Reflections on the Mariners in July

seattle_mariners_logo1It’s been 10 days since the All-Star break, the Mariners have been 5-3; 51-45 overall, 25-19 at home, and .500 on the road.  The momentum is good.  Since the All-Star break Felix Hernandez won his 50th game, becoming the 15th-youngest to reach that mark since 1919. The Mariners won the series against Detroit. Ryan Rowland-Smith returned to the line-up and on the funny side of things, Flo-Rida rewrote his song “Jump” with lyrics about Ichiro after hearing he used it as his at bat music.  Good Stuff.

Rusell Branyan at the plate
Image by jodieandlarry via Flickr

How does the rest of the season look?  If Russell Branyan can keep it up, he could definitely be a key player in this positive momentum for a team that is 6.5 games behind. His 2 run-homer against Detroit was part of the stuff that just makes baseball fun to watch. Don Wakamatsu described it as ‘majestic’ – everyone reading this is now looking up and thinking of the most majestic play in baseball they have ever seen…

Who am I watching for the remainder of the season?  Obviously King Felix, Ichiro, Branyan, and Franklin Gutierrez.  If Guti can overcome his most recent injury (sustained while crashing into the scoreboard) and keep doing what he’s been doing – batting .292 and adding to his 12 HR’s and 42 RBI’s he might be destined to be the next Mariner’s Super Hero.

The future also seems to hold great things for Ryan Langerhans, the 29 year old Texas native.  Since his debut with the Mariners, he’s been playing well. In 18 games he’s had 57 at bats; 6 runs, 4 RBI’s, and 1 HR. He will definitely need a nickname if he keeps it up – Langerhans is much to long for fans to chant.

Ichiro's pre-pitch batting stance, May 2005. P...
Image via Wikipedia

The contributions from Felix, Ichiro, and Branyan are what Mariner’s fans have come to expect based on their performance this year.   Guti is working on becoming that player that we can count on to perform game after game.  Langerhans is new and young with his entire career ahead of him, but if he continues this season with the momentum he has, the future is bright.

So, if the offense and defense can continue to show up and play together in the same game, it’s possible to make up the 6.5 game deficit. An appearance in the post-season isn’t out of reach, yet.

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