While the Mariners are about to get better with the return of James Paxton and Michael Saunders, this version of the Mariners feels far more familiar than the one who constantly found ways to win despite their terrible offense. This is a Mariners team, for many, that feels comfortable. I started to see tweets of despair and clamoring to sell today instead of buy.
This swing occurred because of one day, essentially. If the Mariners chased Kluber early and won while Toronto lost, I suspect that a large percentage of the sky is falling fans would be on board with adding to this offense as opposed to blowing the team up. The trade deadline is a decisive day full of difficult decisions as this season teeters on the brink. Another ten game stretch like this past one, and they might be done. A ten day stretch opposite of the one they just had, and they're still in it.
Fangraphs has dropped the M's playoff odds all the way down to 18.3%, using ZiPS/Steamer to project the roster going forward. ESPN and other outlets, relying on the M's still excellent +52 run differential, has them at 36.9% or close to that mark. This season is still very much in flux, and I think many would have been happy to take those odds when the team sat at 7-13 back in April.
It will be fascinating to see what the Mariners do today, given their recent string of hard luck. This is still their best opportunity to make the playoffs in years, and I don't expect them to sell at all. Even if the team can't find supplemental pieces at a price they like, my guess is that they roll with what they have, rely on internal help on the way, and search for help post-deadline if they continue to stay afloat.
Use this thread to discuss all of today's craziness, which began early this morning when the A's acquired Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes from the Red Sox in exchange for...Yoenis Cespedes. Full details here. Let the madness begin.