The Seattle Mariners may have seen their nine-year winning streak on opening day end on Monday, but during that streak those Day 1 wins rarely translated into prolonged success in April.
Even with Monday’s defeat, there’s still time for the M’s to put together a strong opening month, and it might be exactly what they need to end a 15-year postseason drought.
ESPN senior baseball writer Jayson Stark, who will be joining “Brock and Salk” for a weekly segment at 9 a.m. each Tuesday during the baseball season, explained just how important a hot start could end up being for the Mariners by pointing to one of their division rivals.
“I would go back to the Astros last year. Do you think the Astros would have had the season that they had if they hadn’t had the start that they had? I’m gonna vote no,” Stark said. “That was a team that really had no idea how good it was when the it started the season and then played with tremendous confidence for five months, until September almost spoiled all those dreams. I think the Mariners really could fit that category.”
For reference, the Astros finished 86-76 &ndash, good enough to win one of the American League wild-card spots, and went as far as taking eventual World Series champ Kansas City to five games in the ALDS.
The Mariners would gladly take a similar outcome considering they haven’t been to the playoffs since 2001.
“(The Mariners) are a team that hasn’t experienced a lot of success, doesn’t really know exactly what it is, is in a division where Texas and Houston are the clear favorites … I think they’re a team that could use a big start, and April matters,” said Stark. “You can really set the tone for your entire season in April. I could pick off a list of probably 10 teams that need to get off to a good start. Are the Mariners one of them? Absolutely.”
You can hear the entirety of Stark’s segment here.