Mariners winning with pitching, defense, youth and enthusiasm.
When the Mariners began their search for a general manager four years ago, Jack Zduriencik wasn’t exactly high on their list. Actually, he wasn’t on their list at all. When he finally got his foot in the door for an interview, the search process pretty much ended. The Mariners were impressed with his blueprint, organization, people skills and attention to detail. Also important was the fact that he had a track record in constructing a first-rate farm system in Milwaukee.
We may be seeing a lot of good work come together with the Mariners, who’ve won 22 of their last 23 games with an everyday lineup that includes six regulars 25 or under. The Mariners also have three twentysomething starting pitchers, including King Felix. Jason Vargas, Blake Beavan and the King are 15-2 since the All-Star Break.
The Mariners have the second-best ERA in the American League since the All-Star Break at 3.11. They’re just 12th in runs, but with young guys scattered up and down the lineup, there’s plenty of reason for optimism. Zduriencik can see his vision of the M’s coming into focus, and manager Eric Wedge has done a terrific job creating the right environment for the young guys.
- Mariners are 23-13 since the All-Star Break, tied for best in the AL.
- Mariners have won 13 of their last 14 at Safeco Field.
- They’ve had three series sweeps since the break, tied with the A’s and Rays for the most in the American League.
- Their home ERA is 2.90, second-best in the majors.
- They lead MLB with a .99o fielding percentage and haven’t made an error in 85 of 123 games.
The Mariners have so many young players–Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders, Justin Smoak, Kyle Seager, etc.–that’s it’s impossible to know how quickly they’ll adjust to the big leagues. And the Mariners play in a division with the Rangers, A’s and Angels, so every division game is tough. Still, after 10 seasons out of the playoffs, there’s plenty of room for optimism in Seattle.