The Mariners clawed back on three separate occasions last night. Going into the ninth, the game was tied 4-4. Then, with an error and an ugly pitch to Giancarlo Stanton with a 1-2 count, the Mariners were beaten with a walkoff grand slam. This is already the third game this season where the M’s have been beaten via walkoff.
Seattle Mariners (7-9)
Miami Marlins (7-10)
Time of game: 4:10 PM Pacific. Location: Miami, Florida.
EDGE: Elias. Elias has been the only consistent arm in the rotation not named Felix Hernandez this season. Though he has been at times erratic, he seems to be making a case to be a starter for the M’s throughout the season. Alvarez has had a slow start, though his 4.30 ERA is impressive seeing as his WHIP is over 2.
Of note: Ackley and Zunino– the 8 and 9 hitters normally– lead the Mariners in batting average. Ack is batting .291 and Zunino is hitting a ripe .280. The top of the order is far less inspiring, with Almonte, Miller, and Cano hitting .246, .203, and .263 respectively.
Of note: the Marlins have the second best batting average in baseball behind only the Colorado Rockies. Five of their top six hitters in the lineup are batting over .300. They tagged the M’s for 13 hits last night, and could do so again unless Elias hunkers down and quiets their potent bats.
Keys to Mariner Victory:
1) Go deep. Both for the pitchers and the hitters. The bullpen has been overused in recent games with outings not exceeding three or four innings. And the Mariners are still struggling to cash in when they need it most on offense.
2) Close out a game. On this 4 game losing streak the M’s have had chances late to seal up a win. Already walked off 3 times this season, the 8th and 9th innings will be crucial tonight for the Mariners.
In James Jones‘ first Major League at-bat– while pinch-hitting– he legged out a single on a high chopper to the second baseman. Kid has some crazy speed. Even if he doesn’t stay in the Bigs past Sunday, he will be an asset with his speed come September, that is if the M’s are anywhere close to contending for a playoff spot.
If it’s not a quiet offense, it’s a late-inning collapse by the bullpen. After starting the season 3-0 the M’s have since gone 4-9. Yes, it’s early, but the M’s need to start righting this ship before it sinks too deep.
Mariners 5, Marlins 3.