Morosi: The most likely outcome for Mariners over final 10 games

Sep 22, 2023, 2:11 PM | Updated: 8:19 pm

Seattle Mariners...

Andres Munoz and Cal Raleigh of the Seattle Mariners after a win on Sept. 7, 2023. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners finally begin their final 10 games of the season in Texas Friday night, kicking off a pivotal stretch that will decide their playoff fate.

Drayer: What to know as Seattle Mariners enter final stretch in playoff chase

The Mariners enter the series with the Rangers at 84-68. They’re tied with the Rangers in wins and losses and are a half game behind the Houston Astros in the American League West and a half game behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the No. 2 AL wild card spot. But due to Texas currently owning the tiebreaker, Seattle technically enters Friday on the outside of the playoffs looking in.

Dipoto: What’s critical for Seattle Mariners over remaining 10 games

“In terms of just the sheer chaos effect, you’ve got two great shows that are still going on. One is the American League West and one is the National League wild card … In both the NL wild card and the AL West, you’ve got the very real chance of not making it,” MLB Network insider Jon Morosi said to Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday. “That’s going to just add this layer of urgency to everything and  every matchup that you’ve got. It’s just so interesting to see how it unfolds.”

That urgency is especially at the forefront for the Mariners, who only play the Rangers (seven times) and Astros (three times) the rest of the way.

“The one unique thing in where the Mariners are uniquely situated is that they are the only team that truly controls their own destiny in that they only are playing the teams that are chasing the playoff spots with them. It is all in front of them,” Morosi said.

Bob Stelton gave Morosi the three end results for the Mariners and wanted to know what Morosi thinks will happen.

Option A: They win the AL West.

Option B: They make it as a wild card team.

Option C: They miss the playoffs altogether.

So what does Morosi think?

“I think it’s B, if I’m being honest,” he said.

So how many wins do the Mariners need to tally over these final 10 games?

“Six feels right to me. That feels like that’s the magic number,” Morosi said.

If that were to happen, it would the the third year in a row the Mariners have won exactly 90 games.

“They’re entering this weekend with a lot of momentum and you get a day off to rest your bullpen and organize your pitching. You’ve got five really good starters and 10 games to go, which makes the math nice and easy and everyone gets two more starts,” Morosi said. “And let’s just see. I mean, to me, it’s fun because you’re about to find out if you’re good enough. And that’s the beauty of 162 (games). After 162, yes, there are moments in the middle where you could say, ‘Well, if this game happens there, it turns it all around.’ But over the fullness of time over 162, there are no accidents. And if you deserve to get in, you’ll get in.”

Importance of the M’s bullpen

A big strength of the Mariners over these last three seasons has been their bullpen. They will certainly need their key relievers to step up over these final 10 days as they look to secure another playoff berth.

Morosi went in-depth on the importance of the bullpen and managing those arms.

“You want to win this weekend series for a lot of reasons. But the biggest thing is that it allows you to use your bullpen in a little different way,” Morosi said. “If you lose this series and you arrive home on Monday (against the Astros) feeling like you’ve got to make up all this ground, then everything has such urgency with the way that you begin the week and how you utilize your bullpen.”

“At some point in time in the year, baseball becomes a game of getting outs,” Morosi went on to say. “… You’ve got to get the outs. And by that I’m talking about clean innings. And what that allows you to do is your relievers don’t have to throw extra pitches. It’s not just winning the game on Friday, let’s say. It’s, ‘Let’s try to win it 5-1.’ That way you don’t have to use all your best leverage bullpen guys and get them in the game, that way they’re fresher to try to win the game on Saturday. It’s like a relay race. And you cannot have the first leg be so far behind the other people. That’s what this is about. It’s not just winning the game, but win the game efficiently. Keep it so that your pitchers are fresh. It’s really the mentality … You’ve got to use your pitches and your innings correctly … And that’s where you’ve got to bank the wins this weekend so that way you can use your bullpen in a more balanced way as you get towards next weekend.”

Listen to Wyman and Bob’s full conversation with Morosi at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Mariners’ Dipoto: What Julio Rodríguez’s opposite-field homers suggest
• Kurkjian: Castillo and Brash two key arms for Mariners in playoffs
• Kurkjian: Why Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez, J.P. Crawford will get MVP votes
• Drayer: Seattle Mariners find payoff in not trying to do too much
• Salk: Who do Mariners need to step up during intense final stretch?
• Mariners’ J.P. Crawford homers, celebrates by petting dog

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Morosi: The most likely outcome for Mariners over final 10 games