The Seattle Mariners ended up being more than a thorn in the side of the Athletics this season.
Tuesday night’s 4-2 loss at T-Mobile Park was the 11th consecutive time this season Oakland fell to the team being led by Mitch Haniger. It pushed the A’s even further back in the wild-card standings, but they had to give the Mariners props.
“You have to tip the cap to what their bullpen has done this season,” Tony Kemp said after the game. “They attack the zone, and you know, they put balls where they want to and not walking many guys, they go up there with the plan of attack and you know, sometimes you have to tip your cap, they’ve been keeping us off balance and they’ve been good.”
Kemp also acknowledged the impressive way the Mariners were able to hit with runners in scoring position. Something the A’s surely would be jealous of over the course of the season.
“It just seems like they get those clutch hits when they need it, and you know, they’ve won a lot of one-run ballgames, and you know that’s a testament to their bullpen and I think when theses guys get in late innings and their bullpen comes in, their defense tightens up and they just know how to win ballgames, and it’s been shown -- especially against us.”
The Mariners now are half a game behind the Boston Red Sox for the second AL Wild-Card spot. The A’s are 3 1/2 games behind.
Starter Chris Bassitt also gave his respect to the Mariners.
"I think going into this year, I don't know how many people on either team would have said, 'The Mariners are better than us,' but the game is proving otherwise,” Bassitt said.
The compliments toward the Mariners eventually morphed into acceptance. The season is winding down and the A’s are limping toward the finish line.
“Yeah, it’s a massive disappointment, no doubt about it,” Bassitt said. “We expected to compete for a World Series and we fell way short, I’m going to reassess everything going forward. I mean, that’s just the way it is. It sucks.”