It’s the weight that looms large during this Mariners season and the overarching goal: to make it to the playoffs. With the days and season fading fast toward the end, the focus on the playoffs word rivals only Jim Mora Sr. Infamous press conference.
It’s impressively close, more so than ever during the 21-year post-dry Seattle drought, but a single-minded focus on the end goal has created a tunnel vision effect: Check out other findings, check out Wild Card Arrangementcheck the results again… Double check the rankings and grumble it all over again the next day.
It’s totally understandable, but don’t let the focus just get on that bottom line while you forget to appreciate the level of baseball the Mariners have played, the good historical baseball level for the stretch we’ve seen from this team. It came in the form of star rises from individual players on attack, from every member of the starting tournament on a given night, and from bulls that flipped and rose above all expectations.
Most of the stats put out to showcase the Mariners’ impressive signs this season date back to June 21, when the Mariners started the day 10 games under 0.500. Since then, they have amassed the best record in the MLS, a 48-21 mark that brought them back from depths of 29-39. Sure, this is a bunch of numbers that might not mean much without context – thankfully Larry Stone of The Seattle Times He did just that And it turns out that this stretch puts sailors in rare company.
The history that sailors race toward goes beyond just the total win. This season saw singles rewrite records and join the sacred company in the process.
Musk’s second year growth has been impressive, especially after some early season struggles and his demotion to Triple-A. Since returning to the team on May 7, all Raleigh has done is take the lead among all baseball catchers with 23 home runs, a mark that puts him within range of overtaking Mike Zunino’s 2017 total of 25, the Mariners’ one-season catch record.
Raleigh is also a staunch defensive champion, an influential asset behind the plate and an omen for those running on him. Since we’re writers and speakers here, we’ve let others do the math, and Mariners anchor Aaron Goldsmith (inspired by Mariners’ Shannon Dreyer of Seattle Sports) found what Raleigh does offensively on the plate and behind him in defense. It was again done only by the seafarer.
Inspired by Tweet embedI had to look at M catchers with 20-20 seasons (20 HR-20 CS).
It’s only happened once in team history: Mike Zunino, 2014 (22 HR-28 CS).
Cal Rally: 19 HR-21 CS
– Aaron Goldsmith (@heygoldy) August 31, 2022
A season to remember for the guy who found himself on a three-man rotation and had a 2-for-24 start to the plate early in the season.
This is an article, not a dissertation, so unfortunately the section on Julio Rodriguez cannot cover the length of his many accomplishments. Julio’s 4.7 bWAR (Baseball Reference WAR) is the third highest ever for a Rookie Mariners striker. The other two: Ken Griffey Jr. and Alvin Davis, the latter winning Rookie of the Year, and the first… well, you know what he did.
Rodríguez ranks first or second among Novices in nearly every offensive stat class this season, and his seamless blend of power and speed is redefining what it means to own these tools at this level.
Julio hit 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases in just 81 games, faster than anyone else Ever in MLB history. The trophies along these lines seem endless: first player to hit 15 home points, 20 stolen bases, and 50 RBI in just 90 games; Fastest in AL history to reach 20 starting points and 20 stolen bases (107 games). It’s a constant stream of unprecedented success, or at least results that don’t happen very often. And Julio could go on to add to the list: He’s just two home runs and one base stolen from becoming only the third Novice to reach the 25/25 mark, something only Chris Young (2007) and Mike Trout (2012) have done before.
In the midst of historic seasons by Raleigh and Rodriguez, the Mariners’ pitch crew made their own moments of rotating all the way through a pulp. Years later, the Bulls may not get the same acclaim they deserve, and nothing in the Pantheon is likely to be preserved in baseball history, but it has been the most dominant force in baseball since the much-mentioned June 21, leading the league in fWAR (Fangraphs WAR), ERA, and opponent’s hit average.
Hopefully, in the midst of this latest push into the playoffs, there will also be time to appreciate the efforts we’ve seen from the sailors’ rotation. From Luis Castillo’s eight closing innings on his home debut and seven straight kicks to start the game on Wednesday, to the surreal spectacle of watching rising star George Kirby magnetized into the strike zone – 24 straight kicks to start the game – the Mariners achieve feats that we literally haven’t seen before.
I know we won’t stop watching our scoreboard and constantly updating the standings (I only did it between writing these two paragraphs), but hopefully it doesn’t overshadow how special this season has been for the Mariners. Enjoy the journey, the performances we witness, and the moments that may not be recreated for long. It will also make the end goal more interesting.