With the Seahawks dominating a lot of the sports talk these days, the Mariners have quietly gone about their business.
They enter this week a game and a half out of the final wild card spot.
The simple question is how? How in the world has this team managed to stay within striking distance of the wild card? Heck, 10 days ago they actually owned that final wild card spot, if only for a day or two.
A lot of the credit should go to manager Scott Servais.
This guy has been dealt a ridiculous hand this season, yet he's managed to bluff the baseball world and go all in.
Let's start with the pitching rotation.
Here's what it looked like in spring training: Hernandez, Iwakuma, Paxton, Smyly and Gallardo. A formidable group.
Here's what it looks like now: Miranda, Gallardo, Gonzalez, Ramirez and Albers.
They're the new Fab Five – as in Fabricated Five. They were assembled because of all the injuries and ineffectiveness of those before them, but give these guys credit – they're hanging tough. They're part of a staff that has seen nearly 40 pitchers take the mound this season – 40.
Servais goes into every game hoping his starters can at least get to the fifth inning – that's it.
The injury bug has worked its way through virtually the entire roster. To his credit, Servais has never used that as an excuse, even though that bug was throwing jabs at him since opening day and by mid summer he was getting tattooed with haymakers. General Manager Jerry Dipoto has been admirable as Scott's cornerman, patching things up with minor league players and sending him back out there for the next round.
And somehow, as we sit here approaching the final month of the season, Servais and his Mariners are still on the doorstep of a wild card berth.
You can say a manager has very little to do with the success of a baseball team. His job is all about managing egos, balancing playing time, and basically keeping guys happy.
Whatever Servais is doing, it's working.
When the season finally does end, Servais deserves more than just a vote or two for American League Manager of the Year. No manager has done more with less this season.
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