If you are a baseball fan, you want your team to win, but you also don’t want to see players on other teams get hurt. No fan base in Major League Baseball longs to see their team win more and reach the post season than Seattle fans of their beloved Mariners. The recent surge of the Oakland Athletics that has left the Mariners 5 1/2 games out of the wildcard going into play Wednesday has been hard to swallow and the doomsayers have swooped in. But, in the past week, the A’s have lost two starting pitchers to the DL.
Ace Sean Manaea has been diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis and has been shut down for the remainder of the season. Then shortly after Manaea landed on the DL, starter Brett Anderson was sidelined with a forearm strain. With a month to go in the season, losing two pieces of your starting rotation isn’t what the doctor ordered. Pardon the pun. But, as luck would have it for the A’s, the timing couldn’t have been any better if you had to lose two rotation arms. Just a few short days away is September 1stand with-it expansion of rosters from 25 players to 40. The Oakland A’s bullpen is about to get a lot deeper just when it’s starting rotation has gotten much shallower.
Without beleaguering the inanity of playing a sport for 5 ½ months and roughly 130 games with one set of rules and then changing the rules for the last month and 30 or so games, the expansion of the roster couldn’t have come at a better time for teams, like the A’s, suffering key injuries. What a team my lack in quality, it can make up for with sheer quantity.
For the A’s, the additions to the roster will come right in the middle of a critical four game home series against the Mariners. The Mariners will get the boost also, of course, and the stakes will be precariously high. Depending on the outcome of games on Wednesday, the Mariners could be 4 ½, 5 ½, or 6 ½ games behind the A’s. A Mariners sweep of the A’s could, potentially make it a half game, or at worse a 2 ½ game deficit. But, if the inverse were to come to fruition, the season is effectively over for the M’s. And, Manaea’s and Anderson’s spots will come up in the series, but now bolstered by an expanded bullpen.
So, while your watching the battle for the bench on Thursday in the Seattle Seahawks home game against the Oakland Raiders, put ROOT Sports on the go back button on the remote. The Seattle Mariners season may very well come down to this weekend’s four game series in Oakland. While one sport is cutting down, the other is calling up.