Tonight, the Seattle Mariners can clinch a spot in the postseason for the first time in over two decades. The M’s currently hold the longest postseason-drought in American sports. They are looking to pass that off to the Sacramento Kings, who have the second-longest drought at 16 seasons.
After scuffling on the road trip, the Mariners returned home, got shutout in game one, but preceded to bounce back and take the series, winning the final two. If it wasn’t for Baltimore’s struggles, this situation of poor ball being played before the Texas series by Seattle would be a lot more frightening.
Since Seattle has won the past two, Toronto (who has clinched a spot) and Tampa Bay have both lost two consecutive. The worry was that the M’s were scuffling so much that when they made the postseason, they’d for sure be travelling to Cleveland. As it looks right now, Seattle sits only two games back of Toronto for the #1 wild card position, and a half game ahead of the Rays. Safe to say, Seattle, after making the playoffs, quite possibly tonight, will not slow down throughout the rest of the regular season, and play for home-field in the Wild Card series.
Let’s take a look back at last night’s thrilling, extra-innings win for the M’s.
Marco Gonzales took the ball for Seattle and toed the rubber against Texas Starter Jon Gray. Gonzales, who will most likely not be involved in the wild card series, started off great, and then the wheels fell off in the third.
Man was it nice to see Mitch Haniger do Mitch Haniger things last night. He cranked a 442-foot two-run homer past the ‘Pen in center field in the first. Like stated above, Marco lost control in the top of the third. He gave up three home runs in the inning, giving Texas a 4-2 lead.
Mitch was not done, however. He hit his second, two-run shot of the game in the home third. You know who else it is nice to see perform, especially now? Mr. September himself, Jarred Kelenic. Much like Haniger, Kelenic had two bombs in this one, a two-run blast in the fourth and a solo shot in the sixth.
Texas tied it all up in the eighth, and the two AL West foes headed to extras on a brisk night at T-Mobile Park.
Both teams exchanged runs in the 10th, and then Seattle proved their worth, and won it in the bottom of the 11th on line drives by Luis Torrens (tying it at 9-9) and J.P. Crawford (game winning single).
Seattle can clinch a wild card spot with a win tonight or a Baltimore loss. The Orioles take on the New York Yankees right around 4:00 PM. The city of Seattle may get extremely loud right around the second or third inning of tonight’s game if they see that the O’s fall to the Yanks.
It’s Fan Appreciation Night in Seattle, and M’s fans will appreciate if they can take care of business against one of baseball’s worst-performing teams, the Oakland Athletics. The city of Seattle will get even more loud if Baltimore beats New York, and the M’s win over the A’s tonight.
It’ll be Logan Gilbert for the M’s up against Ken Waldichuk for Oakland. The 25-year-old Gilbert is 3-1 in his last seven starts, striking out 42 compared to just six walks. Waldichuk has given up four or more earned runs in his last three starts.
Here is a look at the updated American League Wild Card standings as of Friday evening:
- Toronto Blue Jays (87-69), +2.0 GB
- Seattle Mariners (85-70), +0.5 GB
- Tampa Bay Rays (85-71), -- GB
- Baltimore Orioles (80-76), 5.0 GB (E# 2)