In my previous blog 7/11 I suggested the Mariners goal the second half of the season should be to pass the Disneyland Angels and finish third in the AL West. In closing out the first half of the season at the all-star break the Mariners took three big steps, sweeping a three game series from the Angels, 8-3, 6-0, and 4-3. At the break Seattle is 43-52, two games back of the Angels. This is their pennant race, and the sweep get them within striking distance.
Above is the weeping angel. If the Mariners finish ahead of the Angels, the statue will continue to weep.
This is the first sweep of the season for the Mariners. The last time they swept the Angels was 2006 and the last time in Seattle was 2005. They play the Angels six more times, three in each city.
In the first 13 games of July the Mariners are 8-5, with three of those losses to the Red Sox. They took two of three from Texas; two of three from Cincinnati; and now the sweep of the Angels, so they are hot.
How hot? They have homered in 22 straight games, a team record, (115 on season) and are five away from tying the MLB record of 27 set by Texas. Kyle Seager in July is hitting .458. Justin Smoak is batting .386 with 2 homers and 9 rbis (22 on the season). Raul ‘Babe Ruth” Ibanez .367, 5 homers, 11 rbis and Kendrys Morales .300, 5 homers, 12 rbis. Michael Saunders is getting hot as his .297 average for July, 2 homers, 9 rbis indicates.
As for the Mariner kids, Brad Miller .260 in July, .246 for season. Zunino .233, .230 on season and Nick Franklin .195, .268 on season. Miller is improving his average, Zunino is steady, and only Franklin is in a bit of funk.
The Mariners are playing well, scoring runs, hitting homers, but guess what? Sunday was their last game until Friday when they begin a three game series in Houston to play those pesky Astros. Then three at home with Cleveland and four with the Twins. The question is will their baseball muscles atrophy over the next four days? The second half of the season will tell its own story and we shall see how it unfolds beginning Friday.