Sunday, June 19, 2011
Wait... are the Mariners GOOD?
Did you notice what happened today?
The Mariners beat the Phillies in a series.
They took 2 out of 3 from the best team in the baseball.
The won a series against a team that everyone (including yours truly) think are going to win the whole damn thing.
Yeah, every team has a bad series against a bad team.
But guess what?
The Mariners are tied with the first place Rangers in the loss column.
Did you know that?
And do you know what tomorrow is? Late June.
The Mariners are 44% of the way through their season. If the Mariners hang around in July and the Rangers have their usual bad August (even last year they had a losing August) then the Mariners could actually be contenders.
How the hell did THAT happen?
Glance at their Baseball Reference page.
Ichiro is having a mediocre season. Chone Figgins and Franklin Gutierrez have stats that are embarrassing.
Milton Bradley had 115 plate appearances.
Sure Justin Smoak has some pop and someone named Greg Halman has been hitting.
Felix Hernandez is having an OK year, but not a Cy Young type season. Brandon League went through a stretch where he looked like he should be scrapped.
There is nothing about this team that strikes me as above average.
Yet here we are. They are contending.
Sure it has a lot to do with the fact that being 3 games above .500 is good enough for first place. And maybe people like me overrated the Angels and others overrated the A's.
And maybe the Mariners are following true to a recent pattern.
2007 they had an unexpected solid season when they won 88 games.
That was followed in 2008 with a 101 loss season.
Then in 2009 they had an unexpected 85 win season.
And last year? Another disastrous 101 loss year.
So maybe it makes sense.
I'll need whatever I can get to make sense of the Mariners contending.