As Wild Card Race Heats Up, Seattle Cools Down against Texas

After taking the series opener and claiming the top wild card spot on Friday night, Seattle loses the final two games and dropped the series against Texas this weekend. The M’s must pull off these wins against lesser opponents going forward as the playoff race continues to get interesting. As it stands right now, Seattle at 62-54, have a half-game advantage over Tampa Bay in the second of three wild card positions in the American League.

Coming off of an awesome series win against New York, Seattle had all the momentum on their side when they landed in Arlington. They continued to ride that wave in the opener on Friday.

George Kirby continued his solid string of starts and has been given slack on his pitch count leash. He finished Friday night with 83 pitches, going just under six innings, giving up only two earned runs and striking out five. Matt Brash, Andres Munoz and Erik Swanson shut it down in the ‘Pen.

Julio Rodriguez made his return to the lineup, and gave Seattle an instant offensive boost, which was expected based off of his success so far in his rookie year. He went 2-4 at the dish, driving in two of the six total runs Seattle scored Friday night. Mitch Haniger (3-5) continued his recent success after rejoining the club after missing three plus months with a high ankle sprain.  Seattle took game one by a final score of 6-2.

Marco Gonzales took the hill Saturday night, and was beat up pretty good, which unfortunately has been consistent over his last few starts. He gave up five earned runs on nine hits in five full innings. Chris Flexen was not sharp in his first game as a reliever, where he walked four in two innings.

Seattle was limited to just seven hits in the game, and they were not clutch with runners aboard. 13 total Mariners were left on base throughout the second game of the series. Texas won Saturday’s showdown 7-4.

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers

Corey Seager and the Texas Rangers celebrate post-game after beating Seattle Saturday, 7-4.Photo: Getty Images

Looking to win the series Sunday afternoon, it was Logan Gilbert up against All-Star Martin Perez. Gilbert, after facing Houston and New York in four consecutive starts, was able to go six innings, giving up three earned, despite walking four. Matt Brash had Corey Seager down to two strikes and two outs before giving up a double and then single to give Texas a 4-3 lead in the seventh. Texas added one more off of Erik Swanson (run credited to Brash) in the seventh to give the Rangers a two-run lead.

Like yesterday’s loss, the Mariners couldn’t produce with the bases occupied. There was a total of 19 left on base, where Seattle was only able to muster off four total hits in the game. Texas won the finale 5-3.

Like stated above and in past articles, Seattle’s schedule going forward isn’t very daunting, and they will need to put together some wins against these inferior opponents. They will fly to Anaheim to face the Angels beginning Monday night for three games. Tomorrow’s 6:38 PM start will be yet another fantastic pitching matchup: All Star’s Luis Castillo and Shohei Ohtani. Robbie Ray gets the start against Jose Suarez on Tuesday, and George Kirby will take the hill for Seattle on Wednesday.

AL Wild Card Standings Update:

  • 1. Toronto Blue Jays (61-52), +1 GB
  • 2. Seattle Mariners (62-54), +0.5 GB
  • 3. Tampa Bay Rays (60-53), -- GB
  • Minnesota Twins (58-54), 1.5 GB
  • Baltimore Orioles (59-55), 1.5 GB
  • Chicago White Sox (59-56), 3 GB

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