Mariners Analysis

Friday, September 08, 2006

Exceeding expectations?

After the team completed its 11 game losing streak on the road, it looked like the wheels were about to fall off. I thought 90 losses was a given, and really fearing September as a fan. We know Hargrove's teams don't finish well.

Since then, the team has gone 10-5. Despite a brutal schedule, the team has taken series from the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels and Tigers. That's pretty impressive.

Sure Boston is falling apart, and the Tigers have cooled off big time, but for a team like the Mariners with little to play for, it is still impressive.

Tonight the M's take on a team that also has little to play for- the Rangers. What happens when two teams play and have nothing to play for? With the kids back in school and the Seahawks ready to start the season, it would not be a shock to see interest in the team reach almost zero.

The biggest goal the Mariners have this month is to find out if anyone in the organization can be a starting pitcher next spring. With only Felix and Washburn in the rotation, it's hard to see the M's getting 3 starters on the market. Someone has to show a glimpse of being ready to compete next spring.

The wild card in all this is Hargrove. Will he play the kids, or will he try to keep his job and keep running the same tired veterans out there? Time to sit Beltre for a few games? How about abandoning the idea of giving Willie playing time on a regular basis? Can Snelling play for a whole series? So many questions.

Since the losing streak, this team is playing surprising (amazingly??) well. Let's see if the team can continue to avoid the losses that seemed so predictable just a few weeks ago.