Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Resurgent Seattle Mariners

Arguably this season biggest disappointment has to be the Seattle Mariners. Coming off a 101-loss season (61-101) in 2008, the Mariners went 85-77 in 2009 and entered the 2010 season with high expectations. The free-agent moves made by Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik only added to the high expectations. But as things are in the game of Baseball, often expectations are often unfulfilled. As of today, table setter Chone Figgins is batting .232 with only 32 runs scored and 22 stolen bases, cleanup hitter Milton Bradley is batting .207 with 7 Hrs, 27 RBI and 23 runs scored. These numbers are hardly what the Mariners expected for their investment. Not only that, I doubt anyone in Baseball (including myself) thought that the Seattle Mariners would have a record of 33-44 and be 14 games behind the first place Texas Rangers. But thanks to the team's strength, things are finally looking up for the Mariners.

Thanks to the one-two punch of Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez, the Mariners are currently 10-5 in the last 15 games. In those 15 games, Lee and Hernandez are a combined 6-1 with 6 complete games (Lee is 3-0 in those games and Hernandez is 2-1). In a combined 62.2 innings, Lee and Hernandez have given up a total of 37 hits (6Hrs), 11 runs (10 Earned), 4 Walks and 44K's for an ERA of 1.45 and a WHIP of 0.59. This is what Seattle imagined as their pitching being like when they traded for Cliff Lee in the off-season.

The bats are slowly starting to wake up as well. In those last 15 games the Mariners have scored 52 runs including 7 runs in each of the last two wins against the Yankees. This was the first time this season that the Mariners have scored 7 runs in consecutive games.

Am I saying that here comes the big comeback in the A.L. West? Who knows. Remember in 2002 when the Oakland A's won 20-straight games, causing them to overtake the 1st place Mariners and win the division by 4-games with a 103-59 record? I'm not saying that this year's Seattle Mariners will win 20-straight games, catch the Rangers and win the division. What I am saying is that anything is possible, especially with two studs on the mound pitching in the manner that they are. An interesting question is, can the Mariners right the ship before the trading deadline? Cliff Lee is drawing a tremendous amount of interest throughout Baseball. Guess time will tell.


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