Mariners currently in Wild Card: A cautionary tale

The Seattle Mariners are three games over .500 for the first time this season and in sole possession of the second American League Wild Card spot as they come home to start a weekend series with the L.A. Angels Thursday.

That news is encouraging to Mariners fans who have waited 16 years to see the team back in the playoffs. But those fans have also learned to be cautious because, well, we've been here before.

The last time the Mariners were in the playoffs was 2001. In the years since, the M's have had a winning record at this exact point in the season (115 games) six times.

Each time, they had a better record than they do now. In some cases, they were leading the American League West or the wild card. In others, they were a few or a lot of games behind.

Each time, they failed to make the playoffs.

2002

- Record after 115 games: 71-44; Up 3.5 games in AL West

- Final record: 93-69; 10 games back in AL West; 6 GB in Wild Card

2003

- Record after 115 games: 69-46; Up 3 games in AL West

- Final record: 93-69; 3 GB in AL West; 2 GB in Wild Card

2007

- Record after 115 games: 65-50; 8 GB in AL West and leading Wild Card

- Final record: 88-74; 6 GB in AL West; 6 GB in Wild Card

2009

- Record after 115 games: 60-55; 9.5 GB in AL West and 5.5 GB in Wild Card

- Final record: 85-77; 12 GB in AL West and 10 GB in Wild Card

2014

- Record after 115 games: 61-54; 10 GB in AL West and 0.5 GB in Wild Card

- Final record: 87-75; 11 GB in AL West and 1 GB in Wild Card

2016

- Record after 115 games: 61-54; 6.5 games back in AL West and 2 GB in Wild Card

- Final record: 86-76; 9 GB in AL West and 3 GB in Wild Card

What happened then does not necessarily mean it will be repeated in 2017. Since they are 13 games behind division-leading Houston in the AL West, the Wild Card will be Seattle's best bet to break a drought that began during the first term of President George W. Bush's administration.

© 2017 KING-TV


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