ESPN’s Jayson Stark says April could be important for Mariners’ chances at success

Apr 5, 2016, 2:40 PM | Updated: 2:40 pm
Jayson Stark on the Mariners: “I think they’re a team that could use a big start, and A...
Jayson Stark on the Mariners: "I think they're a team that could use a big start, and April matters." (AP)

The Seattle Mariners may have seen their nine-year winning streak on opening day end on Monday, but during that streak those Day 1 wins rarely translated into prolonged success in April.

Even with Monday’s defeat, there’s still time for the M’s to put together a strong opening month, and it might be exactly what they need to end a 15-year postseason drought.

O’Neil: Don’t read too much into issues that doomed M’s on opening day

ESPN senior baseball writer Jayson Stark, who will be joining “Brock and Salk” for a weekly segment at 9 a.m. each Tuesday during the baseball season, explained just how important a hot start could end up being for the Mariners by pointing to one of their division rivals.

“I would go back to the Astros last year. Do you think the Astros would have had the season that they had if they hadn’t had the start that they had? I’m gonna vote no,” Stark said. “That was a team that really had no idea how good it was when the it started the season and then played with tremendous confidence for five months, until September almost spoiled all those dreams. I think the Mariners really could fit that category.”

For reference, the Astros finished 86-76 &ndash, good enough to win one of the American League wild-card spots, and went as far as taking eventual World Series champ Kansas City to five games in the ALDS.

The Mariners would gladly take a similar outcome considering they haven’t been to the playoffs since 2001.

“(The Mariners) are a team that hasn’t experienced a lot of success, doesn’t really know exactly what it is, is in a division where Texas and Houston are the clear favorites … I think they’re a team that could use a big start, and April matters,” said Stark. “You can really set the tone for your entire season in April. I could pick off a list of probably 10 teams that need to get off to a good start. Are the Mariners one of them? Absolutely.”

You can hear the entirety of Stark’s segment here.

Brock and Salk podcast

Brent Stecker

Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Brent Stecker

Sweep or not, Astros now know Mariners are coming for them

Sweeps don't get any closer than the Mariners' ALDS loss to the Astros, and there are signs the perennial AL West power knows it has company.
1 month ago
Mariners Cal Raleigh Julio Rodríguez...
Brent Stecker

How did Mariners make it this far? Same reason they could keep going

The same old Mariners are gone, and the reason they made it to the ALDS is the same reason they will have a chance against the Astros.
2 months ago
Mariners Cal Raleigh...
Brent Stecker

The Mariners found the perfect way to finally end the drought

There was only one path for the Mariners to get back to the playoffs, and two products of that path delivered Seattle's clinching victory.
2 months ago
Mariners J.P. Crawford Jarred Kelenic...
Brent Stecker

State of the Mariners: Where things stand with magic number at 2

The Mariners' magic number is down to two. We detail what that means, plus everything you need to know about the playoff race and the team.
2 months ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Where Mariners’ quest for playoff spot stands after collapse in KC

How fans should be feeling about the Mariners' chances of ending their postseason drought in less than two weeks and how they are actually feeling right now are probably two different things.
2 months ago
Mariners Harry Ford...
Brent Stecker

Top Mariners prospect Harry Ford lights up WBC qualifiers

The season for the Modesto Nuts, the Mariners' Single-A affiliate, may have ended over a week ago, but one of the Nuts' best players is continuing to rake.
2 months ago
ESPN’s Jayson Stark says April could be important for Mariners’ chances at success