Tuesday, July 12, 2011

MARINERS: The Beginning of the End?

Think back to 5 days ago. The Mariners were 3 ½ games back for the AL West lead behind the Texas Rangers and were set to take on the LA Angels in a four game series. Hopeful thoughts like “Maybe if we can take 3 out of 4 from Los Angeles and Texas loses 3 out of 4, we can be a half game back” bounced around Mariners fans heads. Aspiration of a 2011 AL West champion banner has been in the back of our minds the last few months.

But all that has come to an abrupt, screeching halt.

The Mariners got swept by the Angels; and to make matters worse, Texas swept the Oakland A’s in a four game series to pull 7 ½ games ahead of the M’s for the AL West lead.

To Continue...

Ouch. Ever since that streak in May when the Mariners pulled to a couple games over .500 and pulled to within ½ game of Texas, the Mariners haven't really improved and have been stuck around the .500 mark and being 2 to 4 games back.

So when the Mariners' punch less lineup manages to accumulate just nine runs and gets run out of the stadium four nights in a row (whether by absolute blowout or an exasperating walk off home run), it plunges the team farther away from .500 and can end playoff chances.

7 ½ games back is a larger gap than you think. If Texas and Los Angeles keep playing the way they’re playing (solid, well rounded baseball), and the Mariners keep playing the way they’re playing (good pitching, no offense baseball), there is absolutely no way the M’s can possibly catch up.

You might say “Hey, I remember 1995 when we were 10 ½ games back but somehow mustered up enough wins to take the AL West title. So Nathan, stop being a negative Ned.” Well, do you see any Ken Griffey Jr.’s, Edgar Martinez’s, or Alex Rodriguez’s around here? Nope. Unless you count Donkey from Shrek to be as unlikeable as A-Rod, there are little relations to the 1995 M’s and the 2011 M’s.

But not ALL hope is lost. There is still a small shimmer of hope. After the All-star game break, the Mariners head back to Seattle to take on Texas in a four game series. This will be the most important series the team has faced all year, as this will be the best chance for the Mariners to pull back to within striking distance of Texas and the Al West lead.

And on a completely unrelated note, this Sunday, July 17, is Mariners beach towel day. Boom. Got to get your beach towel.

So ballin'

Reach Nathan Parsons at nathanparsons98@yahoo.com