1.5 games out of the Wild Card. Let’s get all the important details out of the way. The Mariners have won eight-straight games. By winning this last game, the Seattle Mariners jumped past the New York Yankees and gained a game on the Toronto Blue Jays for the second wild card spot.
A season that seemed completely DOA just a shade over a week ago is now more than brimming with life. The Seattle Mariners sit 1.5 games behind the second wild card spot with just the Detroit Tigers in the way.
Eight-straight wins. if this wasn’t real yet, it is now.
Hisashi Iwakuma did what he needed to do, which was more than enough to keep the Angels at bay. The Bear ran into a little bit of trouble in the third inning, where a single + single + wild pitch gave the Angels a 1-0 lead made everything seem a bit shaky. But then, Iwakuma gave us the Iwakuma start we all have come to appreciate and love. Guys get on base, but then they don’t get much further along the base. In a time when everyone needs to step up, Iwakuma did so. He finished the game with 6.1 innings, holding the Angels to that sole run.
And from there, the Mariners bullpen took over. Tom Wilhelmsen jammed the Mariners out of trouble in the top of the 7th. Steve Cishek continued his September of excellence, going an inning without a run. Edwin Diaz did what Edwin Diaz does and there we have the Mariners’ win.
Eight-straight wins. It is time to taste that sweet nectar.
But of course, a game isn’t won solely off of pitching. There needs to be an offense behind that all. And after two-consecutive games of scoring eight runs, leave it to the Seattle Mariners’ offense to stall, ever so slightly, when we all want them to soar, ever so mightily.
The Mariners couldn’t really get much of anything off of Jhoulys Chacin for the better part of four innings, go figure. If there is any team that can mind-boggingly make a mediocre pitcher appear better than mediocre, it would be the Seattle Mariners. But that is OK, because we have players like Kyle Seager, who decide to break an 0-14 stretch with a straight-up home run. We have players like Nelson Cruz, who can club line drive home runs at will to give us the lead. That lead can remain oh-so-precarious for as long as it needs to, because these Mariners, at the moment, feel like straight up destiny.
That destiny, is it just because we haven’t felt this way in quite some time? 2014 took us all by surprise. 2015 reminded us of where we came. 2016 is a whole other beast—designed to succeed (and did for a second) before faltering enough to send us back into the dark ages. And yet, suddenly, here we are. 1.5 games out of the wild card and with a legitimate chance to create some space with the Houston Astros coming to town. This is as big of an upcoming series as the Mariners have had in a while and holy hell does it feel great.
Eight-straight wins, let’s make it eleven.
Eight games is the longest winning streak since July 2013 for the M’s. After that streak, the Mariners were a meaningless 48-52 in a season designed for the garbage dump. This time around, things feel different. Maybe that is because they have to feel different, because all of us deep down knew that a playoff run wouldn’t come that easily. The Mariners were never going to just win a crap ton of games and coast their way to an AL West pennant. Oh no. They were going to win games they had no business winning. They were going to lose games (a lot) they had no business losing. They were going to make things as confounding as possible because the beauty of sports is nothing less than the sheer insanity of it all. It would never be this easy for us. It would never be this easy for them.
So here we go. Friday. King Felix. The Houston Astros are rolling into town and the best way to roll them out is in a body bag after three days. I’m not sure if this dream is actually becoming a reality yet but it is really turning into one hell of a ride.