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with Tom Hayden

Oakland jumps on Felix, Mariners early in final game of 2016

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

10/2 vs OAK by TOM HAYDEN

FINISHING 2016 RECORD - 86-76 |  2015 - 76-86

The Mariners were narrowly defeated on Sunday afternoon on what was a beautiful day in Seattle, a beautiful day for the final contest of what was a great 2016 season. Falling by a final score of 3-2 to the A's, it was a battle of defenses for sure. Sunday was Felix Day at the Safe as the King took the ball for his final start of the 2016 season. Hernandez didn't have his best day, however, as Oakland bats found ways to put up their runs early on him. Hernandez said in a press conference following the game that he knew he needed to get into better shape over this off-season, so he will pitch in a winter league and for his home of Venezuela in the 2016 World Baseball Classic. A handful of other pitchers will also look into getting off-season surgery. RHP Tony Zych, RHP Steve Cishek, and RHP Taijuan Walker are among those considering this. 2B Robinson Canó will play in the World Baseball Classic for his home as well, the Dominican Republic, this off-season. Back on track to Game 162 on Sunday, however, the Mariners suffered their 76th loss of the season, a 10-game improvement from last year. The 2016 Seattle Mariners finished with a final record of 86-76, whereas last year, the M's finished with a W-L record of 76-86. This team is certainly moving in the right direction, and I will be happy to be a part of it. 

On the mound in this one, RHP Felix Hernandez took the ball for what was his 25th and final start of 2016. Hernandez went 3.0 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits (earned) while walking none and striking out 3 A's on the day. Felix gave up a solo home run to Stephen Vogt in the first inning. Unfortunately, Felix finishes 2016 with a W-L record of 11-8, and an ERA of 3.82 in just over 150.0 innings pitched. In relief in this one, SHP Pat Venditte (5.73 ERA) got things started going 2.0 innings giving up 2 hits, with 2 walks and a strikeout. RHP Cody Martin (3.86 ERA) then went 2.0 innings giving up just 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 1. RHP Arquimedes Caminero (3.56 ERA) went 1.0 inning tossing a walk and a strikeout. RHP Dan Altavilla (0.73 ERA) then finished up the 2016 season for the Mariners on the mound going 1.0 inning with a pair of strikeouts. 

Offensively in this one, the M's combined to put up 2 runs on 6 hits off of Oakland pitching. CF Guillermo Heredia (.250 AVG) went 2-for-4 with a single and a 2-run double in this one. The double was Heredia's 3rd of the season. Heredia's 2-RBI day from the double late in the ball game now gives him 12 for the year. 2B Mike Freeman (.227 AVG) got the start at second base as Robinson Canó batted as the DH in the ball game. Freeman went 2-for-3 at the dish with a pair of singles. LF Ben Gamel (.188 AVG) went 1-for-3 with his 2nd double of the season. 1B Dae-Ho Lee (.253 AVG) went 1-for-3 as well with a single. 3B Kyle Seager (.278 AVG) launched a ball that would've went right over that right field Safeco wall, but unfortunately was robbed in the bottom of the ninth inning. The homer would've have not only tied the game up, but it would've been for Kyle Seager's 100th RBI of the season, and 31st home run. 

WHAT'S NEXT? : 

Unfortunately, we have to wait a bit until we play some Mariners Baseball again. #Mariners365 will be back for sure covering games starting in late February 2017, as the M's head to Peoria, Arizona for some Cactus League Baseball. Until then, however, we do have a long off-season. Mariners 365 is called "Mariners 365" for a reason. No matter what day of the year, I'll be tweeting, instagramming, discussing, and writing about all things Mariners' Baseball. There will be a few detailed Blogs to come discussing individual stats from the 2016 season, as well as projections for 2017. Preparation for 2017 starts now. Follow @Mariners365 on Twitter for plenty of things to interact with over the Off-Season. Also, @Mariners365 will be coming back to Instagram in November, and will be used daily throughout the 2017 season, just like the twitter is. 

This is Tom Hayden, signing off for the last time of 2016, saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue. 

Mariners fall to A's in back-and-forth thriller, get eliminated from Post-Season contention

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

10/1 vs OAK by TOM HAYDEN

86-75, Eliminated from AL WEST, Eliminated from AL WILD CARD race ----

Our 2016 Seattle Mariners were narrowly defeated on Saturday night in Seattle in what was one of the craziest games I have ever watched. Unfortunately, the Mariners no longer have a shot at playoff baseball this year, as both the Toronto Blue Jays won, and we lost. It was one heck of a run, and we fought to just about the end... Game 161. We were in this thing for 161 out of 162 games games this season, which is a very positive thing to look at despite missing the playoffs again. In this blog today, I'll breakdown last night's game in detail. I will be releasing a Blog covering a few major parts of the 2016 season in what will be almost like a reflection, sometime in the coming days. In this game on Saturday night, to stay on topic, the Mariners fell in 10 innings to the Oakland Athletics. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma took the ball for his 33rd start of the season, the most by any Mariners' pitcher this year. Kuma had himself a quick outing, which was ultimately a problem in the long run. Offensively, the Mariners had a solid night, no doubt, despite some hiccups at the bottom of the lineup. With the loss, the Mariners have fallen to 86-75 on the season with 1 game left play on Sunday (10/2) afternoon. As I mentioned earlier, unfortunately, the 2016 Seattle Mariners have been eliminated from Post-Season contention. It will certainly be an off-season of positivity however, as we know how close we can get. We just need to make some changes here and there, obviously. 

Offensively in this one, the Mariners combined to put up an impressive 8 runs on 13 hits in the crazy ball game. CF Leonys Martin (.247 AVG) started the scoring up in the bottom of the second inning as drove a single to center field to score Kyle Seager. Martin went 1-for-4 on the night with that hit, and the RBI was his 47th of the season. LF Norichika Aoki (.283 AVG) who has been one of the clutchest hitters for the Mariners the season, especially this month, went 2-for-5 at the plate with a single and his 24th double of the season for an RBI and a run scored. The RBI was Aoki's 28th of the year. DH Nelson Cruz (.287 AVG) went 1-for-6 on the night with probably the most important hit of the Mariners' season, even though they did lose the ball game. If Seattle had won, this would have been the biggest hit the Mariners had ever seen since that 2001 year. Down 7-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning with Robinson Canó on at first base, Cruz LAUNCHED a 2-run home run to left to tie the ball game up at 7 a piece! The home run was Nelly's 43rd of the season, and the 2 RBI now gives him 105 on the year. 2B Robinson Canó (.299 AVG) had another flat-out fantastic night, and literally has had one of the best season's we have  seen from him in his career. Canó went 2-for-5 at the plate with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI! Robbie smacked his 39th home run of the season for a 2-run home run in the fifth inning. Robbie also had an RBI single in the ball game. With the 3-RBI day for Canò, he now has 103 to date! RF Ben Gamel (.178 AVG) tried to keep the Mariners alive a couple of times in this one as he pinch-hit for Seth Smith late in the ball game. Gamel went 2-for-2 with 2 very clutch hits in this one. One of which kept the Mariners alive in the ninth inning and sent the ball game to extra innings, as Gamel drilled an RBI single to right field to score Mike Freeman. The RBI was Gamel's 5th of the season. Mike Freeman (.158 AVG)  pinch-hit for Ketel Marte in the at-bat prior to Gamel's hit, and he got on with his 1st double of the season to put himself into scoring position. 

On the mound in this one, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma took the ball for his 33rd start of the season, and unfortunately, it was a short one. Iwakuma was only able to go 3.2 innings giving up 5 runs on 9 hits (all 5 earned) while walking 1 and striking out 5 A's in his outing. Constantly balls were just getting hit into the gaps of Safeco Field by that Oakland offense. Unfortunately, it was a bad night to have a... bad night. But, it happens, and it happened to Hisashi on Saturday night. Our most consistent pitcher of 2016 was Iwakuma, and we wouldn't have been in this situation without him. Hisashi's outing was a no decision, so he finish off 2016 with an individual W-L record of 16-12 with an ERA of 4.12 in just under 200.0 innings pitched this season. In relief on Saturday night, RHP Drew Storen (5.23 ERA) immediately came into the game going 0.1 innings with 1 strikeout. LHP Vidal Nuño (3.53 ERA) went 1.1 inning giving up 1 run on 2 hits (run earned) with 1 strikeout. RHP Nick Vincent (3.73 ERA) went 1.0 inning giving up 1 run on 1 hit (run earned) while striking out 1. Vincent gave up a solo home run. RHP Evan Scribner (0.00) continues to keep that ERA at 0 as he went 0.2 innings tossing a blank frame. RHP Steve Cishek (2.81 ERA) went 0.2 innings giving up 1 run on 2 hits with 1 walk and a strikeout. Cishek threw a ball away in a pick-off attempt to first base, and the runner would then advance to score in the inning. RHP closer Edwin Diaz (2.79 ERA) then tossed the final 2.1 innings of the ball game giving up 1 run on 2 hits (earned run) while walking none and striking out an impressive 3 A's on the night. Diaz suffered the loss in this one, and now has an individual W-L record of 0-4 on the season in just over 50.0 innings pitched. 

WHAT'S NEXT? : 

Game 162! The 2016 Seattle Mariners will now look to cap of this crazy season with a win come Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field in Seattle for series finale baseball with these A's. Looking to help the Mariners get that final W will be RHP Felix Hernandez (11-7, 3.71 ERA), making what will be his 25th and final start of 2016. King Felix and the M's are set and ready to take on OAK RHP Sean Manaea (6-9, 3.89 ERA). Be sure to catch the final game of what has been a great 2016 season for the Mariners on ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on KTTH 770 Radio! First pitch start time is scheduled for 12:10 PM PAC, 3:10 PM ET! 

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue. 

Playoff hungry Mariners keep winning, beat A's to move 1.0 game within Wild Card

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

9/30 vs OAK by TOM HAYDEN

86-74, Eliminated from AL WEST, 1.0 GB in AL WILD CARD! ----

1 GAME BACK with 2 TO GO! Talk about drama, Mariners nation. It's what we are all going through right now as these Mariners have a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The Mariners took care of business on Friday in Seattle took stay alive alive in this race. Robinson Canó is certainly Post-Season hungry as he had himself a NIGHT at the plate and on defense for Seattle in this one. Nelson Cruz and Norichika Aoki also brought the bats in this one to help Seattle secure the W. RHP Taijuan Walker took the ball for his last scheduled start of the season in this one, and had himself a fine outing, locating that fast ball of his very well. The Blue Jays were also defeated by the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, which now means that the Mariners are 1 game back in the race. With a Seattle win on Saturday night and a Toronto loss, the worse that can come out of anything is a play-in game for the Mariners to get into the playoffs. Now that sounds special. Let's go get it. With this win on Friday night, the Mariners have now jumped to a season high of 12 games over .500 at 86-74 with 2 games to play. These next couple of days should be very, very interesting. 

Offensively on Friday night at the Safe, the Mariners combined to put up 5 runs on 7 hits off of Athletics' pitching. LF Norichika Aoki (.282 AVG) continues to rake in that lead-off spot as he went 2-for-3 on the night with an RBI and 2 runs scored. Nori smacked his 4th home run of the season, a solo blast in the second inning to extend an already Mariners' lead! Aoki also singled in the ball game. He now has 27 RBI on the season so far. DH Nelson Cruz (.288 AVG) continues to shine in that DH spot as he also had a solid night. Cruz went 2-for-4 at the dish with an RBI and a run scored. Cruz SMASHED his 42nd home run of the year in the third inning of the ball game, a solo homer to center. Cruz also singled in the ball game. Nelly now has 103 RBI on the season so far, which leads the ball club. 2B Robinson Canó (.298 AVG) is no doubt my pick for Mariners Player of this Game as he went 2-for-4 at the plate with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI! Robbie connected for 2 home runs in the ball game, a 2-run shot in the first inning and a solo blast in the third inning. Now that is a Canó show. Robbie continues to jump over his previous career high in home runs, as he now has 38 on the season for Seattle so far. The 3-RBI night gave Canó his 100th RBI of the season! 

On the mound on Friday night in the great Pacific Northwest, RHP Taijuan Walker took the ball for what was his 25th and scheduled to be his last start of the 2016 season. Walker finished on a good note going 6.0 innings giving up 1 run on 2 hits (run earned) while walking 5 and striking out 3 A's on the night. The only problem for Walker was his command, as he wasn't able to locate pitches other than his fastball very well. Walker earned the win from the solid outing, so it looks as if he will end the 2016 season with an individual W-L record of 8-11 with an ERA of 4.22 in just under 135 innings pitched for a grand total. In relief, RHP Evan Scribner (0.00 ERA) continues to pitch well as he went 1.0 inning on Friday night with 1 strikeout. RHP Nick Vincent (3.64 ERA) tossed a blank frame in 1.0 inning of work. RHP Steve Cishek (2.84 ERA) then finished up the game in the ninth inning, going the entirety of that inning tossing a blank frame to secure the Mariners' win! 

WHAT'S NEXT? : 

A HUGE GAME. If Toronto wins, and we lose, we are done. We cannot let that happen, obviously. Looking to get this one off to a good start will be RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (16-12, 3.98 ERA) making his 33rd start of the season, and his last in this one. Iwakuma's 33 starts are the most by any Mariners' pitcher this year. Iwakuma and the M's are set and ready to take on rookie OAK RHP Jharel Cotton (2-0, 2.09 ERA)! Be sure to catch all of the action on ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle radio! First pitch start time is scheduled for 6:10 PM PAC, 9:10 PM ET! 

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our M's #KeepFighting for the PostSEAson. 

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