Now ten days into August and eight games into a month I said we should go 16-11, I figured we would look at where we are in my prediction.
In the first two games of the month, the M’s split them with Rangers but ended up taking the series. In the first game of August, the offense built a comfortable 5-0 lead by the end of third inning and held off the Rangers rally. The M’s offense must have used all their magic in that game, because they only could muster one run against Cashner the next day.
A split of the 4 game, rain soaked, series with the Royals was very much needed to hold them off the 2nd Wild Card spot in the AL. It was also, probably the best result we could expect from our tattered pitching staff. The ace Paxton continued his dominance and 7th win in a row but none of the other pitchers could make it past the 5th inning. This is not unusual for the 2017 Mariners, as Ryan Divish noted in his article this week, “of the 113 starts made this season, only 21 times has a pitcher gone seven innings or more.” He went on to says that the Mariners have had 43 starts of five innings or less. I only see this trend continuing with the way our staff is living on the DL and bringing AAAA (yes that is on purpose) pitchers.
Our bullpen has performed admirable in all this but they will have to perform exceptionally if we expect to make the playoffs. On the season, they have thrown the 6th innings in the MLB and have the 9th lowest ERA and 11th lowest BAA.
Anyways, back to the month of August, the Mariners took the next two games from A’s thanks to the offense. This puts them at 5 and 3 on the month and on track to meet the 16-11 I believe they should go in the month. Tonight, they start a 7 game home series vs two teams fighting for our current playoff spot. With Paxton the mound tonight, I feel good that they can move to 6-3 and put up a fight against some bad starters that the Angels are going to walk out there.
The Mariners did perform a trade post deadline and picked up Yonder Alonso for Boog Powell. This move allows a platoon rotation at first with Alonso batting .281 vs RHP in 2017. Valencia is batting .309 vs LHP in 2017. This was the expectation with Vogelbach but he was unable to perform. Both Alonso and Valencia will be free agents at the end of the year and I expect this to act as an extended try out.
Other news to note, Felix will be on the DL for quite some time, Haniger should be making his way back off the DL soon, Phelps will be on the DL for a little, and Martin’s HR vs the A’s made me very happy.
Photo from Q13 Fox News