A Look Ahead (and Back)… August, Scoreboard Watching, Kelenic, Mets

The Seattle Mariners won a franchise-high 21 times in the month of August. Yes, some wins and series wins were against lame teams, but nevertheless, this team couldn’t have picked a better time to be red-hot heading into the final regular season month of 2023.

How the Mariners looked in August:

  • Winning ways
    • Series sweeps in Anaheim, against San Diego, in Houston, against Kansas City
    • Series wins in Kansas City, in Chicago, against Oakland
  • Offensive outbursts
    • Julio Rodriguez
      • BA: .429, SLG: .724, OPS: 1.197, HR: 7, RBI: 30, SB: 11
    • Teoscar Hernandez
      • BA: .365, SLG: .654, OPS: 1.050, HR: 7, RBI: 22
    • J.P. Crawford
      • OBP: .420, OPS: .896, H: 18 (64 AB), HR: 3, BB: 16
    • Josh Rojas
      •  H: 19 (20 G), HR: 3, RBI: 10
    • Cal Raleigh
      • HR: 9, RBI: 21, SLG: .558, OPS: .863
Kansas City Royals v Seattle Mariners

Josh Rojas, since joining the Seattle Mariners on a deal that sent Paul Sewald to the Arizona Diamondbacks, has made an instant spark to the second base spot. He hit three home runs in August. That was three home runs more than he hit with Arizona all season prior to the trade.Photo: Alika Jenner / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

  • Starters stardom
    • Luis Castillo
      • 3-0 (5 starts), 33 IP, 32 K
    • George Kirby
      • 27.2 IP, 23 K, 2.60 ERA, 0 BB
    • Logan Gilbert
      • 3-0 (5 starts), 30.1 IP, 32 K, 2.97 ERA
    • Bryce Miller
      • 32.2 IP, 29 K
  • Relentless relief
    • Andres Munoz
      • 14 IP, 20 K, 1.93 ERA, 9 saves
    • Matt Brash
      • 21.1 IP, 15 K, 3 saves
    • Justin Topa
      • 12.1 IP, 14 K, 0.73 ERA
    • Gabe Speier
      • 8.2 IP, 13 K
Toronto Blue Jays v Seattle Mariners

Justin Topa, who appeared in just 18.1 innings for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2020-2022, has logged 54 innings in Seattle's bullpen, striking out 50 batters and carrying a 2.17 ERA into September this season.Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Seattle, at the time of this being published, has a record of 76-57, tied for the lead in the West, (M’s hold season tie breaker over Houston). Texas sits a full game back. Wild Card-wise, Toronto finds themselves 2.5 games back of Texas, with Boston on the outside looking in, back 6.5 games.

Scoreboard watching, beginning Friday Sept 1st:

  • Texas Rangers: 3 games against Minnesota (first in AL Central), followed by three games against Houston Astros (tied for first in AL West).
  • Houston Astros: 3 games against New York Yankees (fifth in AL East), followed by three games at Texas Rangers (second in AL West).
  • Toronto Blue Jays: 3 games at Colorado Rockies (fifth in NL West), followed by three games at Oakland Athletics (fifth in AL West).

Jarred Kelenic, who has been on the shelf since his water cooler incident on July 20th, began his rehab assignment with AAA Tacoma Thursday. JK went 1-3 (a 100-MPH EV single), with two strikeouts, two runs and a walk. He will be a vital piece in September/postseason, especially with Cade Marlowe falling back down to earth at the plate recently. Kelenic, prior to the self-inflicted foot injury, is slashing .252/.320/.439 with 11 HR, 45 RBI and a 109 WRC+ in 2023.

Tampa Bay Rays v Seattle Mariners

Jarred Kelenic's return here shortly, (barring any setback) should have an instant impact to an already red-hot Seattle offense. He's been on the injured list with a left foot fracture since mid-July.Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The Seattle Mariners are in the Big Apple, as they face off against the New York Mets beginning Friday night. NYM are coming off a home series loss to Texas. Despite their wild-spending offseason, their record of 61-73 is tied for second worst in the entire division. The Washington Nationals, who had 55 wins all of 2022, have surpassed the 2023 Mets in the NL East. New York’s .237 team batting average is fifth-worst in MLB, and they slug 11th-worst.

Pitching probables for SEA @ NYM:

  • Friday Sept 1st, 4:10 PM PT (Apple TV+): RHP Logan Gilbert (12-5, 3.66 ERA) vs, RHP Kodai Senga (10-7, 3.17 ERA
  • Saturday Sept 2nd, 4:10 PM PT: RHP Luis Castillo (11-7, 3.01 ERA) vs. TBD
  • Sunday Sept 3rd, 10:40 AM PT: RHP George Kirby (10-8, 3.28 ERA) vs. Tylor Megill (7-7, 5.29 ERA)

American League West standings as of Friday afternoon:

  1. Seattle Mariners (76-57)
  2. Houston Astros (77-58), +1.0 WCGB
  3. Texas Rangers (75-58), 1.0 GB
  4. Los Angeles Angels (64-70), 12.5 GB, 11.5 WCGB
  5. Oakland Athletics (39-95), Eliminated from AL West contention.

Want more in-depth M’s info, and don’t want to read?? I am with you, (even though you read this entire article). Listen to the “Talkin’ Ners with Rory and Ders” podcast to get all the good stuff and more about your favorite baseball team here in Seattle! New episodes drop every Monday and Thursday. Available anywhere you listen to podcasts:

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