This will sound overly dramatic, but it’s simply a realistic assessment of where this team stands – the Mariners have exactly five games to save the 2008 season. If they don’t perform well between now and Sunday, the rest of the year will simply be playing for second place, because the hole will be too large to overcome. They have five home games against below average teams, starting with Bedard and Felix to close out this series.
If the Mariners don’t win three of the next five games, they can cash in their chips and go home. The deficit would just be too large to believe that anything short of a miracle could cause them to win the division.
With the Angels and A’s both off to strong starts, you have to set the bar for minimum wins required at 93. It would take some historic collapses by both clubs for the division winner to finish with less than 92 wins, especially considering how well they’ve both played through the first five weeks of the season. So, the M’s target has to be 93+ wins.
If they go 2-3 to finish out this homestand, that would put them at 16-23 with 123 games to go. In order to finish the year with 93 wins, they’d have to play .626 baseball, a 77-46 mark. This team is just not capable of playing that well. Very few teams are, and this is certainly not one of them. If they can go 4-1, they “only” have to play .608 baseball the rest of the year – very freaking hard, but at least within the ream of possibility.
Two wins or less and it’s pull the plug time. The season will officially be over, and they can start shopping the veterans around and setting up the interview list for the new front office and management staff. Three wins keeps the team on life support, with a faint chance of contending still hanging by a thread. Four or five wins gives them a little bit of life as they head out on the road next week.
But they’re at a crossroads. Finish this week strong or fold your tents, because the rest of the year is a waste of time if they can’t beat the Rangers and White Sox at home with the season on the line.