The Seattle Mariners are contending for a playoff spot in September for the first time since the 2003 season. Seattle surrendered a 7.5-game lead in the American League West to the Oakland Athletics by the beginning of September, and then its lead in the Wildcard by the end of that season. For the next 10-years, the Mariners didn’t contend during the season’s last month.
Now its Oakland’s turn to cough-up a large divisional, and wildcard, lead to the Mainers.
On August 1st, 2014, the Oakland Athletics led the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim by one game and the Mariners by 10.5 games in the AL West; on September 9th, the Athletics lead the first wildcard spot by one game over the Seattle Mariners — the Angels lead the division by eight games.
The Athletics record in their last ten games is 2-8.
The Mariners record in their last ten games is 7-3.
Not only does Seattle currently occupy a playoff spot, the Mariners are in the middle of trying to take the first Wildcard spot from Oakland — and host the play-in game. Let me rephrase that, the Seattle Mariners are pushing to host a playoff game in Seattle.
Seattle has three games left against the Athletics, all of those games are home games, and are going to play a major part in the team’s push for its first playoff spot since 2001. It is completely conceivable that the Mariners end up capturing the first Wildcard spot and host the play-in game at Safeco field.
It also isn’t out of the question to say that the Mariners could make a serious run at the division crown. Seattle and LAA play each other seven more times this season (including the last three games of the season). The Mariners could make-up a lot of ground in the standings if they play well during those series, and the Angels falter just a bit down the stretch.
Heck, even if the Angels and Mariners win all of their remaining games — outside of their two series against each other — those seven games would have a incredible impact on the race for the divisional crown.
If you had told me all of this prior to Spring Training, I probably would have laughed at you and told you that you were crazy. After all, prior to the season I was on record as expecting this year’s squad to win between 83 and 85 games. The Mariners have won 79 games and have 19 left to play (eight of those are home games).
This is the reality confronting Mariners fans during the last month of the 2014 MLB season, and it’s incredible.