Not since 2001 have the Seattle Mariners reached the postseason. There have been some close finishes, none more so than last season when they took their quest to reach the playoffs to the final regular-season game.
However, requiring a combination of factors just to reach a possible game 163 scenario was all too much and the Mariners quest was denied. The Mariners are -650 to make the playoffs this season. Is 2022 going to be the year for Seattle?
Following the Mariners' 6-2 win at Globe Life Field, Texas on Friday night, Seattle coach Scott Servais celebrated his 500th win in charge of the team. Servais became only the 139th manager in MLB history to reach that record and 13th active manager with that many victories.
Servais also became just the fifth to do it with the same team joining Atlanta Braves' Brian Snitker, Milwaukee Brewers' Craig Counsell, Los Angeles Dodgers' Dave Roberts and the Tampa Bay Rays' manager Kevin Cash. Out of all of those five, only Servais hasn't reached the postseason with his team.
A teary Servais spoke to MLB.com after his 500th win and said: "Thank you. You get opportunities to do this. I love my job, I really do. We've got a lot of big games ahead of us, and I'm looking forward to a little bit more celebrations here once we get into October.
"Again, the job's not done. We've got a lot of fun baseball ahead of us, and I'm looking forward to that.
"Five hundred wins, it's hard to do, first of all and not get fired in this game. But the game is all about the players. It'll always be about the players and the fact they grind through it."
Chasing a Wild Card spot in the American League has not been an unusual occurrence for Seattle. The Mariners have failed to win the Division since 2001 and they won't win it this year either, unless there is a spectacular fall from the Astros.
Houston has won four of the last five AL East Championships and they are 12 games ahead of the Mariners at present. The Mariners are +4000 to win the Division.
The Mariners have found it increasingly difficult to compete in the Division until last season, they won 90 games, their most wins in a season since 2003. In 2016, they finished in second place to the Texas Rangers collecting 86 wins, but they were still eight games back from the leaders.
Earlier in July, the Mariners went on a 14-game winning streak that saw them move from third place to second in the division. However, they were quickly brought back down to earth as the Astros swept them at home to remind Seattle how far they need to go to topple Houston.
The Astros then won three of the next four games between the two sides at Minute Maid Park. Seattle are 7-30 over the past four seasons in Houston and wrapped up their season losing six of the last seven games to them.
Seattle's record over the Texas Rangers in recent times has been good. The Mariners lost on Saturday to the Rangers, however, they had won 10 of the previous 12 meetings between the two sides.
One of the big pitching moves in this Trade Deadline was made by the Mariners when they secured Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds. Seattle sent four players in return for Castillo, including three of its top five prospects.
The Mariners beat the Yankees to Castillo and several other teams that were interested in the right-handed pitcher. The 29-year-old has a 5-4 record this season with a 2.71 ERA, with 105 strikeouts in 16 games started.
The one thing that the Mariners didn't do was pick up a big hitter during the deadline. Adam Frazier has improved a little, Jesse Winker has also improved slightly, however, you felt the Mariners required someone a little more consistent as they see the finish line.
We'll see if Jarred Kelenic can improve his at-bats from the promise he showed when he was first traded, although at the moment he has been optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.
The Mariners hope to have some of their injured players in the coming weeks including, outfielder Taylor Trammell, who has been out with a hamstring strain. The big plus was having star centre-fielder Julio Rodriguez back from injury. The 21-year-old has been out with a right wrist contusion.
The Mariners are hoping to stay injury-free as they make their big push to the playoffs.