People complain that it's unfair to some teams chasing the wild card. Perhaps, but with "natural rivalries" and bizarre interleague schedules, fairness has already been tossed out the window.
The unbalanced schedule rules.
People complain that it's unfair to some teams chasing the wild card. Perhaps, but with "natural rivalries" and bizarre interleague schedules, fairness has already been tossed out the window. At least divisional play can make for great matchups, unlike, say, the thrilling mid-week sweep of the Brewers by the A's in June.
This comes up because there's an awesome division race in the AL West, and I get to see it because I'm lucky enough to be in Seattle. I honestly prefer this year's nail-biting, wonder-if-we'll-make-it marathon to last year's record 116 wins, when it was obvious by the All-Star break that the Mariners were heading to the playoffs.
As I write this, the Ms are two-and-a-half games up on the Angels. Anaheim has put together the weirdest run at .600 ball and a division title as I can remember, a straight batting average and no-strikeout attack. If you look at the raw stats, they're right up with the Mariners in run scoring, despite giving up 16 points of OBP and having a comparable slugging average. Park-adjusted, the offenses aren't close, but I still look at the daily standings and shake my head. Neither team made race-changing trades before the deadline, though the Angels picked up a spare outfielder--Alex Ochoa--who the M's could have used.
Meanwhile, Oakland made moves to improve for the stretch run, trading for Ricky Rincon and Ray Durham, and they're just four games back, with a front-line pitching rotation that can put the hurt on anyone and a dangerous offensive core.
The Mariners play both teams six more times, a home-and-home series each, including a can't-miss-it buy-your-tickets-now September homestand against the Angels and A's starting September 20 (just after the most likely strike date, for my convenience).
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Placed RHP Al Levine on the 15-day DL (shoulder tendinitis), retroactive to 6/27; recalled RHP John Lackey from Salt Lake. [6/28]
I don't disagree with the idea of bringing up John Lackey to move into the rotation. Lackey is the organization's best upper-level prospect, and he's obviously ready to go.
Recalled RHP Matt Wise from Salt Lake; optioned RHP John Lackey to Salt Lake. [6/25]
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