After losing the final two of three games to the Phillies by a combined two runs last week, Seattle travelled internationally up into Toronto. It was their first time visiting the Rogers Centre since sweeping the Blue Jays in the American League Wild Card Series at the beginning of last postseason. Much like in Philadelphia, the M’s bats were quite in games one and two, losing both again by a combine two runs. Seattle was able to bounce back and gain some momentum into Oakland as they came back in the final game and avoided the sweep. Let’s recap, shall we?
Game one was Luis Castillo up against Alek Manoah, the exact pitching matchup of the opening WC game in October, where Seattle won 4-0, their first postseason victory since 2001. This time around, it was another close matchup.
The catchers on both sides had solo home runs in each half of the second inning, with Cal Raleigh in the top half, and Alejandro Kirk in the home half. One inning later, and Raleigh again delivered for Seattle, this time an RBI single which scored Jarred Kelenic.
Likely American League Player of the Month, Matt Chapman, responded with an RBI double of his own, scoring Vladdy Jr, again tying the game at two apiece.
Fast forward to the home sixth, where George Springer singled home Whit Merrifield, which ended up being the game-winning RBI.
Castillo’s day was done after five innings, where he struck out four, and gave up two earned runs. Manoah got into a few dicey situations due to the walks, but he was able to only allow two runs on six hits, striking out seven Mariners. Final from game one in Toronto: Jays 3, M’s 2.
Saturday, and it was recently called-up Easton McGee up against Toronto’s Kevin Gausman. In a game where most expected Toronto to handle Seattle, McGee was absolutely lights out. In fact, McGee was working a perfecto into the sixth inning… not to shabby for your first appearance of the season. The issue here was that Seattle couldn’t get jack going against Gausman.
This game was 0-0 and headed to extras. The story of Seattle’s season so far in extra innings has not been much of a fun read, and it continued Saturday afternoon. After the M’s couldn’t squander a single run, Toronto’s Daulton Varsho singled home Bo Bichette, winning the game 1-0.
Looking for any sort of spark, and/or momentum before leaving Canada, it was Sunday, and Marco Gonzales against Chris Bassit.
After some questionable non-strike calls in the top of the first for Bassit, Seattle capitalized in a grand way. Taylor Trammell, in his first game for the M’s this year broke out the rye bread and mustard after his grand slam to give the M’s an early 4-0 lead. But the Blue Jays weren’t having it at all.
Toronto busted off eight runs of their own in the first three innings, and in the blink of an eye a 4-0 lead turned into an 8-4 deficit for Seattle.
Teoscar Hernandez, after a brutal series of at bats against his former club, was able to get Seattle within three on an opposite field home run. Two innings later, Cal Raleigh joined in on the home run fun, with a two-run missile, narrowing the deficit to just one.
Seems like Cal Raleigh déjà vu, right? Well, that wasn’t all for him. But before we get to that, get this… JP Crawford, down to the last strike of the series finale, was able to muster off an RBI single to knot things up at eight, as this one was headed to extras for the second straight game.
Like I mentioned, Cal Raleigh was finally able to help the M’s produce in extra innings, as he hit his second two-run home run of the ball game, giving Seattle a 10-8 lead. Matt Brash, appearing in his third consecutive game, was able to earn hist first save of the season, as the M’s held on and took the finale.
Seattle, now four games under .500, heads to The Bay, to take on one of MLB’s worst teams, the Oakland Athletics. As of this morning, Seattle’s #2 prospect RHP Bryce Miller will make his major league debut Tuesday on the bump. Following him is George Kirby on Wednesday and Luis Castillo on Thursday before heading back to the PNW to debut their Nike City Connect jerseys against the Houston Astros on Friday.
AL West Standings as of Monday afternoon:
- 1.Texas Rangers (17-11)
- 2.Houston Astros (15-13)
- 3.Los Angeles Angels (15-14)
- 4.Seattle Mariners (12-16)
- 5.Oakland Athletics (6-23)