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Let's not waste any time here talking about the Mariners offense—they can't hit a lick. As a team, they are hitting just .230 which is the worst average in baseball, and aside from Justin Smoak, they have no real power threats to speak of.
Still, they are somehow 28-27 and in second place in a wide-open American League West.
And how have they done it? With pitching.
They have two of the best pitchers in the game in Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda, and they have received solid contributions from a number of other pitchers, as well.
The real question, in my opinion, comes down to this: How long will Pineda continue to pitch the way he is now? He already has six wins, 73 strikeouts and a 2.30 ERA in 70.1 innings, but he could soon hit a wall.
That is because Pineda, 22, is in his first major league season, meaning this is all new to him. Additionally, even if the young right-hander doesn't hit a wall, the Mariners will almost certainly begin to monitor his innings, wanting to protect their young flame-thrower.
Hernandez will continue to pitch stellar all season long—he is one of the best in the game. But they need a number of pitchers, including Pineda, to continue to pitch the way they are now.
And I just don't see that happening.