Against all odds, the Seattle Mariners picked up yet another victory on Wednesday night against the Oakland Athletics.
The final score was once again close, as it has been the case all season in most of Seattle’s victories: 4-2.
Tony Kemp hit a home run in the top of the sixth that put the A’s on the board.
Kelenic With The Crucial Double
However, the best was yet to come: Jarred Kelenic, Seattle’s uber-prospect who started his MLB tenure with unfathomable struggles, roped a gapper into right-center field that almost left the yard.
— MLB (@MLB) September 30, 2021
That lead was erased in the next inning, when Seth Brown’s solo shot tied the scoreboard yet again.
France, with a sac fly, once again broke the tie in the seventh, and Abraham Toro, the player who came over from the Houston Astros in the controversial Kendall Graveman transaction, left the yard to add a very important insurance run.
The 4-2 victory was enough for the Mariners to sweep the A’s and leave them out of the race for a Wild Card spot.
Seattle, who has won its last four games and is 9-1 in its last 10 contests, is perhaps the hottest team in baseball right now.
The 89-70 Mariners, against all odds, are fighting for a playoff spot, and are very close to pulling off the miracle.
The New York Yankees lead the American League Wild Card standings with a 90-68 mark, closely followed by the Boston Red Sox with a 89-69 record, one game behind.
The Mariners are just half-a-game behind the Red Sox: they can almost smell the postseason, but there is still much work to do.
The Toronto Blue Jays (88-70, a game behind Boston and half-a-game behind Seattle) is also in the mix with the series finale against the Yankees scheduled for Thursday.
How Are They Doing It?
It’s admirable that a team that is 21st in total offense (4.3 runs per game) and 16th in pitching (4.6 runs allowed) is so close to occupying a spot in the playoffs.
Perhaps more impressive is the fact that the Mariners can leave the Red Sox, Yankees or Blue Jays without a spot in October with a -48 run differential.
Either way, Seattle is playing superb baseball right now, with Haniger, France, and Kelenic leading the charge and the seasoned Kyle Seager contributing, too.
Not only are the Mariners close to the Wild Card positions: they have a chance at the division, too.
Seattle has been playing such great baseball and chasing a Wild Card spot that people are forgetting what they are doing in their own division. They have literally closed the gap to 3 1/2 games behind Houston. Remarkable. #MLB
— Mike Lindsley (@MikeLsports) September 30, 2021
It’s a very far-fetched scenario at this point, as the 92-66 Houston Astros will take the AL West division with their next win or the next Mariners loss.
It means that, in order to force a tie at the top of the West, Seattle can’t lose anymore and Houston can’t win.
In that case, they would go to a one-game playoff.
The Mariners are very close to sneaking into the postseason, and fans are loving it.NEXT: Mariners Refuse To Give Up And Are A Firm Playoff Candidate