Mariners Analysis: Franklin Gutierrez Powers Up in 8-4 Win
By Adam Levi
Guti captained the ship for the Mariners during Friday night’s 8-4 victory against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Mariners announcer, Dave Sims warned us to, “buckle up” after Franklin Gutierrez hit a long home run to almost straight away center field at Fenway Park last night; his warning should have been heeded, as the M’s veteran would go full throttle for his breakout game of 2016 and arguably his most impressive performance of his eleven year career.
As previously mentioned, it didn’t take long for the Mariners outfielder to put his mark on the game. Following a Ketel Marte single, the Venezuelan-born Gutierrez stepped up to the plate. After taking the first pitch, he muscled up on the 1-0 count and hit a blistering shot 424-feet over the wall in left-center to put the Mariners up 2-0. The home run was just his 6th of the year, but the count was more than familiar to the part-time power-hitter. With that long bomb, Gutierrez hit his 13th knock out of the park with a 1-0 count- now the most he had hit facing any other count at the plate in his career.
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In his very next at bat, on the very next pitch, Gutierrez would take advantage of former Mariner pitcher, Roenis Elias, once more, this time outdoing his first home run with an even more spectacular shot that thankfully did not damage a Boston Red Sox fan’s car in the adjacent parking lot. It is unclear how far past the 310-foot Green Monster the ball traveled, but seeing that the ball carry over the lights on the imposing Fenway wall, combined with the amused chuckling of Sims partner in the booth, Mike Blowers, it may have challenged his 473-foot behemoth of a homer against the Cincinnati Reds back in May. But this wasn’t the end of what was already a day to remember for Gutierrez who had started off the game 2-2 wth 2-HR and 3-RBI, putting the Mariners on top 3-0.
After showing off his strength to the Boston crowd, Gutierrez came to the plate in the 4th looking to reach a new career-high RBI total with the bases loaded, and he exceeded those expectations. This time at the plate, Gutierrez went opposite-field, smashing the ball near the 302-foot sign to left of the infamously Pesky Pole and off the wall- missing what would have been his first 3-HR game of his career by inches- doubling and bringing all 3 runners home in the process; The mariners were now up 6-0. The now 6-RBI total broke his previous career-high for RBI in a game, not just by 1, but by 2- having only reached 4 RBI in a game on 3 previous occasions.
The Mariners won the game 8-4, thanks in large part to Gutierrez’s big night -finishing with a stat-line of 3-5, 2-HR, 6-RBI. And it couldn’t have come at a more important time for the M’s who have fallen back in both the American League West and the AL Wild Card standings since the beginning of June. Hopefully Guti can continue his hot-hitting through the sweltering summer months, as the Mariners will need to have all hands on deck if they want to make it to the post season.