The Seattle Mariners start their final series of the 2018 season tonight. They won’t be in the playoffs, but there are a few things to watch for this weekend.
The Jekyll and Hyde 2018 season has come down to its last series for the Seattle Mariners. While it doesn’t mean anything in terms of playoff implications, it still presents a couple of things to watch for since there won’t be anymore Mariners baseball until at least March 2019.
“The Big Maple” will be slated to start one of the last two home games of the season, either Saturday or Sunday. Something to watch for is if Paxton can show some confidence and resemble like the ace of the staff like he once did earlier this season.
Since his no-hitter in Toronto, it’s been an up and down season for Paxton. He gave up a career-high 23 home runs this season, which is more than his previous two seasons combined. Also, he sits at 199 strikeouts, hitting that 200 K mark would be a big accomplishment.
Edwin Diaz is currently sitting at 56 saves on the year which is the most in franchise history. Unfortunately, he will not be able to break the MLB record of 62 held by Francisco (K-Rod) Rodriguez back in 2008. The Mariners recently have either been winning games by more than three runs or losing games which have prevented Diaz from more save opportunities.
The opportunity to pass Bobby Thigpen for second all-time at 57 (1990) as is the opportunity to be the second pitcher ever to record 60 saves in a season. It’s unlikely that Scott Servais would pitch Diaz in all four games if the opportunity presents itself, but for a team not going into the playoffs, it would give the fans going to the game something to look forward to.
Regardless, Diaz is only 24 years old and has an opportunity to go down as one of if not the best relief pitcher in club history.
Nelson Cruz will be a free agent this winter, his future with the Mariners is unknown. Nellie has come out, as recently as last week, saying he would like to stay with Seattle but no deal has been discussed. A staple in the Mariners offense since the 2015 season, Cruz is currently sitting with 37 home runs and 95 RBI’s. If Cruz could give us a couple “Boomstick Baby’s” and get to 40 and 100 on the season that would be remarkable for the 37-year-old.
Seattle Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto may want to turn the designated hitter duties to players like Robinson Cano or Denard Span, who are both under team control next season. It could be the last time we see Boomstick in a Mariners uniform.
Summer 2018 is over
Since 2001, Mariners fans have been used to this. October comes around, Summer is officially over, Fall is here, the Mariners are not in the playoffs and football is in full swing, oh and basketball is around the corner (Sorry Sonic fans). If you enjoy attending and watching Mariners games you will have to wait until early April to see them again.
Get excited about next season. Even though the team missed out on the playoffs for the 17th straight season, the team still has some exciting players to root for. Maybe Dipoto can find some starting pitching before next year.
This final series is a four-game set against the Texas Rangers. It allows M’s fans to sit back and enjoy some baseball as they look forward to another offseason of “ hey, we will get em next year.” Hang in their M’s fans, your time will come and when it does it will be great!