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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

August 19, 2007 at 8:29 AM

Moving on up

Obviously, another big start and win by Jeff Weaver last night. I wasn’t at the game, nor will I be there today as I fly out to Minneapolis ahead of the team. But the M’s are now two games back of the Angels. You see stuff like what went on at Fenway Park yesterday and it makes it tough for M’s fans not to be believers. No, they are not the first team to blow a 5-0 lead in the fifth inning over there. But the Red Sox sure have no respect for K-Rod and the Angels bullpen. You think the M’s are having bullpen problems? They are teeny by comparison. And for all the home runs yielded late by Seattle since last month in Texas, at least the Mariners are winning.
So, the M’s are still a half-game up on New York in the wild-card race. Here’s my question: the Yanks are five back of Boston in the AL East. Are the Mariners better off having New York catch Boston — making the Bosox the wild-card team? Don’t forget, the M’s and Red Sox are done for this year. Seattle still has that big series coming up in New York.
Coolstandings.com gives the M’s a 19.5 percent chance in the wild-card, a 14.3 shot at the division.
Yes, the M’s are better off simply taking the AL West. But what if that doesn’t happen? What’s the next best thing? Yankees or Red Sox?
I know we’ve written all year about the odds of New York making up so many games to actually overtake Boston are astronomical. We’ve written the same thing about the M’s actually making up those eight games they once trailed the Angels by.
Columnist Bill Arnold, in this week’s “Beyond” column, notes that there are 11 teams in history — all of baseball history — to have overcome an 11-game gap to win a division title.
Year Team GBL Date Record Leader
1911 A’s 12.0 May 19 13-15 Tigers
1914 Braves 15.0 July 5 26-40 Giants
1930 Cardinals 12.0 Aug. 8 53-52 Dodgers
1951 Giants 13.0 Aug. 11 59-51 Dodgers
1964 Cardinals 11.0 Aug. 23 65-58 Phillies
1973 Reds 11.0 June 30 39-37 Dodgers
1973 Mets 12.5 July 8 34-46 Cubs
1978 Yankees 14.0 July 19 48-42 Red Sox
1987 Tigers 11.0 May 5 9-16 Brewers
1995 Mariners 13.0 Aug. 2 43-46 Angels
2006 Twins 12.5 May 27 22-26 Tigers
He’s talking about the Yankees coming back on the Red Sox, but it could be applied to Seattle’s quest to make up those eight games on Los Angeles. It is not an easy feat. And if it happens, it will be rare indeed. Not as rare as overcoming an 11-game deficit, but rare enough.

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