The Mariners are only one of two teams to never make the World Series, the other being the Washington Nationals. The Mariners are therefore also one of just seven teams to never win the World Series, the others being the San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays. Currently, the Mariners have now missed the playoffs for 16 straight seasons, longest playoff drought in the MLB. Let’s for this moment that the Mariners not only make the playoffs, but make it to their first ever World Series! What will happen to the Mariners in the World Series?
The Mariners happen to be playing the Washington Nationals, who got out of the NLDS finally and made it to their first ever World Series as well. Washington has home field. The Mariners win game five at home on a walk off home run to take a 3-2 series lead.
Game six at Washington. The Mariners are up 4-3 going into the bottom of the 8th inning. Two outs, so four outs from winning the World Series. Bryce Harper on deck. The batter hits a two out single. Bryce Harper is now up to bat. He hits a two run homerun to give the Nationals a 5-4 lead. The Mariners come up to bat, down a run, in the top of the 9th inning. The Mariners load the bases with no outs. A deep fly ball would likely tie the game, a single probably gets the guy from second base home, giving the Mariners the lead. The first batter hits a fly ball to right that gets caught, so the guy at third tags home. The throw gets there just in time, he’s thrown out. The guy on second went to third, but there’s two outs now. Robinson Cano is at bat. He strikes out. 3-3 series, going to game seven.
Game seven. It’s a 4-4 game going into the top of the 9th inning. Robinson Cano hits a two run homerun to give the Mariners a 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the 9th. The Mariners closer strikes out the first two batters. Mariners are one out from winning the World Series. Strike one. Strike two. Mariners are one strike from winning the World Series. Third pitch is down and away, but in the strike zone. The hitter swings at it, makes contact, and got just enough on it to have it drop into left field for a single. The next batter draws a four pitch walk. Two outs, with two on, here comes Bryce Harper to bat. The Mariners pitching coach makes a visit to the mound to calm the closer down, tells him how to pitch to Harper. The catcher sets up the first pitch to be down in the zone close to Harper, to get him to back off the plate a little. The closer leaves the pitch over the middle of the plate though, and Bryce Harper hits a three run homerun to win the World Series.
The Mariners are playing the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are also trying to win their first World Series, and have home field. The Mariners are up 3-1 in the series entering game five at home. The Mariners are up 7-4 entering the top of the 9th inning. The closer comes in for the Mariners. A single to right, a single to left, and a walk, load the bases with no outs for Milwaukee. The Mariners pitching coach comes out, while another reliever gets up in the bullpen to warm up in case things keep going badly. The closer calms down, and strikes out the next batter. One out. Then he makes the next batter hit an infield pop-up. Two outs. Safeco Field going crazy. Foul ball for strike one. Ball one. Foul ball for strike two. Mariners one strike from winning the World Series. Ball two. Still just need one more strike. A groundout would do too, or another pop up. Closer decides against a breaking ball down and away, and goes with the heater for the final strike. In the zone, hitter swings at it and…. Hits a grand slam. Down three runs and down to their final strike, Milwaukee hits a grand slam to take an 8-7 lead. Safeco is silenced. The Mariners come up to bat in the bottom of the 9th, but are too shocked from giving up a grand slam while one strike away from winning the World Series, so they down 1-2-3. Onto game six back in Milwaukee, Mariners up 3-2 in the series now.
Game six. Milwaukee has new life, and is back in front of their fans, while the Mariners are still not emotionally over their game five 9th inning collapse, so they no show. Milwaukee scores four in the first, three in the second, and cruises to a 10-2 win. 3-3 series.
Game seven. The Mariners have a team meeting hours before game seven, and they’re able to refocus. Seattle comes out swinging, hits a home run on the first pitch of game seven, and then adds a two run homerun, for a three run first inning to take a 3-0 lead. Milwaukee scores one in the third, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth though, to take a 4-3 lead. In the top of the sixth, the Mariners tie it with a solo shot. In the top of the 8th inning, Kyle Seager hits a two run double to take a 6-4 lead. The Mariners put in their closer for a six out save. 1-2-3 bottom of the 8th. Seattle does nothing in the top of the 9th. Bottom of the 9th, Mariners up 6-4. First two hitters strike out. Once again, the Mariners are one out from winning the World Series. On the first pitch, the batter hits a solo home run. 6-5 Mariners. Next batter, with a 1-1 count, hits a solo home run to tie the game. 6-6. The next batter comes up, and on a 2-1 count, he hits a Game Seven World Series winning solo home run. Milwaukee hits the rare back to back to back home run set to win the World Series.
The Seattle Mariners are playing the Colorado Rockies, also striving for their first World Series. The Mariners have home field. Colorado takes a 3-0 series lead though. Felix is pitching, and pitches seven great innings, giving up only one run, but as is normal, he gets no run support. The Mariners, down 1-0 in the top of the 9th inning of game four, get a lead off single. Kyle Seager hits a two run homerun deep to center field to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead. Our closer finishes it off 1-2-3 to force a game five.
Game five. The Mariners offense explodes, the pitching staff does its thing, and the Mariners win 8-2 to force a game six, back in Seattle. 3-2 series Colorado.
Game six. The Mariners pitching struggles, as does their hitting, and they find themselves down 12-2 entering the bottom of the seventh. The fans stay though, because it’s the World Series, and they want to show their appreciation for the historic season when the final out is recorded. Seattle scores three in the seventh though, and four in the bottom of the 8th to make it 12-9 entering the 9th. In the bottom of the 9th, with one out and one on, the Mariners hit a two run home run to make it 12-11. Then a strike out, so the Mariners are down to their final out. The batter hits a single, bringing Robinson Cano up to bat. Cano hits a two out game winning two run home run, to force a game seven. The Mariners have come back from three games down to force a game seven, at Safeco Field.
Game Seven. Felix is pitching. He gives up an early two run home run in the first, which silences Safeco Field. He settles down though, and shuts down Colorado. Again though, he’s getting no run support. However, the Safeco crowd, having seen the Mariners come back from 10 down the night before, and coming back from down 3-0 in the series, still believes the Mariners will come back and make all the right plays. In the bottom of the fourth, their faith is rewarded. Robinson Cano hits a game tying two run home run. With two outs in the top of the seventh, Felix gives up a solo home run, which signals the end of his night. 3-2 Colorado. In the bottom of the 7th though, Kyle Seager helps Felix out by tying the game with a solo home run. The 8th inning is scoreless, so it’s 3-3 going into the 9th inning of game seven of the World Series. We don’t use our closer, saving him for extra innings, and the bullpen gives up a soul crushing three run home run. Seattle comes up to bat in the bottom of the 9th down 6-3. First guy hits a single to right. He steals second during the next guys at bat, which ends in a strikeout. With one out, Colorado intentionally walks the next guy, so a double play would end the game and win the World Series. The batter hits a pop up though. Two outs. The next batter gets to a 2-2 count. Down to our last strike. On the next pitch, he hits a single to left, but it’s a shallow single, not enough for the guy on second to come home. Bases loaded, two outs, down 6-3, game seven of the World Series. Robinson Cano comes up to bat. First pitch swinging, he CRUSHES it to left center! Safeco Field is shaking. The center fielder goes back to the track, climbs the warning track and extends his glove hand as high and as far back as he can over the wall and robs the Mariners World Series winning grand slam to get the final out and win the World Series for Colorado instead. Safeco Field is stunned. Seattle never makes the World Series again and all the while, Mariners fans are left in agony at Cano’s World Series winning grand slam being robbed. Why couldn’t the ball have been one inch higher? Why did it hang in the air long enough for the center fielder to get to left center and rob it? Mariners fans forever hate the saying that it’s a game of inches.