Despite a rather dismal effort to close out the month of May (talking Memorial Day weekend, not yesterday), the Mariners are starting ball on June 1 with the fifth-best record in team history.
In 40 seasons as a club, the Mariners have entered June with a record of .500 or higher only 15 times, including this season. Here are the Mariners' records for each year on the morning of June 1.
The impressive thing about the Mariners this year (or absolutely infuriating if you want to look at it that way) is this success also comes despite the abysmal efforts at home, where we have watched them get swept by such American League powerhouses as the Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels and Minnesota Twins.
Those sweeps at home by garbage ass teams is what keeps sending us scurrying to our dark and safe place that a decade of being terrible created for us. It allows us to ignore that Robinson Cano is fourth in the league at 2.4 WAR. It allows us to ignore the bright spots that have been Ketel Marte and Leonys Martin.
It tells us that Felix Hernandez hasn’t been Felix Hernandez this season. That Hisashi Iwakuma isn’t looking like a No. 2, or even a No. 3 guy, much anymore. The thought of a Taijuan Walker and Nate Karns forcefully taking a step up in the rotation is a scary thought, and Wade Miley has been perfecting his rage scream as balls keep flying over the fence.
But the reality of the situation is the Mariners are a good team. If you take those three sweeps at home to the Athletics, the Angels, and the Twins, and hell, say the Mariners only win one game in each of those series, you’d have a team sitting in first place in the AL West on June 1. You’d have a team that as 33-18.
Obviously the alternate universe game isn't something grounded in reality. However, despite those nine losses, the Mariners still have the third-best run differential in the entire league through June 1, by a sizable amount of runs. We haven’t been this good this late into the season in a long time, and the sad reality for many of us Mariners fan, is that for some reason June 1 is actually considered late in the season.
The Mariners have built themselves a tiny bit of breathing room, even if it is just half a game. The foot can't come off the gas at all, and the schedule is about to get a lot harder, but if the Mariners are able to keep their pace, and perhaps win a few games at home on weekends, they'll find themselves in a solid place come later this summer.