|Miguel Olivo homered into a stiff wind to contribute to the M's 7-0 win over the Rays|
However, one statistic I was thrilled to see was in run differential. For the first time in years, the Mariners runs scored actually exceed the runs allowed. Even in 2009, when the M's were 85-77, largely because of good pitching and defense, they were a -52 in run differential. Admittedly we're only 57 games into the season but tomorrow the M's are a +3 in run differential. That's largely because they play pretty close games, and recently have been winning lots of them. The last two nights detonation of Tampa Bay pitching has given them a +13 run differential in this series and allowed the M's to move into positive territory for the first time in, well, years. The last time a Mariner team finished the season in positive territory was in 2003, when the Mariners finished out of the money with 93 wins.
Do I think this will continue? My fingers are crossed, but I doubt it. The pitching will remain solid, but I can't imagine them keeping up this home run eruption, and there aren't enough guys who can hit in this lineup. I'm still looking forward to Ackley and maybe Carp coming up to the big club. Count me among those who is opposed to a major trade this year--unless they're able to stay close and make a good deal on a one year player. This team needs to hang on to as many chips as possible, and keep getting younger.