.... have now hit life support. The standings, with 36 games left:
|WC "Contender"||W-L||GB/shticky remark|
... it adds a bit to our chances that the Astros are 77-50, just one up on the A's, and could theoretically! drop back into the pack with some bad play.
It's not that 4-5 games are too many to overcome with 36 games left; it's that the A's look less and less likely to throw us the losing streak that we need for them to have. Scoreboard-watching for M's fans are comprised totally of watching A's scores and waiting for a 6-game losing streak, but they've played out of their minds for two months and there's only one left.
At Baseball Prospectus they still give the Mariners a 9.5% chance at the playoffs, or 4.4% of winning the WC playoff game and reaching the next round. I'm sure if you went through the last five years of division and WC races there'd be several examples of people striking from where the M's are to reach the playoffs, but poor harassed Dr. D doesn't have time to thumb through his favorite almanac at the moment.
In the meantime, check those A's scores. Who knows when the dice will start landing our way.
In the meantime, here's a read from Brent Stecker on Felix Hernandez. He quotes Servais,
“I noticed something a little bit different mechanically,” the Mariners manager told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk on Wednesday morning. “From my vantage point, (it) seemed like he was getting down the mound better. He had more extension and the ball was going where he wanted it to go. We hadn’t seen that in a while – certainly (with) his fastball.”
His last outing was 6 ip 5 h 4 r 4 er 2 bb 6 k, a Shandler "quality start" if not a traditional QS.
In terms of body language and "tells," this fits in perfectly with Dr. D's hope that Felix would shake his head clear of his comfort zone, of his "King's Court" mentality, and regain a fear of failure. If Felix gains a bit more bite on his pitches, and best of all goes for more of a Shaun Marcum edge -- throwing any pitch at any time -- I could see him pitching his best over his last half-dozen starts.
The ballclub could use it.