Before the All-Star break, the 2012 season looked like another 90+ loss, throwaway year for the Seattle Mariners. In the 44 games since the Mid-Summer Classic, the M's have compiled a record of 27-17 and have achieved winning streaks of seven and eight games.
With a month to go in the regular season, the Mariners are 63-68, and although it'll take a motion picture-worthy miracle for them to sneak into the postseason this year, they've climbed to a respectable nine games out of the Wild Card lead.
September will be a month in which Seattle will have an opportunity to build upon their recent success and continue to improve team chemistry, as well as grant young players time on the field in order to acclimate themselves to the big stage.
This club looks ready to be in the playoff hunt sooner than most expected, and here are four reasons they'll be in contention to win the AL West in 2013.