The Seattle Mariners just cannot seem to be winners in front of the home faithful crowds. With a win over the Oakland Athletics today, the Mariners could have moved to 25-25 at home in 2014. A win would have put them to .500 at home for the first time since July 7 when they were 22-22, and given them the opportunity to move to above .500 at home for the first time since April 11, when the Mariners held a 2-1 record at Safeco Field.
Despite a solid outing by starting pitcher Chris Young, Seattle was downed 4-1 in a battle with baseball’s best team, and AL West rival.
Sonny Gray was his usual self today in 2014 for the Athletics. The 24-year old was on point, going 7.2 innings, allowing only a single unearned run, while striking out five. His strong outing prevented the Mariners from sweeping Oakland in a series that was by and large a pitcher’s duel.
On Friday night, the Mariners crept closer to .500 at home after Felix Hernandez‘s gem slightly outshone Jeff Samardzija‘s, with Seattle winning 3-2. The Mariners’ short term goal is to get to above .500 at home, with the long term goal of course to make playoffs.
Seattle didn’t do themselves any favors today against the first place team in their division. Coupled with Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals wins today, the Mariners fall another game back in their race for the division and a wild card berth. They are now a full seven games back of Oakland in the division, and 3.5 back of the Angels for the first wild card spot. Meanwhile, the Royals gained a game on the Mariners and are now only 2.5 games behind them for the final wild card spot.
The Mariners offense looked flat today, managing to not have an extra base hit the entire game. They left nine base runners stranded, further fuelling the idea that management needs to trade for a middle-of-the-lineup hitter than can ignite some rallies late in games and keep the team competitive.