Over in the National League the top records since the All-Star break belong to teams that have been strong all season: Cincinnati, Washington, Atlanta.
However, as Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times notes the American League’s top post-break record belongs to the team that had the league’s worst record going into the break.
Seattle went 36-51 in the first half, but the Mariners are now 23-13 in the second half and tied with the Rays for the AL’s top mark during that time. And the doubly amazing part is that they had a five-game losing streak within that, meaning the Mariners went 23-8 surrounding the five losses in a row.
They’re still in last place in the AL West at 59-64 overall, but thanks to the second Wild Card being added the Mariners are now at least on the fringes of contention. With just two more wins they’ll match their 2010 win total and eight more wins will match their 2011 win total.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.