Seattle swept the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim for the first time since the 2005 season over the weekend. Winners of five straight games and five straight series, the sub-par (at least to their payroll’s standards) San Diego Padres visited T-Mobile Park for a brief two-game set. The momentum is certainly with the M’s, as they hold the best record in the MLB since July the first before the series against last year’s NLDS-champion Padres.
Missed the action on Tuesday and Wednesday? Follow along here:
The thin man, Logan Gilbert got the nod Tuesday night after the travel day against SD who were having a bullpen day due to scheduled starter Joe Musgrove’s right shoulder injury.
Gilbert had it going early and often throughout the contest. He got Ha-Seong Kim and Juan Soto to strikeout swinging in the first. J.P. Crawford in the bottom half kept doing J.P. Crawford things. A line-drive double that was made possible by a nifty swim-move slide got things going for Seattle. Though Julio reached as well on a single, he was gunned down by San Diego catcher Gary Sanchez while trying to swipe second. A strikeout and groundout kept Seattle off the scoreboard early.
Scoreless baseball through the next two innings as Fernando Tatis Jr. faced Gilbert in the fourth. He mashed a fastball 109 MPH off the bat deep into center, where the ball was seemingly headed into the batter’s eye. Julio Rodriguez timed his jump perfectly, robbed a would-be home run, but made it seem like he wasn’t able to make a play. As Tatis was rounding second thinking he just gave the Padres the lead, Julio revealed that he had the ball the whole time, as T-Mobile Park erupted for last year’s rookie-of-the-year.
Finally, Seattle was able to back Gilbert’s brilliant performance with runs in the fifth and the sixth. A bases-loaded pitch clock violation against lefty Ray Kerr facing Cal Raleigh brought home Dylan Moore. The following inning, with Tom Murphy aboard, Moore cranked a shot over the head of Trent Grisham in center, plating the Murph on Moore’s first triple of the season.
2-0 Seattle after six, and Gilbert wasn’t quite done mowing down Padre-hitting. He not only surpassed his season high mark in strikeouts, but also his career high (12) in the seventh as he got Juan Soto to K for the third time of the ballgame, leading to Soto’s first career golden sombrero after Munoz punched him out in the ninth.
Logan’s final line looked something like this: 7.0 IP, 1 H (a questionable hit/error off the glove of Dylan Moore in the second), 0 BB, 12 K, 100 pitches. Relievers Matt Brash and Andres Munoz, despite both allowing both allowing traffic on the basepaths in the eighth and the ninth, shut it down, and helped Logan Gilbert combine for shutout of the Padres.
A 2-0 victory Tuesday night, as Seattle won their sixth in a row, and climbed just two games back of the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Wild Card race.
Before the series began, rookie starter Bryan Woo was placed on the 15-day shelf with an inflammation in his right forearm. Manager Scott Servais on Woo’s injury: “And I don't think this is anything serious. It just didn't feel 100 percent, so we're giving him a chance to catch his breath." With Marco Gonzales and Robbie Ray toast for the season, the M’s turned to their #4 prospect (#1 pitching), right-hander Emerson Hancock to make his long-awaited MLB debut Wednesday night.
Emerson walked the first batter he ever faced, Ha-Seong Kim. Kim then stole second and third and scored on a dribbler by Juan Soto. This lone walk/hiccup was one of only a few mistakes that Hancock made in his brilliant debut.
After Cade Marlowe reached on a base hit + error by Tatis, he was promptly moved over by Josh Rojas and scored on a J.P. Crawford sacrifice fly in the third to tie it up. J.P. collided with Eugenio Suarez in the fourth, and was able to remain in the game, but was later pulled with concussion-like symptoms.
Hancock was able to go a full five innings, which was exactly what he was asked to do by Servais. He allowed just two hits, struck out three and gave up just the one lone run. The M’s bullpen came in and backed up the young righty with a multitude of scoreless frames.
This game was 1-1, now in the bottom of the eighth. Julio was walked on five pitches, and after one out, the Big Dumper dug in. In an almost identical pitch, location, swing, etc. of the playoff-clinching bomb he has late last season, Cal Raleigh launched the longest home run of his career off of the Hit-It-Here Café in right. 450 feet on a lower-half sweeper and just like that, Seattle broke the tie late.
Scary moment following Cal’s major dump was Teoscar Hernandez taking a fastball off of the face. Geno and Julio jumped off the bench in anger assuming this misplaced pitch was on purpose. But thankfully, Teo was just fine, and came around and scored on a Ty France double. Rookie Cade Marlowe scored Ty France on a single and to finish it off, Dylan Moore singled home Marlowe to give the M’s a 6-1 lead late.
This was plenty for Isaiah Campbell to put the finishing touches on the brief, two-game sweep of San Diego. It was Seattle’s seventh win in a row, ninth of their las ten and sixth-straight series victory.
Felix Hernandez Mariners Hall-of-Fame Weekend is upon us. After an off day, it will be Friday fireworks night, Saturday Felix induction night and to wrap it up on Sunday, The King’s bobblehead day. A weekend full of fun and sun also welcomes in one of baseball's best teams in 2023, the Baltimore Orioles.
The O’s hold the second-best record in the MLB, as well as lead the stacked American League East. Though middle of the pack in team batting average and team ERA, they just flat out win ballgames. It’s the battle of the real “King Felix” beginning Friday, as it will certainly be a tough and exciting test for the M’s inside of a jam-packed T-Mobile Park this weekend.
Pitching probables for BAL @ SEA:
- Friday 8/11, 7:10 PM PT: RHP Luis Castillo (7-7, 3.21 ERA) vs. RHP Kyle Gibson (11-6, 4.50 ERA)
- Saturday 8/12, 6:40 PM PT: RHP George Kirby (10-8, 3.32 ERA) vs. LHP Cole Irvin (1-3, 5.44 ERA)
- Sunday 8/13, 1:10 PM PT: RHP Bryce Miller (7-4, 4.20 ERA) vs. RHP Kyle Bradish (7-6, 3.19 ERA)
American League West Standings as of Thursday:
- 1.Texas Rangers (68-47)
- 2.Houston Astros (66-50), 2.5 GB, +1.0 WCGB
- 3.Seattle Mariners (62-52), 5.5 GB, 2.0 WCGB
- 4.Los Angeles Angels (58-58), 10.5 GB, 7.0 WCGB
- 5.Oakland Athletics (33-82), -276 DIFF
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