On that point, the current AL West standings:
The Astros obviously get a major assist here, but it's something of a feat to be 12 1/2 games out before June. So good work, M's.
As for Saturday's defeat, check out what the Boston starter perpetrated upon the Seattleites ...
Yes, that's 26-year-old lefty Brian Johnson. Coming into Saturday's game, he had two big-league starts and an ERA of 7.71. In fact, he'd notched only one prior shutout in 92 minor-league starts.
This is the second straight shutout loss for Seattle, and they've scored a total of just nine runs over their last eight games. It'd be a bit more understandable if they were losing by virtue of starting pitching -- after all (deep breath), Felix Hernandez, Drew Smyly, James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Ryan Weber are all on the disabled list. However, it's the offense that's failed Seattle of late. Speaking of which, that offense came into Saturday's game ranking just 12th in the AL in OPS.
The Mariners coming into 2017 had legitimate designs on contention. They won 86 games a season ago and were in the mix for a wild-card berth until the final hours of the regular season. While GM Jerry Dipoto had neither much room in the budget nor a strong farm system, he did a sound job of turning up what looked like sound roster improvements.
To say the least, the 2017 season hasn't unfolded as hoped. Right now, the M's are playoff longshots. As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline begins to come into focus, Dipoto must decide whether a rebuild, or at least a reboot, is called for. Given the new depths they reached on Saturday, that may be the wisest tack.