...If the Orioles win game three, we're two back, but of two different teams (assuming we beat Oakland...always dangersou to assume. :) )...but the problem is that the Yankees and Red Sox don't have much to play for.,..they won't be going hammer and tongs to get a W. They won't be ignoring those games or anything, but I don't expect to see them playing their best.
They REFUSIN' to LOSE
Cracking win by the Mariners in Houston, both with respect to the home series and to the series in general. Astros are -3.5 behind the second spot, behind everybody, and are sunk without a bubble.
Now then, iff the M's go 4-0, then they'll need 2-2 from the Orioles (vs. Tor and @ NYY) while also getting 3-1 from the Tigers (@) Atlanta. Naturallly enough, if the M's botch one game in Orkland, then they'll need 1-3 from the O's and 2-2 from Detroit. All of this would seem more plausible Thursday morning, if we could get our rivals to drop a game for us.
THREE WAY TIE
Interestingly, the M's come out on top in a 3-way car crash at 87 or 88 wins. First the Orioles and Tigers would have to play a play-in/play-in game, and then James Paxton would be in that city early for the play-in game. After K-Pax won that game, the M's could go to any of three division-winner cities for a 5-gamer.
That would leave (I think) Taijuan Walker as the game 1 and 5 starter if you played it as reg season, but the ALDS has two off days, Saturday and Tuesday. There is yet another game off before the ALCS, so a 3-man rotation for the ALDS would be perfectly feasible.
BACK DOOR: If the Jays did mess up their third game against the Orioles again, we'd be -2 behind the Jays (assuming an M's win) and the Jays have to finish the year in Fenway. The most probable scenario is for them to lose two there.
We'll know more tomorrow. But, hey, we're in the last 4-gamer of the year and watching the standings, if only barely. Who'da thunk.
Had been playing like compost the last week. They've lost 8 of 9 in most drubbable fashion:
Sep 28 - Gave up 8 (!) runs in the fourth to go down 8-2 early
Sep 27 - Lost 8-1 to Nolasco, getting doubled on hits 12-6
Sep 26 - Lost 2-1, scraping out only 4 hits, getting their run on a Vogt random solo shot
Sep 25 - Won! vs Tex
Sep 24 - Lost meekly 5-0 to Darvish
Sep 23 - Lost meekly 3-0 to Hamels
Sep 21 - Lost a 6-5 nailbiter to McHugh, using Daniel Mengden (2-8, 5.74)
Sep 20 - Got three-hit by Houston's Musgrove, losing 2-1
Sep 19 - Lost 4-2 on three hits all game to Brad Peacock and bullpen
So their run differential is already south of -100 on the year, they have obviously thrown in the towel, and are in free fall. Their scheduled SP's are:
- Graveman (4.19 ERA in 180 IP ... 5.1 strikeouts)
- Alcantara (5.75 ERA in 20 IP ... 2.2 homers)
- Cotton (3.78 FIP in 25 IP... four pretty good games .. but only 5.8 strikeouts)
- Manea (3.91 ERA, fairly decent SP)
Although their four SP's are high PCL level, it's their offense that is the problem - 93 OPS+ and swinging without much of a purpose.
The MLB site says the O's have to face Stroman in Toronto, and then TBA's in NYY. Hm.
Especially against rivals. I remember the great delight the Giants had when, having been knocked out of the Division title in '82 (?), they went out and knocked out the Dodgers as well with a Joe Morgan HR. That highlight is still shown often. I personally was too bummed to care, but I didn't grow up in San Fran. Or Manhattan.
My immediate concern is today. Love the O's facing Stroman. I wish the Indians were throwing a righty against Detroit. Even the best lefties struggle with that lineup.
Oakland looks demoralized. Nobody left there really have any residual hatred of the Mariners. I like that.
As a huge Dodgers fan until 1995, that Morgan home run was a CRUSHING blow. The guy had bedeviled us when he was in Cincinnati, then he went to the Giants and drove a stake through our hearts.
In '95 the M's were 2 games up going into a 4-game season-ending series vs. the Rangers, and dropped that lead in the last 2 games. Perhaps the reverse happens this year, but my guess is that it winds up like 2014-elimination on Saturday or Sunday.
if Oakland lost that last day of 2014 we would have had a play in. I see it ending in similar fashion this year. We play well enough to mathematicalply be in it all the way up until the end, but it never actually feels like we are playing well, letting so many opportunities go by.
They are trying to impress for next season and they would be setting a good standard in 2017 if they could knock the Os out of the WC. But...Detroit is playing the demoralized Braves. That just ain't good.
They are going to have to fly back to Detroit (both clubs) and play a make-up game on Monday. It is possible that the Mariners won't know their fate until Monday night.
The other thing about that scenario is if that makeup game results in a BAL DET SEA three way tie. Then on that same day Detrout has to play BAL and then us. All in three different cities!
Though the odds of the M's making the playoffs are a little daunting, the recipe is there for some heroics, some twists and turns that could become legendary in Seattle baseball lore if all breaks right. We expect to be disappointed (again), but what if we get some of the best baseball moments of our lives?!