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Mariners hold 3rd wildcard spot

by IAN BIVONA
Sports Reporter | August 25, 2022 2:16 PM

SEATTLE — At the end of June the Seattle Mariners were at a crossroads — the team was 37-41, sitting in fourth place of the American League West division and four-and-a-half games back of the AL’s final wildcard spot.

Forty-six games, including a 14-game win streak, later, the Mariners sit in the third AL wildcard spot with a 67-57 record.

Since the 14-game win streak — which fell one shy of the franchise’s all-time mark set in 2001 — was snapped following the MLB All-Star game, the Mariners have gone 16-15 over their last 31 games following the All-Star Break. They slipped from first place in the Wild Card standings to third, falling behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.

Since the break

In the 31 games since the All-Star Break Seattle has a winning percentage of .516, a stark dropoff from the .741 win percentage the team had in the 31 games leading up to the break. Injuries have held players out of a handful of games during the past 31 games; rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez missed four games with a bruised left wrist following the All-Star game and was placed on the 10-day injured list later on July 30 after being hit on the wrist by a pitch; Ty France missed nearly a week with a wrist injury, but avoided the IL; Sam Haggerty has missed games due to a shoulder injury.

Post-All-Star series recap

Seattle opened the second half of the season with back-to-back home series, first getting swept by the Houston Astros before sweeping the Texas Rangers. A series-loss road trip to Houston the next week took place before a cross-country trip to the Bronx, where the Mariners won a series against the New York Yankees. The first home stand of August saw a tied series against the Angels before a series win against the Yankees. A three-series road trip began with a loss to the Rangers, followed by a sweep of the Angels and a loss against the Athletics. The Mariners had a brief two-game home stand against the Nationals, splitting the games.

Rodriguez’s arrival

The Mariner outfielder had his national coming out party during the 2022 Home Run Derby, where he hit over 30 home runs in back-to-back rounds before falling to champion Juan Soto in the finals. He became the sixth Mariner in franchise history to join the 20-20 club, hitting 20 home runs and stealing 20 bases in his rookie year.

A new addition

Right-hander Luis Castillo (1-1 with Seattle) came to the Mariners from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for four prospects. In four starts the six-year pro has garnered 29 strikeouts, three walks and earned nine runs.

Upcoming games

Seattle will close out August with a home stand against the Cleveland Guardians and a road trip to Detroit. Over the course of the remaining 38 games in the season, Seattle has the third-easiest remaining strength of schedule according to Tankathon. Of the nine remaining teams that the Mariners have series’ against, only four of them post winning records.

Ian Bivona may be reached at ibivona@columbiabaisnherald.com.

photo

AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez

Seattle Mariners' Luis Castillo pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.

photo

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Seattle Mariners' J.P. Crawford, left, celebrates with Ty France the team's win over the Houston Astros in a baseball game, Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Houston.

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