Monday, August 20, 2007

Playoff Push Begins TONIGHT 

So, the M's embark today on a 7 game road trip that may represent the easiest 7 games they'll have the rest of the season. We play the next 20 days without a rest, and the schedule as mentioned before, is brutal:

8/20-8/22 at Minnesota, who has owned us.
8/23-8/26 in Texas for 4 games in 100+ degree heat ending with a Sunday NIGHT game before flying back to Seattle to play the Angels in a critical 3 game series. And, oh yeah, our last 4 game series in Arlington involved us going 0-4.
8/27-8/29 vs Anaheim with Wednesday game an afternoon affair so they can fly to Cleveland for one game makeup. Don't think the Angels won't be rubbing their off day in the M's faces all during this one, making the 8/29 game a true must win for the psyche of the Mariners.
8/30 in Cleveland so much for an off day. Instead a late flight to Cleveland, battle the Indians, and back to the airport to head to Toronto.
8/31 - 9/2 in Toronto A breather? Lets just say I'm hoping its more holiday and no Halladay.
9/3 - 9/5 in New York with the first game being a 1pm start on Labor Day

The Yankees meanwhile have a tough stretch of 16 games ahead of them with 3 at L.A, 4 at Detroit, 3 with Boston, 3 with, ahem, Tampa Bay and then 3 with us.

And we better put some distance between us and the Yankees somehow over that stretch, cuz after that it is smooth sailing for the Yanks with only 3 of their last 22 games against teams in the playoff chase while we play 11 of 22 against playoff contenders (with only 2 off days and 1 doubleheader against Cleveland).

So even without the travel, here's the number of games each playoff contender has remaining against another playoff contender.

Seattle: 18 of 41
Yankees: 16 of 38
Indians: 15 of 39
Angels: 14 of 39
Tigers: 13 of 38
Red Sox: 6 (Yankees only) of 38

A week from today, here's what the same list will look like:

Seattle: 18 of 34
Yankees: 16 of 31
Indians: 12 of 33
Angels: 11 of 32
Tigers: 6 of 31
Red Sox: 6 (Yankees only) of 31

So this is a HUGE week for the Mariners as we need to gain on the Yankees and Angels before our schedule truly ramps up to brutal. We need to put a hurting on the Twins starting tonight.

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