Yesterday something amazing happened: the Seattle Mariners won. They avoided a would-be-season-ending four-game sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays by exploding for seven runs in support of a bullpen that had to go it without a starter for a day. And so their playoff hopes live another day.
Tom Wilhelmsen started things off by allowing two runs while recording four outs. Lucas Luetge and Dominic Leone had nice outings, but Joe Beimel allowed two more runs to make it a 4-4 game. Kyle Seager singled in the first run in the fourth, then scored along with Kendrys Morales on a Logan Morrison three-run shot. By the halfway point this game already qualified as a rollercoaster.
Seattle retook the lead for good in the sixth, when LoMo’s second homer of the game was followed by a solo shot from Mike Zunino. Logan Morrison is suddenly a decent major league first baseman. Who knew! Seager singled in a run in the seventh for some insurance, and Fernando Rodney survived a leadoff Kevin Pillar homer in the ninth to secure another classic one-run save. And for the first time since the playoffs seemed reasonable, the Mariners had won.
Oakland lost and Kansas City won, which means the wild card game is currently slated to be played in Missouri. It also means that the Mariners have a shot at playing that game in Kansas City, depending on two things. One, the A’s can’t win any more games. And two, the M’s can’t lose again. If these things happen, the Mariners go to the playoffs. It’s that easy. The teams ahead of them can’t win, and they can’t lose. It’s been getting to this point for a while, and now we’re here. It really does come down to the last series of the year.
Even if the Mariners are eliminated tonight, we really should do our best not to forget how amazing this all is. The Mariners didn’t seem ready to seriously contend this year, but that’s exactly what they’ve done. There are three games left in the regular season, and while the M’s don’t have non-terrible playoffs odds, they’re one of very few teams left who still have some playoff odds.
Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Jered Weaver. Scott Kazmir vs. Nick Tepesch. Jeremy Guthrie vs. Hector Noesi. The M’s play at 7:05 in Safeco Field and will be rooting hard for the Texas Rangers and Hector Freaking Noesi today. It all comes down to this, again. Go M’s! Go Rangers! Go White Sox! Playoffs!!!