Mariners Finish (Almost) Successful Season

The Mariners continued their playoff push to the final day of the season before getting eliminated by an Oakland A’s victory on Sunday afternoon.

Seattle finished the year with a record of 87-75 – a huge improvement of 16 wins from last year’s 71-91 mark, and a substantially better record than anyone in the local media predicted. They missed the playoffs by one game (or two games, depending on how you look at it. One game out of a tiebreaker).

They get extra credit for keeping the pressure on Oakland all weekend. In Friday’s post (scroll down) I was linking to Mariners season wrap-ups since the national media thought they were toast. It turns out that they had one last push in ’em.

So what comes next for Seattle? A break of sorts, to watch the MLB playoffs. But the front office will immediately start working to try to improve key spots and build on the strong 2014 season. Obviously, they need to improve the offense – designated hitter is a glaring hole; you can bet that we’ll be hearing all winter about how the Mariners are looking for a right-handed bat. There isn’t much on the free agent market so they may have to try the trade route instead (here is a preliminary list of expected free agents; Victor Martinez is the big fish but I keep hearing Detroit will make every effort to keep him).

The MLB playoffs start on Tuesday, with the one-game American League wild card at 5:00 (Pacific). That will be Oakland at Kansas City – the match-up is Jon Lester vs. James Shields.

On Wednesday the National League wild card game (also at 5:00 Pacific) will be San Francisco at Pittsburgh, with Madison Bumgarner facing Edinson Volquez.

The AL Division Series starts on Thursday, and the NL on Friday. These are best-of-five: Detroit vs. Baltimore, LA Angels vs. AL wild card winner, St. Louis vs. LA Dodgers, Washington vs NL wild card winner.

Links:

We’ll be back with a new post on Wednesday. On Thursday – after the wild card games are done – we’ll have the annual and always fun Ex-Rainiers In The Playoffs post.

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