Saturday, August 20, 2022

Red-hot Mariners extend winning streak to nine games, move back into tie for third wild-card spot

Red-hot Mariners extend winning streak to nine games, move back into tie for third wild-card spot

Seattle is 17-3 in their last 20 games

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Another day, another win for the red-hot Seattle Mariners. The Mariners held off the Washington Nationals in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Nationals Park (SEA 6, WAS 4), extending their winning streak to nine games. It is tied for the fourth longest winning streak in franchise history, and the win improved Seattle’s record to 46-42.

Here are the longest winning streaks in Mariners history:

  1. 15 games: May 23 to June 8, 2001
  2. 10 games: April 8-17, 2002
  3. 10 games: Sept. 12-21, 1996
  4. 9 games: May 27 to June 5, 2003
  5. 9 games: April 19-28, 2001
  6. 9 games and counting: July 2 to present

Juan Soto put a scare into the Mariners with a ninth-inning three-run homer Wednesday afternoon and forced them to use closer Paul Sewald, which was less than ideal in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Otherwise, Seattle received six strong innings from Chris Flexen and homers from Adam Frazier, Cal Raleigh, Eugenio Suárez, and Jesse Winker.

Following their most recent loss on July 1, the Mariners were five games behind the third and final American League wild-card spot with five teams ahead of them in the standings. The nine-game winning streak has moved Seattle back into a tie with the Blue Jays for the third wild-card spot. Toronto is fading hard enough that they fired manager Charlie Montoyo earlier on Wednesday.

(The Blue Jays and Mariners were also tied for the third wild-card spot Monday. The Mariners were rained out Tuesday while the Blue Jays won, giving Toronto a half-game lead for the day.)

It should be noted the Mariners played the entire nine-game winning streak with a 25-man roster. They had to play a man short because of the suspensions stemming from their brawl with the Angels on June 27. Seattle went 10-1 in their last 11 games while shorthanded: 6-0 without Winker, 3-1 without JP Crawford, and 1-0 without Julio Rodríguez. The suspensions have all been served and the Mariners will have a full 26-man roster for the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

The Mariners have not been to the postseason since Ichiro’s rookie season in 2001. It is baseball’s longest postseason drought by a decade. According to FanGraphs, the nine-game winning streak has improved Seattle’s postseason odds from 11.0 percent to 48.1 percent.

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