At the beginning of the 2016 season, a 0-5 record at home made things look bleak for the Seattle Mariners.
Unlike the Seahawks, the franchise has never been particularly lucky on its home turf, and the dismal start of the season prompted the Seattle PI to describe Safeco Field as a “house of horrors.” In those dark opening days, fair-weather fans probably contemplated hopping on the light rail, heading straight to SeaTac and hopping on the first flight out of town.
What a difference a few weeks makes.
Now, who knows what was said during the hastily called mid-April players-only meeting. But whatever it was, it’s working! Right now, the team has the best record in the American League West, which makes them tied with Boston Red Sox in the East and just two wins behind the Chicago White Sox.
Fans have plenty of reasons to be optimistic, including a string of wins the club had on the road. While the Houston Astros stopped the streak in Texas on Sunday, Mariners faithful haven’t seen an unbroken run of wins like that since 2011.
Fortunately, fans got more good news on Monday, when Felix Hernandez became the most winning pitcher in club history. By besting by the Tampa Bay Rays in a true squeaker—final score was 6-5—King Felix passed the legendary Jamie Moyer, and took his total victories from the mound to 146. While few will argue Hernandez is in his prime, his ability to deliver the goods under pressure is encouraging.
On Friday the Mariners will face the Los Angeles Angels at home, and given the great weather the Emerald City has seen so far this spring, it’s a perfect opportunity to catch a game. Another bonus, given the way Seattle has been performing, it should also be a good time for fans to catch a win. With a 13-20 record, the Angeles are currently last in the West, and Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals was the team’s fifth in a row.
As it’s often said, baseball is a game of inches, and there are many miles stretching between now and the playoffs. But if the Mariners keep playing the way they have, we could be in for a great season.