Tonight the Mariners begin a four-game series in Oakland against the worst team they’ll face in their 28 remaining games.
How important are the Athletics to the Mariners final 2009 record? Hugely – the two teams play seven times between now and the end of the year.
Sitting on 70 wins, it’s obvious the Mariners best chance to take five or six games in the next four weeks is from Oakland (59-74)
Look at the rest of Seattle’s final games and they play Texas six times, the Angels three, the White Sox three, the Yankees three, the Rays twice and the Blue Jays three times.
Figure it this way. If the Mariners win less than half their 21 games against the field – say, 10 games, and take five from Oakland, they’d finish 85-77.
From a 61-101 mark a year ago, that would be an amazing improvement – especially given the players they’ve used this season.
How extradordinary? Remember last Septemer, how the worst-team-in-baseball derby came down to the final days between the Mariners, Nationals and Padres?
Today, the Mariners are still technically alive in the wild card derby – and the Nationals (46-88) and Padres (59-76) remain among the worst teams in the game.
The Mariners have tried to treat every opponent and each series the same all season, and will again in this one.
For fans, however, the next four games may be the key to where Seattle’s final record stands.