The Seattle Mariners are the 5th best team in baseball, 2nd best in the American League. Not for the season, of course, I am not that crazy. But since the all-star game they are 21-13, a .618 winning percentage. The Washington Nationals have a winning percentage of .617 for the season. If the Mariners had been playing at the clip they have been on, they would be going to the playoffs.
But they will see no post season action. They are doing much better, however, and 34 games is not a small sample. While they have played better, things could go south, we are talking the Mariners you know. They are an exercise in futility.
Going into todays (sunday) game against the Twins, they have won 11 of their last 12 home games, yet baseball fans have not stormed through the gates. It might be a lack of belief in the team, it could be a distaste for the ownership who seem to be against the Sonics building an arena in the SoDo district, it may be gas prices, or a downturned economy. It might be all the above.
And the Mariners do not miss Ichiro. They are 15-9 since the aging star was traded to the Yankees. Nor do they seem to be intimated by any pitcher. They beat Jered Weaver of the Angels, handing him his second loss of the season. Soon after that they beat Fernando Rodney, a closer with a 0.82 era. They have also been rallying with late inning victories. And of course Felix had a perfect game.
Fans, perhaps tired of losing, saw the team flounder early with no offense, grew disenchanted with a team making out after out with an accidental hit now and then. But of late the record says they are good, hard to believe I know. I still can not believe the numbers.
And here is the interesting stat. If over the next 41 games they continue to play at the same .618 pace, they will finish the season at 82-82. That would be a positive end to the season, something to build on for 2013.
The Mariners still have something to play for. A goal within reach, a chance to be a .500 club. That is worth shooting for.