January 22, 2019

Lining Up the 1995 Mariners and 2014 Royals

October 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

For Seattle Mariners fans, the clear sentimental favorite in this year’s playoffs is the Kansas City Royals. There is no overwhelming, uncanny sense of deja vu when you compare the 2014 Royals to the 1995 Mariners, but there are some key similarities between the two teams that explain the simpatico feeling between M’s and Royals fans. Here’s a set of similarities between 2014 in K.C. and 1995 in Seattle:

The 2014 Royals were 48-50, 51-50, and 53-52 in late July; the 1995 Mariners were about a .500 team throughout August, and were just 59-57 at the end of August. The M’s went 20-9 in September and October, 12 of those wins in come-from-behind fashion. The Royals didn’t make a similarly great September rally, but they did win 6 of their last 8 regular season games, and went 34-21 in August and September.

The Royals won a 1-game playoff vs. the A’s after Oakland had collapsed in the last two months of the season; the Mariners beat the Angels in a playoff for the A.L. West title after the Angels had given up a 12.5 game lead on the M’s.

Of the Royals 4 playoff games so far, the first 3 went to extra innings; the Mariners had 2 extra-inning games in their ALDS vs. the Yankees.

Winning droughts: the Royals had gone 29 years without making it to the postseason; the drought had been forever for the Mariners. The Royals finished above .500 three times from 1990 through 2013; as of 1995, the M’s had finished above .500 twice in their history.

Ned Yost got some rough criticism when he complained about lax attendance in Kansas City in August and September: the Royals’ attendance was below 20,000 for 4 games in September, and for the season it was 1.956 million. In 1995, after the 9-month strike, neither the Mariners nor anyone else in MLB was in a position to complain about a lack of interest in their games: the M’s drew 1.643 million in 1995, including fewer than 20,000 for 5 games in September.

The Royals’ 89-73 record translated to a .549 winning percentage; the Mariners’ strike-shortened 79-66 record translated to a .545 winning percentage.

Finally, in 2014 the Royals had no one dominant starter, but their dominant three in the bullpen-Greg Holland, Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera-combined for 258 strikeouts in 204 1/3rd innings: 1.26 Ks per inning. To compare, in 1995 Randy Johnson struck out 294 in 214 1/3rd innings: 1.37 Ks per inning.

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