Seattle Mariners Playoff Chances: A Slim Hope Remains


The Seattle Mariners still have a shot at the 2014 Major League Baseball playoffs. Seriously.

Optimism is a funny thing in sports. A feeling of optimism is what keeps us interested as fans, but it can also lead to utter disappointment when our beloved team lets us down.

With that in mind, let us suggest that fans of the Mariners should approach today with cautious optimism. Hope for the best, but allow for the distinct possibility that playoff dreams could end today.

Two games left. The scenarios get simpler, but the challenges remains. At this point, there isn’t much to discuss in terms of combinations.

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The Mariners have to win the last two games. At the same time, the Oakland A’s have to lose their final two contests.

There, you are caught up. At this point, there aren’t any other combinations that will get the Mariners into the postseason. The Kansas City Royals are in, as are the Detroit Tigers. The Los Angeles Angels wrapped up the division long ago and the Baltimore Orioles will represent the American League East.

So, should fans feel good about the M’s chances? Well…

On paper, the Mariners will be putting their best foot forward. James Paxton goes tonight. Felix Hernandez goes tomorrow. The Mariners have not been great at home and they are still facing the mighty Angels, but pitching has been the strength of the Mariners all season.

If the M’s were six games out with six to go, it would probably be time to focus our full attention on football. However, two games is not a crazy deficit. If only the Mariners could control their own destiny.

Think about it (but don’t think too hard, lest you get overly excited). If the Mariners win today and the A’s lose, we will be talking about one game. Just one!

So, saddle up for another bumpy ride, Mariners fans. Root for Paxton to throw strikes, and keep an eye on that A’s/Texas Rangers score. Oh, and it might help if the Mariners could push just a couple runs across the plate. Just sayin’.

Jeff Samardzija goes for the A’s and Derek Holland pitches for the Rangers. Holland has been great in limited action this year (2-0, 1.31 ERA), so maybe the Rangers can play spoiler. Holland beat the Mariners by a score of 1-0 on September 7, so today it may be time to return the favor.

Hope remains. Not a lot, but just enough to get us through one more day.