The 2011 Seattle Mariners are sort of like a Halloween hermit crab.
They’re vulnerable little critters living in the shell of another, and find the strangest ways to eat (win).
Hermit crabs don’t come with protective shells like a snail, but they’re smart enough to know that if they can procure such a device they can live a little longer than they normally would on their own accord. They’ll also eat anything, such as dead creatures. This is like winning a game via a wild pitch during an IBB attempt.
The Mariners offense is akin to the hermit crab, and their pitching has been the shell. In almost a serendipitous way, Jack Zduriencik has pieced together a pitching staff that was lying around on the ocean floor waiting for someone to pick it up.
Jamie Wright? Aaron Laffey? David Pauley? Who wanted those shells?
Sure, there’s Felix Hernandez. Outside of him, though, who saw the talent levels of the support cast being this good?
Once Erik Bedard tossed a single pitch, he contributed more than anyone counted on. Michael Pineda is a rookie and a lot of people expected far more rookie growing pains. Doug Fister and Jason Vargas have gone from back-end filler to solid middle of the rotation guys.
Knowing the club would be without David Aardsma and Shawn Kelley, the club had to turn to guys like Wright, Laffey and Pauley. They also needed help from Brandon League who had regressed in 2010 from the guy they thought they were getting from Toronto.
Here we are, though. This has been a rough week, but the Mariners still find themselves within arm’s reach of the division lead with a bunch of division games coming up.