What in the sam hell has gotten into our beloved Mariners?

8 game win streak

So, we have a winner in town, and it’s not even football season yet. Our team has won 10 of their last 11 overall and eight in a row at home.

The Seattle Mariners are having one of the best second halves in baseball, and it all started (pretty much) when they traded long time RF Ichiro.

Just like after the 2000 season, when we found ourselves without the big three of Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr., and Alex Rodriguez.

Sweet Lou Pinella fielded a team of mostly nobody’s, washed up former Mariners, and some veteran holdovers, and we took the baseball world by storm.

Is that the same thing that is happening now?

Could it be that there was truth in the matter with Eric Wedge being able to field “his” team, and not have to worry about plugging in the struggling and overpaid Ichiro into the lineup to make him happy.

One lineup spot cannot make this big of a difference can it?

Maybe it wasn’t just his spot in the lineup, maybe he was just the outcast of the clubhouse that was killing the camaraderie of the team. Taking the fun out of being major league ballplayers.

Maybe the younger guys were too busy walking on egg shells around the clubhouse, as if not to anger the future hall of famer who was having his worst year since coming over to the states.

It could be a collection of all of those mentioned above, and then some.

But here is what I do know…

Eric Wedge

Eric Wedge is finally finding his comfort zone in Seattle.

Pitching is dominant

I’m not the numbers guy here at NWSB, if you want all of those, go to Danny Ferguson’s posts.

But I can tell you that the 1-2 punch of Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas has been the best in baseball since the All-Star break.

They have a combined 2 losses between the two of them during that span.

Plus, now that the M’s have finally given up on Hector Noesi for the year, we aren’t having to worry about that certain loss every five days.

Even the rookie Hisashi Iwakuma, and Blake Beavan have been pretty damn good.

Iwakuma is getting better with every start, and besides a hicup along the way, Beavan has been as solid as a mid rotation guy could ever be.

The lone dark spot in the rotation now is the veteran Kevin Millwood. And I wouldn’t even call him that.

It’s just his inconsistency that could hurt us in our quest to first conquer .500, and then make our way into the wild card chase.

We will see what will happen once September rolls around, and the late season call ups happen. I wonder if Wedge will give Danny Hultzen a shot at the rotation?

Can do attitude

We are winning close games this year.

Not just close games, but close games that we win on the last at bat.

Come from behind wins have not been part of the Mariners vocabulary since the days of the Kingdome, when anything could change with the long ball.

And we had some great power hitters back then.

Jason Vargas with his AL Player of the Month Trophy (photo Seattle Times)

With the injury to Franklin Gutierrez keeping him out of pretty much the whole year up to this point, it has really helped not only the game play, but also the teams confidence.

Especially for the likes of youngsters Michael Saunders, Trayvon Robinson, and Casper Wells.

These guys will be the future of this team for a while.

Plus the addition of Eric Thames at the deadline helps with the offense too.

I know our Editor Q loves him.

Our guys are hitting the ball where the defense isn’t. We are taking the extra base when it is given to us. We aren’t relying solely on either small ball, or the long ball to win games.

We are playing good fundamental baseball.

Winning baseball.

And, the biggest part of all of this is, it’s been a team effort.

Not one guy is coming up the hero every night

Walk 0ff hits by John Jaso, Eric Thames, and Michael Saunders of late proves just that.

These guys not only want to be at this level, but they want to win ballgames for us as well.

Nobody likes playing to empty houses, they want the stands full every night.

Performances like Felix’s perfect game surely will put more butts in the seats, and as we narrow the gap with the wild card leaders, more people will flock out to the stadium.

Fair-weather fans piss me off, especially because I am a fan of this team through and through, win or lose, but winning does help everybody out.

It generates more money to be put back into the team. It helps local businesses around Safeco, and it looks better when MLB Network or ESPN wants to put one of our games on network TV.

Winning is an attitude, and I think these boys have finally found it.

Let’s hope it sticks around for the rest of the season, and we can relive ’95 all over again.  Seattle last won eight in a row at home from June 23-July 1, 2007.  I can’t wait for them to come back home now.


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About Clinton Bell

NWSB Editor. Born and raised in Friday Harbor. Even though he makes his home in Mesa still bleeds Seattle Blue and Green. Mariners Seahawks Sounders till the day he dies! Bring back his Sonics! Connect with Clinton today!
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