A sampling of national-media reaction as the Mariners continue to stay near the top of the AL West standings.
Yes, the Mariners got swept by the Twins this weekend at home.
But then, they managed to find themselves again, much like they did in Monday’s win over the Padres.
As a result, Seattle continues to show some staying power near the top of the AL West standings this season. The Mariners (29-21) enter Tuesday afternoon’s game against San Diego a half-game out of first place, with a three-game road series with first-place Texas looming this weekend. By comparison, Seattle did not win its 29th game last year until June 15, in its 64th game of the season.
The Mariners’ sustained success continues to keep them on the national media’s radar. Here’s a sampling of reaction from the previous week:
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ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight website gives the Mariners a 57 percent chance of making the playoffs and 38 percent chance of winning the division with a projected record of 88-74.
David Schoenfield of ESPN.com wrote about Leonys Martin’s immediate impact on the Mariners:
“One of the biggest offseason deals so far has been the Seattle Mariners acquiring center fielder Leonys Martin from the Texas Rangers. The Mariners were in desperate need of a defensive upgrade in center and Martin had fallen out of favor with the Rangers after struggling with injuries and the bat in 2015. … Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto pounced quickly in the offseason, getting Martin for reliever Tom Wilhelmsen and corner infield prospect Patrick Kivlehan.”
ESPN’s weekly MLB power rankings placed the Mariners seventh:
“In right field this season, Nelson Cruz has slashed just .185/.303/.277 through Saturday; as the DH, he’s slashed .346/.434/.645, including nine of his 10 home runs. In batting practice, Cruz became the first player to hit a ball completely out of Safeco Field.”
MLB.com’s Alyson Footer has moved the Mariners to fourth in MLB.com’s power rankings:
“Seattle has fallen out of first place in the AL West, but just by a hair, and there’s still plenty to like about one of the few teams that got off to a scorching-hot start. The Mariners have cooled a bit lately, as evidenced by a head-scratching sweep at the hands of the 15-34 Twins. But still, they have the lowest ERA in the AL at 3.37, the lowest WHIP (1.19) and the lowest batting average against (.232). Their next big test will be next weekend when they visit the Rangers, with whom they’re neck-and-neck at the top of the division standings.”
Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com also had the Mariners fourth in its MLB power rankings late last week:
“Leonys Martin hit eight homers in 457 at-bats in 2013 and seven in 533 in 2014. Last year it was five in 288 at-bats. He’s already set a career high this season with nine homers in just 143 at-bats — the most recent one being a walk-off homer Tuesday night.”
Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports put the Mariners fifth in his MLB power rankings:
“Years later, Bedard trade makes sense in a vacuum, wrapped in plastic, tied to cinder blocks and heaved from a dock.”