Mariners Takeaways: 4 things to know as playoff push hits final turn Brent Stecker


Mar 3, 2007
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North Pole, Alaska
1. It’s time to talk about the playoff rotation.

Kirby, a 24-year-old rookie, has certainly been a standout, and most years would probably be a frontrunner for a Rookie of the Year award. Passan was correct in Kirby’s record over his last 11 starts, too – 1.99 ERA with a ridiculous 66 strikeouts to just seven walks over 58 2/3 innings during that stretch.

2. The Mariners have two of the most electric players in baseball.

On the one hand was the aforementioned Castillo, who was sending some serious witchcraft the way of the Padres hitters from the get-go. Soto, good luck with a 99 mph two-seamer that takes a right turn from the edge of the plate to basically San Diego’s dugout.

Machado, how about 100 at the top of the zone for a strikeout in the first inning, then three sliders later in the game that make the No. 3 player in offensive WAR this season look like a chump?

3. There’s an outfield controversy on the horizon.

Sam Haggerty is making a serious case for playing time, and Jesse Winker hasn’t been able to shut the door on that conversation being focused on left field. The switch-hitting Haggerty is at the very least deserving of having his name written into the lineup every time there’s a left-handed starter opposing the M’s on the mound.

In 56 plate appearances as a right-handed hitter against lefty pitchers, Haggerty has four homers, four doubles and a triple, and he owns a .429/.491/.796 slash line vs. lefties, which amounts to an astonishing 1.276 OPS.

4. Where the Mariners sit in the wild card race.

Whatever happens, the Mariners’ destiny is in their own hands as they have the favorable schedule going forward. Toronto has nothing but winning teams left on its schedule, starting next with Baltimore, who are four games out of the wild card picture and surely eager to get back in the mix.