Much was made of the Mariners recently completely stretch where they played 17 out of 20 games on the road. At the start of the 20-game stretch, I wrote that the Mariners were going to have a hard time falling out of contention because all their competitors were conveniently playing each other. There was only the potential for one team to pull away by winning every game, or for one team to fall out of contention by losing every game.
Well, congratulations to the Mariners for losing almost every game and taking themselves out of the hunt. How things unfolded is literally the ONLY way they could have fallen out of contention in the much-feared 20-game stretch.
The Mariners ended up going 6-14 in their 17 of 20 games on the road (4 of those wins were in the first 7 games). Hypothetically, suppose they went 10-10 in those 20 games, which would be in line with how they have performed on the road all year. That would put them only 1.5 games behind the Yankees right now. However, the Mariners did play the Yankees in that stretch, so suppose that they won a game in New York that in reality they lost. That would put the M's only half a game back.
Maybe expecting .500 during the brutal stretch is too much. Suppose they ended up going 8-12 in those 20 games, with 1 of those extra wins against the Angels at home, but still dropping 2 out of 3 in New York. That would still leave them 3.5 games back in the Wild Card, and 5.5 back in the division. The odds would be stacked against the Mariners, but with a hot stretch and a little luck they could make it.
Last night's paid attendance was only 26,698. There's an understanding that this team's playoff aspirations were extinguished over the course of the last couple weeks. The season is not a failure, but given the position the M's worked themselves into, September has been a big disappointment. Realistically, the Mariners were always on the outside of the playoffs looking in, but they were threatening to kick down the door, and the odds were that they would keep the pressure on all the way to the end of the year. Now they are not. As it turns out, 8-12 was too much to ask for.