The Mariners have almost survived the rash of injuries to their pitching staff. With a long homestand and starters trickling back from the disabled list, the Mariners can finally crawl back into winning baseball.
The Mariners started an 11-game homestand Wednesday with a 5-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies, their longest homestand of the season. James Paxton returned from his stint on the disabled list to hold the Rockies to three hits on 5.1 innings, striking out six. If he wasn’t on a strict pitch count, he might have continued to blank Colorado for the entire game.
With fellow starter Felix Hernandez reportedly on track to begin a rehab assignment for the Tacoma Rainiers on June 6th, and the Mariners playing their best baseball of the season, winning five of six games headed into their Saturday night game against the Tampa Bay Rays, they appear to be headed out of the woods, or at least into a clearing.
Of course, the Mariners lost shortstop Jean Segura to a high ankle sprain during their 6-3 loss to Colorado on Thursday. In terms of pain scale, that injury is above a five, both for Segura himself and the Mariners, who will miss the second-leading hitter in the American League by batting average.
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However, the with Paxton back and picking up where he left off, and The King himself possibly returning to the rotation this later this month, maybe, just maybe, the Mariners are poised to make the run we know they’re capable of.
The Houston Astros are running away with the division. At 40-16, they lead the LA Angels by 13 games, and Seattle by 14 games.
At 26-30 heading into their second game at home against the Rays, Seattle’s season isn’t over yet. The hole they dug for themselves early this season will be difficult to overcome, but there are a solid four more months in the season left.
Scott Servais‘ club will have to play high-level baseball the rest of the way, but if Pax and Hernandez can anchor the rotation, and on-the-mend outfielder Mitch Haniger can help make up for Segura’s injury, they have a chance. Don’t give up yet.