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Opening Road Trip Decent, All Things Considered

Chicago is a house of horrors for the Mariners. It makes some sense. U.S. Cellular Field is the antithesis of Safeco Field. It's among the most home run happy ballparks in the majors, and a team built with Safeco in mind will probably always look out of place against the White Sox on their home turf.

Still, it was too predictable that Dayan Viciedo would hit a walk-off home run in the tenth inning. I wasn't even disappointed, not because it wasn't disappointing, but because I had already resigned myself to the outcome. It came as no surprise. Boo.

Viciedo's home run was the difference between a winning and a losing road trip for the Mariners, and it is about the most sour note the road trip could finish on. All things considered though, this road trip was neither good nor bad - which as far as I'm concerned, is ultimately good.

I wrote about how the Mariners can contend if they get off to a .500 start. Last year, the average MLB team went 37-43 on the road, and only 4 out of 30 MLB teams had better records on the road. So, a .500 Mariners team doesn't have to go .500 on the road. In fact, a .500 Mariners team probably won't have a winning record on the road.

The Mariners had a .500 road trip going through the first 6 games, and then they essentially played the White Sox to a tie in the last game (kind of like on Friday night, which also went extra innings). They scored 27 runs on the trip, and allowed 30.  The Mariners looked a shade below a .500 team on the road trip.

However, a .500 team usually plays a shade below .500 on the road. Additionally, the M's played the AL West division champs from last year, and the team that led the AL Central for nearly the entire season. They also played in a ballpark built to make them look bad, based on how different it is than Safeco Field.

The road trip the Mariners just went 3-4 on had a high disaster factor. I wouldn't say it went well, but it wasn't a disaster. If the Mariners continue to play on the road like they just did, they have a good chance to hang around .500, which is why I like their chances to play better on the road in the future.

So the road trip was decent. It suggested that the Mariners will be a .500 team if they can play more or less like they just did. That's good enough to stay in the hunt until guys like Mike Zunino are ready - and did you see what he did on opening night for Tacoma?

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