What stands out about how Mariners have stayed in the race this long?
The Mariners will play their 157th game of the 162-game MLB season at 7:10 p.m. Monday night when they open a new series against the Oakland A’s, and just like after Game 1 of this year, they’re still alive.
Seattle is two games back of a playoff spot with just six games to play, and while it’s a tall task to make up that much ground in such a short amount of time, it’s not impossible.
So what stands out about how the Mariners have made it this far? There’s no better person to ask than Mariners play-by-play announcer Dave Sims, who has called M’s games day in and day out all year, and that’s exactly what 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk did Monday morning.
“I think they’re mentally tough, the bullpen’s been ridiculously good, and the timing of hitting and run-scoring,” Sims said, pointing to the fact that the Mariners are among the league leaders in percentage of runs scored in the seventh inning or later.
Sims then identified a couple of hitters who have been big in those late-inning situations for Seattle when asked who his favorite players to watch have been this year.
“J.P. Crawford – I mean, his ability to start hitting the ball the other way, his ability to get 0-2 counts and then wind up with an 11-pitch at-bat or 12-pitch at-bat,” he said. “And then I would say Ty France because when he’s been healthy, he’s fearless at the plate. The beauty of him, too, he’s got some pop – right now he’s not a 40-home run guy –but he can take you deep, he darn sure will take you to the gap, and his plate coverage is such that, like the other day, he shot a bullet to right field on a fastball outside and actually it might not have even been a strike (see video below) … I would say those two guys jump out at me from a hitter’s standpoint.”
Sims had plenty more to share during the interview with Salk, including his thoughts on the Mariners’ standout bullpen and an interesting conversation he had with relief ace Paul Sewald. You can listen to the full conversation in the podcast at this link or in the player below beginning about 24 minutes in.