The Seattle Mariners have the longest playoff drought in major professional men’s North American sports, as we all know by now. It was 2001 when the Mariners last made the postseason. They have been in good or even great shape for the entire second half, sitting in a wild-card position.
They really aren’t making things easy right now, though.
With Sunday’s loss, the Mariners have now dropped seven of their last 10 games. This all came against inferior competition, too. They lost three of four to the Angels, two of three to the A’s and two of three to the Royals. They have also lost Julio Rodríguez to a back injury.
Sunday’s loss to the Royals was an all-timer, too. The Mariners had an 11-2 lead in the middle of the sixth inning. That’s not far off from seeing a position player taking the hill for the opposition.
Instead, the Mariners coughed up 11 runs in a single inning to the Royals. ELEVEN! The moving picture footage:
The inning actually started with a strikeout. Then it went walk, home run, walk, walk, single, fielder’s choice (yes, there were two outs with only three runs in to this point), double, walk, walk, infield single, single, double, single with a runner being thrown out on the bases. That’s 11 runs on only six hits.
That is a total meltdown by Seattle. There’s really no way around it.
Coughing up 11 runs in one inning ties a franchise record and the last time it happened was May 28, 2000, according to Shannon Drayer.
If there is anything resembling good news for the Mariners here, it would be that the Orioles lost, so the Mariners maintain a four-game lead for the third AL wild card. Further, the Mariners have a weak remaining schedule. Every remaining game is in Seattle, with the Mariners getting the Rangers for three, the A’s for three and the Tigers for four.
It would be awfully tough to blow a four-game lead with 10 games remaining, especially with that favorable schedule, but it’s pretty tough to blow an 11-2 lead in one inning and the Mariners just pulled that off.