First the A's, Now the Mariners Sweep the 'Stros in Houston
Tracking divisional pennant races is sorta like watching the 440yd hurdles.
A true perspective doesn't really come into focus until the corner's turned and the straightaway beckons.
Right now, that's the American League West.
A look under the hood revealed they got fat off sub-.500 clubs and Nos 3-4-5 starters. Neither appears very often in the post-season, which added to a stigma of shallow achievement and subsequent irrelevance that's hung over the franchise ever since.
Maybe now, somebody might. Like the Astros and Athletics.
Oakland triggered a DefCon 4 alert by sweeping the 'Stros in Houston before the All-Star break. It's notable -- vital, even -- that when Seattle's turn came, they matched the A's:
Meanwhile, Oakland continues to close in on the 'Stros, with dudes like Ramon Laureano and his cannon arm firing on all cylinders:
The AL West is no longer a rout.
It's a bonafide race.