The Seattle Mariners have started another spark for Seattle sports fans. Baseball nuts around the emerald city have had their share of disappointment in recent past years. Coming shy of the playoffs, manager changes, and losing valuable star players are just a few. There is no doubt that this Seattle franchise has been in trouble for some time now.
This is currently the 2007 season and the outcome may finally be different. Bad pitching has plagued the Mariners but a possible reversal of fortune is being noted. The team has a rare above average five man starting rotation. With aces like Jeff Weaver, Jarrod Washburn, and Felix Hernandez, any game with any opponent could end up a victory. In addition, they boast an outstanding bullpen. Their closer, J.J. Putz, by himself has no blown saves. Others like rookie Brandon Morrow and veteran George Sherrill can competently take over in dire game situations.
Great pitching isn’t the only factor contributing to Seattle baseball success this year. Batting has been another huge asset on their side. At last they possess a feared batting lineup that no American League contender wants to face. All pitchers dread going against hitters such as Richie Sexson, Adrian Beltre, and Raul Ibanez. These are power hitters but beware of the imminent danger, Ichiro Suzuki. He has had multiple ten game hitting streaks and is presently the second best major league batter behind Magglio Ordonez. Finally, a much unheard name is second baseman Jose Lopez. In later innings this young man is pounding well over a three hundred average. No big league manager could possibly mistake the Mariner lineup to be vulnerable.
Skeptics of this team say they are still lacking something. That magic component may in fact be experience. However, many other teams have made the playoffs on this stigma. For example, the 2006 Detroit Tigers dominated nearly everyone later making the World Series. The Tigers were extremely inexperienced but very raw in talent. This in itself should silence that classification of critics.
As of June 28, 2007 the Seattle Mariners have a record of 42-33. They are second place in the American League West division just five games behind the Angels. With a five game winning streak, this team has proven to be a competitive force. Not to mention, Seattle is only two games out of the lead wild card position trailing an inconsistent Cleveland. They have heart, drive, and most of all talent. Now only one question truly remains unanswered. Are the Mariners for real?
Labels: Are the Mariners for Real?