Editor’s Note: This guest post was contributed by Jack Humphreys, a loyal SodoMojo follower and Mariners fan. You can find him on Twitter @Jack_Munden
On his own bobble head night, Hisashi Iwakuma showed why the Mariners have, arguably, the best one-two punch in all of baseball. Following King Felix’s great performance Friday night, Iwakuma was one out away from having only the second complete game shut out for the Mariners this year.
Brandon Moss deposited a 2-out fastball into the right-center seats and thus, ending Iwakuma’s bid for a shutout and a complete game. Hisashi Iwakuma ended the game going 8 and 2/3 innings, giving up 2 runs, 5 hits and 8 strikeouts with no walks. He dropped his ERA from 3.07 at the start of the game to 2.98. Yoervis Medina replaced Iwakuma in the 9th and needed only one pitch to retire Josh Donaldson to end the game.
The game couldn’t have started any better for Iwakuma and the Mariners, as he struck out the side on only 15 pitches. After a quick bottom of the first, Iwakuma ran into some trouble in the top of the second, after Brandon Moss lined out to Ackley in left field, Donaldson and Lowrie had back to back singles. Iwakuama got out of the jam though striking out Norris looking, and Sogard swinging to run his strike out total to 5 after 2 innings.
In the bottom of the second, the Mariners struck first, after Kyle Seager struck out swinging, Corey Hart just missed a home run by mere inches, and the next batter Dustin Ackley, swung at the first pitch and drove the ball hard up the middle to score Hart from second.
A weird play in the bottom of the 4th, with Brad Miller up at the dish, he was called out on a questionable call by home plate umpire Bob Davidson, Miller said something to Davidson and it looked like it was over, but the home plate umpire decided to take a few steps following Miller towards the dugout and tossed Miller for what looks like, nothing.
Robinson Cano led off the bottom of the 5th with his second hit of the game with a single to left. After Morrison popped out to third, first time All-Star, Kyle Seager hit a first pitch fastball deep into the right field seats.
Kyle Seager has slowly become one of the most important pieces to the Mariners current success. After a slow start in April, Seager’s splits are now .273/.347/.480 and leads the Mariners in HRs, RBIs, games played, and is second in runs scored, doubles and hits.
Iwakuma continued to cruise, after the two singles given up in the top of the second, Kuma gave up only 1 hit which was a single in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the 8th inning Jim Johnson took over on the bump for the Oakland A’s. Willie Boomquist, who replaced the ejected Miller earlier in the game, led of the inning with an infield single up the middle. Jesus Sucre laid down a beautiful sac bunt, then Endy Chavez laced a single to left field, Yoenis Cespedes got to the ball fast and came up firing, gunning Bloomquist at home for his league leading 11th outfield assist.
The play was challenged by the Mariners, the call was up held with lack of video evidence to reverse the call. James Jones walked on five pitches and up came Cano. While Cano’s home run numbers are down this year, that didn’t stop him from hitting a no doubt shot to right field pushing the Mariners lead to 6-0.
The Mariners took the second game of the three game series 6-2, pushing their record to 51-43, seven games back of the Oakland A’s and continuing to hold on to the second wild card spot.
Chris Young goes for the Mariners today on their last game before the All Star Break. Sonny Gray is on the hill for the A’s, Gray is 9-3 with a 2.97 ERA.