Why the next seven games are critical

Mariners win

The Mariners will look back on May and remark, “damn we were good.” Or at least they will if they finish the month strong.  They are currently 15-8 in May with three games against the Twins and two more against the Padres at Safeco Field.  They head out on the road for the first two games of June against those NL rivals, the Padres for the second leg of the home and home series.

These seven games are absolutely critical. May is a month in which they’ve been able to beat up on a lot of the weak sisters in both leagues.  They’ve pounded the A’s and the Astros, as well as the last place Reds.  The M’s stumbled against the Angels, but they managed a 5-1 record against the Orioles and the Rays, really good and fairly decent respectively.

The Twins are terrible at 12-34, the worst record in the American League.  The Padres, in their continuing effort at rebuilding under A.J. Preller, also are not good 19-29, 10.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West basement. The M’s improved their record and held on to the top spot in the AL West beating up bad teams and they need to continue doing that to the Twins and Padres.

Things get much tougher for them in June.  First, they have 15 games on the road and only 12 games at home.  Of course, the way things are going, that may be a good thing.  But they play some very good teams on the road next month.

After the Padres series, it’s on to the Rangers, their arch rival for the top spot in the division.  Then they come home to face a hot Indians team for four games, and three more against the Rangers.

Then it’s back out on the road to face the Rays, a weekend series against the Red Sox run-scoring machine, and four against a very hot Tigers team. But wait, before they get an off day the M’s come home to for an interleague series in Seattle against the Cardinals. No gimmees in this 13 game pilgrimage. This may be a couple of weeks that makes or breaks their season.

But it doesn’t get any easier. June closes out with a series against the Pirates at Safeco, and begins a series against the Orioles that overlaps into July.

From their June schedule, only the Rays have a losing record at the present time.  The Red Sox lead their division.  The Pirates, Tigers and Indians are currently blazing hot. We’ll get a chance to see what the Mariners are really made of.  They can’t afford a June swoon, because July doesn’t look any better.

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