Mariners Insider

The sprint toward .500 starts tonight

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Aug. 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm with 4 Comments »
August 31, 2012 3:32 pm

The Seattle Mariners are assured of winning records in July (15-11) and August (15-11), and tonight begin a 30-game sprint toward a goal they’ve reached twice in the last eight seasons – an above .500 record.

Now 64-68, the Mariners open a nine-game home stand against the Angels (69-62), Red Sox (62-70) and Athletics (73-57).  How they do will go a long way toward determining how they finish – September is not a kind month.

Down the stretch, the Mariners face Texas six times, the Angels and Athletics again, Toronto and Baltimore.

Seattle will reinforce its roster starting tomorrow, with players like Casper Wells and Mike Carp due back, along with pitchers like Erasmo Ramirez and Shawn Kelley, depending upon Kelley’s health.

A winning season in manager Eric Wedge’s second year would go a long way toward validating his and general manager Jack Zduriencik’s approach, flaws and all. If they can win with below-expectation seasons from nearly every hitter on the roster, they might harbor dreams of contention by adding a player or two and getting more from their own.

It’s a reminder why those in baseball believe in finishing strong. Had Seattle opened 2012 with consecutive winning months, then faded in July, August and September, it would have been difiicult to construct positives.

If the Mariners can finish above .500 this year – albeit in fourth place again – they’ll have something concrete upon which to built their hopes for 2013.

Here’s tonight’s lineup vs. the Angels:

Dustin Ackley       2B
Franklin Gutierrez      CF
Kyle Seager)         3B
John Jaso         DH
Jesus Montero            C
Michael Saunders    RF
Justin Smoak        1B
Trayvon Robinson     LF
Brendan Ryan            SS
Kevin Millwood          RHP

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. I’ve seen the last month poo-pooed elsewhere as a time when games between non-playoff contending teams don’t matter, but I think for young teams it sets a tone for the following year. So, I’d like to see them finish strong.

    What’s up with Kelley’s health, Larry?

  2. Larry Larue says:

    time – kelley’s elbow seems fine. he played catch today, will apparently pitch an inning tomorrow. if he’s OK, he’ll be back up in seattle next week.

  3. Thanks, Larry–didn’t know he had elbow problems. He needs to establish himself as someone who can pitch reasonably well and stay healthy next year. Likable guy–would love to see him improve a notch and play for several more years at the top level. It’s tougher for righties than lefties.

  4. timeout says:

    And…after last night…hopefully they aren’t sprinting backwards against tougher competition the rest of the way. Millwood has had some trouble locating his pitches the last couple of outings. He can’t afford that.

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