Seattle’s Series Loss in Anaheim Concludes Rough Road Trip

The Mariners have yet to meet almost all expectations after last year’s historic and long-awaited playoff appearance so far in this season. At this point, it is no longer allowed to say the words “but it’s early” in terms of the duration of the season when speaking about Seattle’s performance in 2023. After getting crushed and swept in Arlington, splitting a two-gamer in San Diego, and losing two of three in Anaheim, this season has almost eclipsed 40% completion, and this road trip was not very kind one by any standards. The M’s are now back in T-Mobile Park for a two-team home stand as they welcome in the Miami Marlins for three starting tonight.

But before we look ahead, join me as we cringe while looking back to the series loss against the Los Angeles Angels, which concluded a 2-6 road trip.

It didn’t get any easier Friday night, with the two-time AL MVP, Shohei Ohtani on the mound, (and at the dish) against Luis Castillo.

Shockingly enough, Seattle jumped ahead in the first, thanks to a two-run home run over the high right field wall by Jarred Kelenic. This was JK’s second career bomb off of Ohtani, and in the blink of an eye, Seattle was ahead by two.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels

Jarred Kelenic connects a Shohei Ohtani pitch with the barrel of his bat, a two-run home run Friday night. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Castillo was rolling until the third, when the pitcher came up to bat. Shohei blasted a Luis Castillo first-pitch changeup 440 feet way over the wall in right center to knot it up at two. An inning later and known Mariner-killer Luis Rengifo brought home Anthony Rendon on a sharply-hit ground ball single to center, giving LAA a one-run advantage.

Top five with Seattle down one, Ty France singled home Jose Caballero, but the threat was nullified after Kelenic grounded into a double play. This was the end of the night for Ohtani, as he finished with six strikeouts over five innings, but gave up five walks while doing so. Luis Castillo’s final line: six innings, ten Ks, three earned runs.

Mickey Moniak’s two-run homer in the sixth ended Castillo’s outing, and another early-game lead was diminished Friday. Mike Ford put one out to bring this within one in the Mariners’ last ups, but a pop-out, strikeout and lineout in order ended any late-game heroics as LAA took Friday night’s contest by a score of 5-4.

As Saturday came along, it was Bryan Woo looking to rebound after his tough career debut in Texas, as he faced lefty Patrick Sandoval on fireworks night in Anaheim.

Woo, who gave up six runs in just two innings his last appearance, showed why he was brought up last week in place of the injured Marco Gonzales. This game was scoreless until the top of the third, where Julio Rodriguez and company got the M’s on the board first for the second straight game. J-Rod’s 421-foot shot over Mike Trout in center was followed by a Teoscar Hernandez RBI single, giving Seattle a 3-0 lead.

A half inning later, and that pitcher on the other team was up to bat again. Ohtani, for the second straight game, crushed a down-and-in slider 103 MPH off-the-bat that scored two as it cleared the right field fence by a decent margin.

The M’s however, were not content with their now one-run lead, as Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford both had RBI singles in the fourth to again lengthen the lead to three.

Things got dicey in the bottom of the fifth as Woo’s day was coming to a close. With runners on second and third and Ohtani back at the plate, Scott Servais turned to Gabe Speier, who was able to (questionably? I’ll let you decide) get the Japanese-native to strikeout looking to end the Angels’ threat.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels

Shohei Ohtani, who rarely gets emotional about balls and strikes, reacts as home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi calls him out on strikes Saturday night. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

Like stated above, Woo was much better Saturday. His final line: 4 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 SO. Seattle added one more, and ended up winning Saturday’s battle by a score of 6-2 as Speier (W), Justin Topa, Andres Munoz (3 SOs) and Paul Sewald backed Woo’s second-ever MLB start.

Rubber match yesterday, and it was all Angels, all Sunday.

Logan Gilbert, after his fine performance against the Padres last week, struggled to locate as he allowed seven earned runs in just three innings. The Angels scored two in the first, one in the second, and three in the third to virtually put this one out of reach in a hurry. LAA shortstop Zach Neto hit his fourth and fifth home runs of the season as the Halos handled Seattle in the finale.

The final was 9-4, and Seattle finished the road trip with just two wins in eight games. They now sit two games under .500 and have fallen 3.5 games behind the Angels for third in the AL West.

The Miami Marlins, after taking two of three from the struggling Chicago White Sox, are in the Emerald City. They feature the best “hitter” in all of baseball in Luis Arraez, and rank seventh in the majors with a .260 team batting average. The Marlins (37-29) are only chasing the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

Lefty Jesus Luzardo (5-4, 3.79 ERA) will toe the rubber against Bryce Miller (3-3, 4.46 ERA) tonight. George Kirby (5-5, 3.50 ERA) goes Tuesday night and Luis Castillo (4-4, 2.70 ERA) gets the nod for Seattle Wednesday night. Miami Manager Skip Schumaker has yet to announce the Marlins’ starters for tomorrow night and the finale.

American League West Standings as of Monday evening:

  • 1.Texas Rangers (41-23)
  • 2.Houston Astros (37-29), 5.0 GB
  • 3.Los Angeles Angels (36-31), 6.5 GB
  • 4.Seattle Mariners (31-33), 10.0 GB
  • 5.Oakland Athletics (17-50)

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