A new month began in New York. Following a two-team home stand, the Mets played host to the first-place Seattle Mariners at Citi Field in Queens, NY. The team with the highest payroll in the league helped out the M’s by beating the Texas Rangers to wrap up their previous series, but then continued their winning ways against Seattle, unfortunately. The opener and the finale went NY’s way, as the middle game went in Seattle’s favor despite a very back-and-forth affair. Too busy watching Coach Prime’s Colorado Buffaloes beat a team that was in the national championship in January? Maybe you were watching the PAC-2 representative Washington St Cougars put up 50 on CSU, who’s conference they may very well be a part of shortly? Either way, here’s what happened in the Big Apple.
Friday night’s battle was all about the starting pitching matchup. Mets’ ace Kodai Senga pitched a gem to start the series, and so did his competition, righty Logan Gilbert of the Mariners.
Seattle scored the first run of the series in the top of the fourth. J.P. Crawford is surely making his case to bat cleanup to finish out 2023. His 13th home run of the season was mashed 413 feet over the wall in center field. It was Brandon Nimmo on the New York Mets who mimicked Crawford, crushing a Logan Gilbert middle-middle fastball into the right center seats a few innings later.
Pitching lines for both starters Friday:
- Logan Gilbert: 6.2 IP, 7 H, ER, 0 BB, 9 K
- Kodai Senga: 7.0 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 12 K
Gabe Speier got that last out for Gilbert to close out seven. Then it was old friend, Daniel Vogelbach, facing flamethrower Andres Munoz with two down and one in scoring position in the eighth. Vogey, who got down 0-2 in the count quickly, proceeded to work it full and lace an opposite field RBI single to give the Mets the lead late Friday.
Top nine, and the M’s needed one to tie. They were instantly granted a free pass from NYM’s Drew Smith, who walked Cal Raleigh to start the inning. But all momentum was shot down in a hurry when Jose Caballero, who came into pinch run for the Big Dumper, was picked off before a pitch was thrown to Teoscar Hernandez. Teo flew out and Ty France struck out swinging to end the ballgame. Final: NYM 2, SEA 1.
Luis Castillo got the nod Saturday. It was a parade of Mets’ pitchers, starting with lefty David Peterson, who went the first four innings.
It was Teo who got things going for Seattle in the top of the second. He cranked his 24th home run of the season to lead off the inning and give Seattle the early lead. An inning later, they expanded their advantage thanks to Julio Rodriguez’s 402-foot triple that scored J.P. and then Hernandez again came through, this time with an RBI single scoring J-Rod.
But, that then three-run lead was erased on one swing of the bat. Mets’ outfielder DJ Stewart obliterated a Castillo four-seam fastball over the head of Julio and the fence in center field. Stewart’s tenth on the year also scored Pete Alonso and Vogey, tying it at three apiece.
The sixth inning for both teams was very offense-filled. Pinch hitter Dominic Canzone, with Mike Ford aboard, smacked his fourth home run of the season just fair, deep into the right field upper-level seats. Sam Haggerty, who walked following Canzone, stole second and third and then scored on an error by NYM’s Mark Vientos, whose throw across the diamond was off-line trying to get the speedy Rodriguez out to end the inning. Instead, it was 7-3 heading to the bottom half.
With the Mets down four, they got one back quickly off of Castillo, thanks to a Vientos solo home run. He then walked the next batter, which ended his day. La Piedra went five innings, allowing five earned, striking out just two. Speier came in for relief, got the next two batters to strike out swinging, but wasn’t quite able to limit the damage. Four-time All-Star Francisco Lindor banged one off the left field foul pole off of a Speier slider, cutting Seattle’s lead to one.
In the home eighth, Jeff McNeil tied it up on a triple that just stayed in the ballpark off of lefty Taylor Saucedo. Justin Topa followed Sauce by getting Pete Alonso to ground out to first.
Tie game, bottom nine, and J.P. dug in. The Mariners’ shortstop wasted no time off of NYM’s Adam Ottavino, hitting his second home run in as many days on the second pitch of the inning.
Topa stayed in the game to close this wild one out. Vogey, not ever known for his blazing speed, shockingly tried to leg out a double to start the bottom of the ninth but was gunned down at second.
Topa then allowed a single, but got the two final outs via a pop up and a comebacker. Middle game went Seattle’s way, an 8-7 final.
Looking to win yet another series, it was George Kirby facing Tylor Megill. Kirby, who missed his last scheduled start due to sickness, looked and played not up to his typical standards, despite pitching in the state he grew up in.
It was the Pete Alonso game Sunday. He got things going in the first for the Mets thanks to a hard-hit RBI single that scored Lindor. New York kept the pedal to the metal, scoring again in the second and two more in the third. Alonso barreled his 40th homer of the season on a Kirby curveball.
Seattle showed life in the fourth, with back-to-back home runs by Dom Canzone (2 RBI) and Mike Ford (solo). Now only down one, Seattle turned to former-Mariner, and recently picked-up Dominic Leone to take over pitching duties for Kirby. George went only three innings, allowing four runs (3 ER) on 73 pitches.
A solo shot by Jeff McNeil, and another two-run home run by Alonso lengthened the lead for the Mets. That extra insurance put this one out of reach for the M’s. 6-3 was the final to wrap up the series Sunday. It was Seattle’s first lost series since facing the Baltimore Orioles August 11-13.
Onto Cincinnati to face off against Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte and the Reds beginning Monday afternoon. They will be coming off of a series split with the Chicago Cubs, giving up 15 runs Sunday in a loss. The Reds sit just a half-game back in the National League wild card, and they rank near the bottom in most pitching categories.
Pitching probables for SEA @ CIN:
- Monday September 4th, 1:10 PM PT: RHP Bryan Woo (2-3, 4.15 ERA) vs. TBA
- Tuesday September 5th, 3:40 PM PT: RHP Bryce Miller (8-4, 3.93 ERA) vs. RHP Connor Phillips (MLB Debut)
- Wednesday September 6th, 3:40 PM PT: RHP Logan Gilbert (12-5, 3.56 ERA) vs. RHP Lyon Richardson (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
American League West standings as of Sunday evening:
- 1.Seattle Mariners (77-59)
- 2.Houston Astros (77-60), 0.5 GB
- 3.Texas Rangers (76-60), 1.0 GB
- 4.Los Angeles Angels (64-72), 13 GB, 12.0 WCGB
- 5.Oakland Athletics (41-95), -300 DIFF
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