Taijuan Walker tosses a signed ball to a fan prior to the game. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
The Seattle Mariners’ season ended yesterday at Safeco Field in Seattle without advancing to the postseason, despite sweeping the visiting Los Angeles Angels over the weekend.At the beginning of the weekend the team was largely left for dead. An arduous road trip helped knock the team from second in the race for postseason play into a trailing position for a wild card spot. Yet as the Ms moved toward sweeping the Angels and competitors vying for the wild card faltered, the door remained improbably open going into the last game of the regular season. All Seattle needed was a win at home, and an Oakland Athletics loss against the Rangers in Texas.The Mariners certainly did their part. Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez struck out seven in a dominating performance, allowing only a single hit in five and a half innings. The Ms offense scored one in the second, and three in the fourth to establish the lead they’d hold ’till the end.But Texas failed to pull through, losing 4-0 and delivering the second wild card to Oakland. The news came mid-way through the fifth inning, prompting the home crowd of over 40,000 to rise to their feet, face the Mariners dugout, and cheer. Thus began a celebration of the first winning season the team has produced since 2009, ending a five year drought. The crowd thundered with a standing ovation for several minutes when Hernandez was pulled from the game in the sixth. The scene was repeated later in the same inning when Robinson Cano, the team’s star second baseman was pulled too.The team went on to polish off the Angels in the top of the ninth, again to another standing O. Players emerged from the dugout with bags full of baseballs, bats, and other tokens of gratitude, tossing them into the crowd.Seattle finished the season 87-75. Be sure to check out all the special moments of the Mariners final game in our slideshow.
Karina Kottek carries hand-made signs to her seat before the game. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
Fans cheer on pitched Felix Hernandez in the second inning. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
Pitcher Danny Farquhar throws a pitch in the eight inning. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren