The Seattle Mariners needed to do one thing yesterday in order to keep their playoff hopes alive: win. They did that, but now are in the awkward position of having to keep winning without fail, while also knowing that doing so might not be enough.
This all hinges on the Texas Rangers. Can the Rangers, who are the worst team in the American League, hold on to take two in a row from a super-talented Oakland Athletics squad? If the A’s win even one more regular season game, they’ll clinch the last available playoff spot and send the M’s packing. But if they lose, Seattle has the chance to play meaningful games right up to the very end.
Yesterday saw something of a return to form from Hisashi Iwakuma, who pitched 6.1 innings of four-strikeout, no-walk ball. He allowed four hits, two of which were back-to-back solo home runs from Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout in the sixth. Those were the only runs ‘Kuma allowed on the day. He was sharp, and that’s huge. Iwakuma’s in line to start the wild card game, if the Mariners make it there.
Jered Weaver got in on the home run fun too, allowing blasts to Kendrys Morales and Michael Saunders in the second and Dustin Ackley in the fifth. He wasn’t sharp, and the Mariners took advantage. It sure is nice when the Mariners take advantage. Fernando Rodney recorded yet another one of his patented one-run saves, but not before Carson Smith had wrapped up his eight career appearance, which is also his eighth scoreless appearance. Get this kid to the playoffs.
It’s James Paxton vs. C.J. Wilson in Seattle at 6:10 tonight, and I’m going and you’re going and we’re all going to be there to watch this glorious Mariners team play in at least one more important game. Jeff Samardzija and Derek Holland face off in Arlington at 5:05, so Oakland has to get through an ace in order to clinch today. C’mon, everybody. The Mariners in the playoffs. This can happen.