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Seattle Mariners Heartbreak for Twenty Years and Counting

October 6, 2001 featured another win for the 2001 Seattle Mariners over the Texas Rangers by a score of 1-0. The Mariners were on pace to their historic 116-win season while the Rangers were amid a losing season. To make matters even sweeter for the Mariners, they held their former superstar Alex Rodriguez hitless. It was righteous revenge against a player who had left the Seattle fanbase for money. The Mariners knew they were going to the postseason by this point. The only question remaining was “By how many games would they need to clinch the World Series?” The answer was given to the Mariners in the 2001 ALCS when the Bronx Bombers handily defeated the team with a 4 game to 1 series win. Then commenced the 19-year playoff drought.

As I mentioned in an earlier article, I thought the Mariners had a good chance to make the postseason this year. It looked like their rebuild had exceeded expectations and their front office exercised Kevin Mather. The Mariners, who have never played by the normal rules of winning or losing, could add more to their mystique by clinching a playoff spot on the 20th anniversary of their 2001 squad.

August 6, 2021 was a death sentence for the team. The Mariners lost to the New York Yankees 2-3 in extra-innings. This was despite the Mariners starter Marco Gonzalez shutting down the Bronx with 5 strikeouts, 3 hits, and no earned runs. This was despite the fact the Mariners were up by 1 run at the top of the 8th inning. This is the déjà vu all over again for anyone who has paid attention to the team.

It was typical Mariners behavior to not give their lights-out starting pitcher a comfortable lead. Felix Hernandez can attest to that. It was typical for the team’s relievers to give up runs in the final innings to lose the game. Arthur Rhoades is nodding his head right now at this statement. Yes, the Yankees won through a clinch hit by Brett Gardner in the 11th inning in part thanks to the 2nd man on base rule for extra innings games this year. While I may think that rule is profoundly morainic, the Mariners had capitalized on that rule by scoring a run in the top of the 10th inning. They were leading the game for the second time.

This loss is the epitome of the 2021 Mariners season; another wasted year of teasing fans mercilessly of a playoff baseball. This happens too many times. Watching this game unfold, I remembered the 2014 Mariners where they kept winning enough ballgames to be in contention with the actual Wild Card winners the Oakland A’s, but always doing enough to not cross the finish line. I recommend watching SBNation’s documentary The History of Seattle Mariners Episode 5 for more information on that season.

Since trading away closer Kendall Graveman in the early hours of July 27th, the Mariners have a 3-7 record. Among these losses is two games against the Texas Rangers who are dead last in their division as of today. It does not matter that Abraham Toro, who was acquired as part of the Graveman trade deal with Astros, has been performing well with his new team. What matters is that the Mariners disrupted their clubhouse energy and are now losing ground. I predict that Seattle fans will still be wondering by the end of the regular season what playoff baseball looks like. Thanks a lot Mariners.


About the author

Bradley Horowitz

My name is Bradley Horowitz and I'm a huge baseball fan. I enjoy learning more about the game's history and stats. I am an aspiring law student. I enjoy writing about various topics and making good arguments for them. I am a Yankee fan.

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