Seattle Mariners See Their Playoff Hopes Take a Big Hit
The Seattle Mariners lost a heartbreaker in Texas last night as Rougned Odor mashed a walk-off two-run shot off of the M’s new closer Edwin Diaz to give the Rangers an 8-7 win.
It feels like every year the Seattle Mariners contend, they fall off towards the end of the season. Well this season is no different, but they’re saving us from the dramatics. Afterr falling behind Cole Hamels and the Rangers 4-0 by the end of the third, Seattle came back with six unanswered between the fourth and fifth innings last night to take a 6-4 lead, which they held entering the bottom of the seventh.
In that frame, Adrian Beltre and Jonathan Lucroy each singled home a run to tie the game, but Seattle again fought back to re-take the lead on a Robinson Cano sac-fly in the bottom of the eighth. Diaz had come in from the Seattle bullpen to lock this on down in the eighth, hoping to earn a two inning save. He got within one strike of doing just that.
Odor took a pitch below his knee and drove it to the deepest part of the ballpark to give the Rangers the win. The Texas broadcasters said during the celebration on the field, “Just a dagger in the heart of the Seattle Mariners right there.” Too true.
Now Seattle finds themselves four games back of Baltimore for the second wild card spot, with Detroit (1 back), Houston (2), Kansas City (3) New York (3.5) in between them and a playoff spot. Wednesday’s loss proved to hurt even more with Boston and Baltimore losing along with Kansas City while the Tigers, Astros and Yanks all picked up a game. The difference between three teams to climb over and five is monumental this late in the season, no matter what the lead happens to be.
Seattle has also dropped four straight and seven of eight after losing the final two games of their series with the Yankees, three of four to the White Sox and the first two games of their series with Texas. They were able to pad their record with a nice stretch of play against the Angels, A’s, Tigers and Brewers earlier this month, but the second half of August has proved much more difficult.
With the final month of play just around the corner, Seattle will have just six games outside of their division with three at home against AL East leading Toronto from September 19-21 and then three on the road against the Twins from September 23-25. While playing the A’s and Angels could help pad their record, both teams could also play spoilers with rosters set to expand and less film on the new additions readily available. That, and the Mariners have had a tough time against the AL West this year, posting a 23-29 record overall.
With all of this to consider, Tuesday night’s loss looms a bit larger.
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