It's the All-Star Break, and the Mariners are above .500. For organizations with a history of success, this might not be a cause for celebration. But this is the Mariners we're talking about.
This is 14th time in Mariners' 40-year history they've been over .500 at All-Star break, second time in past six years.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) July 10, 2016
So given that this is actually something of a rare occurrence, we should be happy, right? We're still within striking distance of first in the division!
In the immortal words of Lee Corso, not so fast, my friends.
|Team||Win/Loss||Win %||Run Diff.||Pythag. Record||Exp. Win %|
|Los Angeles Angels||37-52||.416||-20||42.5-46.5||.477|
Well, this certainly changes things, huh? Let's go even deeper. Baseball Prospectus has handy-dandy standings that substitute actual runs scored with how many runs that team "should have" scored. Though the Mariners regress from a projected .560 winning percentage to .537, the Rangers go cliff-diving, plummeting from .518 to .469.
So not only have the Mariners been unlucky to the tune of four wins or so, the Rangers have had every break go their way, improving their record by 7.4 wins. That's a big swing - more than the difference between the two clubs in the standings.
This has been reflected in my memory of things as well. It seems like the Mariners have been horribly unlucky in one-run games, while the Rangers have gotten every bounce to go their way.
|Texas Rangers||19-7 (1st in MLB)|
|Seattle Mariners||13-18 (23rd in MLB)|
In a word - ugh.
Yet hope remains, which is good because it would be really sad if we were already eliminated by mid-July. The M's are going through quite a rough injury patch as of late, having already missed a few weeks from their starting shortstop and center fielder as well as seemingly every single pitcher on the roster. The Rangers can't keep winning one-run games at this rate.
More importantly, we have half a season left, and we need to enjoy every minute of it. We get to watch Robinson Cano continue to rake at Safeco, to see K-Swag man the Hot Corner with nearly-impeccable skill, to root for another Boomstick shot onto Royal Brougham, to worship The King once again return to his Rightful Throne.
These moments await us. We're just a few days away from getting lucky. The ball can surely bounce our way a couple of times - and that's all it takes to sneak into the playoffs.
Keep the faith, M's fans. Keep the faith.