The Seattle Mariners had looked good in the Wild Card standings coming into the weekend, but two-straight losses to the Toronto Blue Jays have hurt the team a bit. If the Mariners had been able to sweep this series against the Blue Jays, they would currently be tied for the second American League Wild Card spot with the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays. That news might make the 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday (June 11) sting just a little bit more.
Josh Donaldson (pictured) was the leader for the Blue Jays on Sunday, going three-for-four at the plate with a home run and three RBIs. He ended up being a one-man wrecking crew for the Blue Jays, helping his team pull ahead of the Mariners in the updated MLB standings. So, not only did the Mariners blow a shot at moving into a share for one of the Wild Card spots, but they allowed another team to pass them in the overall standings.
There is still a lot of time for the Seattle Mariners to bounce back, as they are now just 64 games into a 162-game season, but it would have helped build a lot of momentum if the team could have started this upcoming road trip with a nice winning streak under their belts. Now there is a lot of work to do and the Mariners have to hope that some of the other teams in the battle for the two American League Wild Card spots start losing games.
.@Mariners drop finale of homestand to Blue Jays, 4-0.Updated American League Wild Card Standings
Postgame show ➡️ https://t.co/cPPzK0hKQ1
— 710 ESPN Seattle (@710ESPNSeattle) June 11, 2017
1. Boston Red Sox (34-27)2. Cleveland Indians (32-29)2. Tampa Bay Rays (34-32)
Baltimore Orioles (31-30)Los Angeles Angels (33-33)Toronto Blue Jays (31-32)Seattle Mariners (31-33)Detroit Tigers (29-32)Texas Rangers (29-32)
The Seattle Mariners are officially two games behind the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays in the latest Wild Card standings. It's not a terrible place to be when the Mariners are also two games below 0.500 with their record on the season. It is typically assumed that a team needs to win around 88-to-90 games to make the postseason, with the summer months beginning to show the separation between the contenders and the teams looking to trade away veterans.
If the Mariners are going to win 88 games this season, then the team would need to go 57-41 the rest of the way. To get to 90 wins, the Mariners would need to go 59-39 to close out the season. Can the starting rotation get healthy enough to help the team start putting together a few impressive winnings streaks? Will the offense find a way to have consistency with runners in scoring position every night? Those are two very important questions for this roster.
J.A. Happ throws six shutout innings to lead @BlueJays to 4-0 victory over @Mariners. https://t.co/8XTV2D8zE7 pic.twitter.com/ZZCizLQT9uOn Monday (June 12), the Seattle Mariners open up a seven-game road trip against the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers. Seattle will be on the field for Game 1-of-4 against the Twins at 5:10 p.m. PT on Monday night. The series in Texas will begin on Friday (June 16), with a 5:05 p.m. PT start time. Putting up a strong showing in those seven games is important for the team, especially since there isn't another day off in the Mariners' schedule until June 26. This is where the starting pitching needs to go deep into games and save the bullpen.
— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) June 11, 2017
The team is starting to get healthy again, with the return of James Paxton and Mitch Haniger already taking place. Felix Hernandez and Jean Segura are looking good in their rehab work, so they could also be returning to the 25-man roster very soon. Until then, the Mariners need to string together some good games at the plate and help preserve the bullpen for what could be a grueling summer. Despite all the injuries, slumps, and frustrating losses, fans should at least be happy that the Seattle Mariners are only two games back in the Wild Card standings.
[Featured Image by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images]