SEATTLE (AP) — Because of one stat, pitcher Matthew Boyd has become the go-to player to ask about the Seattle Mariners’ situation.
Not the stats on the back of his baseball card, mind you. It’s the fact Boyd was born in Bellevue, Washington, on Feb. 2, 1991. That he grew up on nearby Mercer Island and was 10 years old the last time Seattle reached the postseason.
“I was really lucky to have really good baseball teams at a point in my life where it was kind of those transformative years,” Boyd said. “I just wanted to watch the game on TV. I wanted to go to the Kingdome every day. That was really special. It was huge for me. I’m very lucky that was the case because baseball was fun.”
Baseball is fun again in the Pacific Northwest in a way that it hasn’t been in more than two decades. The longest postseason drought in the four major professional sports ended Friday night when the Mariners earned a long-coveted spot in the Major League Baseball playoffs.
And Seattle did it in the most dramatic fashion possible. Cal Raleigh, sent to the minors because of struggles early in the season, stepped up as a pinch-hitter and launched a game-winning solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning on a 3-2 pitch to beat the Oakland Athletics 2-1.
It was storybook stuff, played out by kids in backyards for generations. And it joins a small list of singular, unforgettable moments — a shot, a play, a swing — in Seattle’s sports history.
“It was the craziest thing ever. I don’t think I’ll be able to forget that moment,” Raleigh said.
Seattle will play in the wild-card round, potentially as the beneficiary of the postseason expansion that added a third wild-card team for each league. Toronto and Tampa Bay have clinched the other two extra spots in the AL, and the playoff schedule has…