As most of you know I hate to be wrong about my predictions and prognostications. Typically when this happens it's not that I was wrong, but rather someone wasn't doing what they were capable of (Kobe Bryant). Occasionally my predictions come up short because I don't give enough credit to a team and underestimate their abilities.
Such is the case with the Seattle Mariners. Last month I blogged that the Mariners were YEARS away from making a return to the playoffs and that management should trade Ichiro to a title contender. I was wrong. After beating the New York Yankees last night the Seattle Mariners are 25-25 a third of the way through the season and only 1/2 a game out of first place. How did I misread this situation?
I never expected the Mariners would get any production out of Erik Bedard. Ever since the team traded Adam Jones for the Orioles ace Bedard has been a disappointment. In his last 3 starts however Bedard has been virtually unhittable. In addition the Mariners welcomed back gold glove winner Franklin Gutierrez and parted ways with the cancerous Milton Bradley. Those two moves have done wonders for team chemistry and has the Mariners poised to make a run for the AL West title.
The San Francisco Giants provided the blueprint for success last year in the postseason. Great starting pitching and defense, timely hitting, and a solid bullpen can carry you a long way. The top of the Mariners rotation is stacked with Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, and Erik Bedard. If the team can continue to get quality starts out of Jason Vargas and Doug Fister combined with Brandon League to close out games on the back end there's no telling where the Mariners might end up. This time I'm glad I was wrong. Go Mariners!