Has it sunk in? Are you ready? Neither of your answers to those questions particularly matter.
Ready or not, the Mariners have an above-average chance to clinch a playoff spot tonight. A playoff spot that, if you haven’t heard, is twenty-one years in the making. A playoff spot that promises to provide a catharsis of two decades of misery. A playoff spot that is sure to be the panacea to all that ails us.
The Mariners came into today with a magic number of “one”. That is to say, only one additional game (out of over ten) needs to go their way. The Orioles (whose game is currently in progress) could lose, or the Mariners could win. Personally, I would prefer both teams to win. It just wouldn’t feel as fun for the clinch to come during the game.
That said, the one of the funnier outcomes of tonight would be the Mariners just... not clinching. At least, I’m pretty sure it would be funny eventually.
News and notes from pregame
- Per Scott Servais, Julio Rodríguez feels “really good” and should come off of the IL on Monday, his first day of eligibility.
- Backup catcher Curt Casali is officially on paternity leave, and 29-year-old journeyman Brian O’Keefe is reportedly “really excited” to join the team and potentially make his MLB debut in Casali’s place.
- Servais quipped pre-game that when he goes out in Seattle nowadays, “everybody knows” that he’s out and about, as opposed to a few years ago when nobody recognized him.
- He also made sure to emphasize that his view is that any clinching tonight is just “the first step” — the team has bigger plans and goals to make a deep postseason run.
- Asked whether the team would have one eye on the scoreboard tonight to see how the Orioles game goes, Servais said that “they’re only human”, and that if the Orioles lose, he’s “gonna smile, it’ll last for about thirty seconds, and then they’ll go back to focusing on winning tonight’s game”.
With the Mariners facing rookie lefty Ken Waldichuk, we’ll see another lineup iteration in which Dylan Moore bats leadoff. Cal Raleigh gets (at least a partial) day off with Luis Torrens starting, and Sam Haggerty draws the start over the left-handed Jesse Winker.
Game time: 6:40 PM PT
TV: Root Sports NW
Radio: 710 AM Seattle Sports Station
Streaming: MLB.tv (if you’re out of market, note that this is MLB.tv’s free Game of the Day)