After their 2-6 road trip, the Mariners are back in town for a brief, two-team homestand. Their first three came against the surging Miami Marlins, who came into the series with a record of 37-30, winners in seven of their last ten, and just chasing the 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Some tough luck for Seattle paired with a few outstanding defensive outfield plays for the Marlins in the finale helped The Fish avoid the sweep. Monday and Tuesday were about as complete team wins as Seattle has had all season up to this point. Missed any of the action? Here’s how it all went down against Luis Arraez, Jorge Soler and the Miami Marlins.
Rookie Bryce Miller was on the bump Monday night facing Jesus Luzardo, a lefty that Seattle has faced plenty of times when he was in an Oakland uniform.
J.P. Crawford has cemented his spot in the leadoff role, and rightfully so. Luzardo has been nails against lefties this year, but that didn’t mean a thing to J.P., who laced a double into the right field corner in the top of the first to put a duck on the pond early in the ballgame. After consecutive K’s by Julio and Ty France, red-hot Teoscar Hernandez roped a double to left to give the M’s an early lead. A few pitches later, Eugenio Suarez punished a ball directly to left fielder Bryan De La Cruz, who couldn’t handle the line drive, and Teo scored from second.
The 2-0 lead for Seattle was extended and then some an inning later. After a Tom Murphy double and Jose Caballero reaching on a hit-by-pitch, Julio swatted a single into right to score the Murph. Then just four pitches later and Ty France went Air France on a slider… a 420-foot three-run homer to left, and Seattle was up a touchdown.
Bryce Miller was back and certainly rebounded from his last start where he gave up seven earned runs in under three innings to Texas back on Sunday 6/4. The rookie went six strong against Miami Monday, allowing just one hit (a solo home run) and striking out six.
An all-around team effort led to a series-opening 8-1 victory.
Like Miller, George Kirby was looking to bounce back after his prior performance against the San Diego Padres last Wednesday. He faced young righty Edward Cabrera Tuesday, who had won his prior two starts over the Chicago White Sox and Oakland A’s.
It was a scoreless first for both sides, and the following inning, the “Big Dumper” stepped to the plate, ‘stache and all. Cal Raleigh was in a 0-21 slump, and he busted out in a big way. He mashed a curveball deep into the right field seats for a three-run home run, and Seattle took a 3-0 lead.
As George Kirby remained perfect through four with five strikeouts, Seattle was up to bat in the fourth. After Jarred Kelenic reached first on a walk to open the inning, DH Mike Ford was up to face Cabrera. On a down-and-in changeup, Ford was able to muscle a two-run homer just beyond the fence in right center, extending the lead to five. It was his third homer in the last four games.
Kirby was as efficient as ever Tuesday night. A Yuli Gurriel loopy single broke up the perfecto in the fifth, but that didn’t stop the second-year man from surpassing his career high in strikeouts. He struck out ten, allowing just three hits and one earned.
After Kirby’s exit, Seattle wasn’t done offensively. In the bottom of the sixth, the bases were juiced with no outs and Caballero dug in. The M’s second baseman already had a hit and two stolen bases on the night, and he wasn’t done producing. “Cabby” lined a ball past ex-Mariner Jean Segura at third, and the ball got all the way into the left field corner. The bases cleared, and Jose slid safely into third for his first career triple, and Seattle extended their lead to 8-1.
Another well put-together game by the M’s on both sides led to a 9-3 win, as the record was back to an even 33-33.
Looking for the series sweep against a very good Marlins team Wednesday, Luis Castillo stood high on the mound against the 20-year-old Eury Perez.
It was a shaky start for La Piedra as he walked the first to Marlins in the game but was able to respond with two straight punchouts and a groundout to end the first. On the other side, Perez walked leadoff batter J.P. Crawford and then with two outs, Teo Hernandez smashed a ball 400 feet, but center fielder Jonathan Davis made a spectacular catch to prevent a would-be RBI double. Twitter’s @would_it_dong account had this as a home run in nine of the 30 ballparks, including Miami’s loanDepot park.
A scoreless game was no more when Castillo spiked a slider to Garret Cooper, allowing Jonathan Davis to score the game’s first run.
Bottom five, and it was another fabulous defensive play by the Marlins’ outfield. Jonathan Davis again robbed Seattle of extra bases on a 386-foot flyout.
Miami’s Jorge Soler punished his 20th home run of the season to add to their advantage in the sixth. A few batters later in the inning, and Castillo’s day was done. La Piedra allowed just two hits but walked six in his 5 2/3 inning-outing.
Some certainly questionable calls by home plate umpire Sean Barber weren’t helping the Mariners either. Barber missed calls on consecutive batters in the bottom of the seventh inning, that resulted in strikeouts by Jarred Kelenic and Suarez.
A two-run Miami lead was doubled on a Nick Fortes check-swing extra base hit and a sacrifice fly by Davis. A 4-0 deficit for Seattle as we were now in the M’s last ups, the bottom of the ninth. Ty France singled, Teo Hernandez reached on error and Kelenic reached on a fielder’s choice that was successfully challenged by the Mariners.
And then, get this… tying run at the plate is Eugenio, who had been priorly robbed earlier in the game, and also had a deep flyout as well. He swatted an A.J. Puk sweeper the opposite way, but Jesus Sanchez turned into prime Ichiro Suzuki, as the Marlins' right fielder stole a game-tying grand slam away from Suarez. This resulted in a sac fly, but Cal Raleigh lined out one batter later to end the threat, and the Marlins salvaged the finale and avoided the sweep with their 4-1 victory on Wednesday night.
An overall positive series against a good Miami team, and after an off day today, the south side of Chicago makes their presence heard in the PNW. The White Sox will take on Seattle for three beginning Friday night before the M’s head back on the road. CWS ranks in the bottom third in both batting average and team ERA, and second to last in on-base percentage. In a weak division, they are somehow within striking distance in the AL Central, despite a record of 30-39.
Pitching probables for CWS @ SEA:
- Friday 6/16, 7:10 PM: RHP Bryan Woo (0-1, 10.80 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Kopech (3-5, 4.03 ERA)
- Saturday 6/17, 1:10 PM: RHP Logan Gilbert (4-4, 4.38 ERA) vs. Lucas Giolito (5-4, 3.54 ERA)
- Sunday 6/18, 1:10 PM: RHP Bryce Miller (4-3, 4.06 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (4-6, 6.72 ERA)
American League West Standings as of Thursday
- 1.Texas Rangers (42-25)
- 2.Houston Astros (39-29), 3.5 GB
- 3.Los Angeles Angels (38-32), 5.5 GB
- 4.Seattle Mariners (33-34), 9.0 GB
- 5.Oakland Athletics (19-51), not the worst team in the MLB anymore.