Several pleasant things occurred on Tuesday night:
- Mariners defeat Orcs, check √
- Royals and Jason Vargas get greased 10-3 by crosstown NL rivals, check √
- Rays luxuriate in the Sale-Kimbrel experience, are shut out with 2 hits and 16 strikeouts, check √
- Even Balmer gets chewed by the pesky rodent Angels, check √
And so here is a big, bright, beautiful standings page with the Mariners firmly IN a playoff slot! Ohhh yeaahhhhhh. We had 'em all the way, baby.
Just before those various and sundry nice things happened to us, Mo' Dawg had opined:
I think I might throw Gallardo out of the pen the rest of the year. He was a rock in that role. As far as the WC is concerned, the best thing we have going for us is the fact that all the other teams in the WC hunt are more deeply flawed than we are:
KC is running on Vargas fumes right now (and KC was destroyed in his game Tuesday - Dr. D). Duffy, Hammel and Kennedy are a combined 16-24 this season, although their BP has been lights out. Hosmer, Merrifield and Moustakis have been great all year. They are good but slumpable.
TBR has Archer, Cobb and bupkis in the rotation. They do bring a 4-potent bat lineup, with Morrison, Souza, Dickerson and Longoria. But they play in the dog-eat-dog East. A tough road, late in the season.
Ditto Baltimore. Add the fact that Wade Miley is their #3 and that the legal firm of Schoop & Mancini are leading the offense and you don't tremble when you look at them. Were Machado to go nuts, they would have a better shot, but that is true if you talk about Cruz, Seager or Cano going nuts.
The WC race promises to be, well, wild. The Mariners have holes, but perhaps not as deep as TBR or Balt. KC's pen (natch) and the big three bats make them a tough nut, but they may well watch their chances crumble as the starters wear out the pen.
The M's addition of a big vR bat at 1B gives perhaps gives us a turbo boost opportunity. Valencia has been beating up LHP all year. It is his calling card. But he's sub-.700 vs. RHP. tough to get that variety production out of 1B. Now we have an .850+ bat to fill that role.
That'll do for us too. Well, no it won't; since when can you shut Dr. D up. We can all list things we don't like about this Mariners team, and by "things" we start with our rotation. Outside Zeus. Zeus is ours and the other Wild Card teams can't have him.
4 Marco, 5 Erasmo Ramirez and 3 Ariel Miranda -- my scores for them -- are coming off dubious starts (stretches) but this is nominally Dr. D's blog and he gets to offer this: those three young pitchers have talent.
2 King Felix' arm hurts, as most pitchers' do in August, but we've got a goal. Which is to get him going in time for the --- > Playoffs! Baby!
Baltimore has a -50 run differential. Kansas City has a -21 run differential. Tampa has merely a +2 run differential. Hey, did you know the Yankee$ have only a +15 run differential? The M's RD isn't super great but that doesn't count, 'cause I like the Mariners.
Okay. So we got 48 games left and everybody's back to even steven. Let's play some baseball.