The Mariners badly needed a win. A loss would’ve put them at three games under .500 and floundering back in the wild card race. Jacob deGrom was starting for the Mets, and he hadn’t lost an outing in almost two months.
Keyword, hadn’t. The Mariners scored three runs off the Mets’ ace, and Yovani Gallardo did exactly what he needed to for the M’s to snag a big win.
Most view Gallardo as the worst rotation option for Seattle in 2017, and his numbers have done nothing but cement that sentiment. Yet, the Mariners found themselves against the wall on Saturday, facing the hottest pitcher in the league, and Gallardo bucked up and threw his best start of the year.
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Let’s just break the start down, because there was a lot to digest. First his line for the day was 5.2 innings, 5 hits, one run, two walks, and two strikeouts.
Now yes, I realize he gave up a run, but that was most definitely more on Tony Zych. Gallardo pitched into the sixth inning for the ninth time in 15 starts, and had yet to concede a run. After two quick outs, he surrendered two singles that put runners at first and second with two outs.
Now at this point I’m going to acknowledge Scott Servais’s good use of the bullpen. As bad as he has been at points, today he made the right call. Gallardo was giving up contact, and was on the verge of getting shelled. Servais put Zych in instead though, and the Mariners benefitted.
Sure, Zych walked the next two batters and gave the Mets a run (charged to Gallardo), but one run is so much better than the 3 or more runs Gallardo has given up 13/16 starts in 2017.
Honestly, though, if Gallardo can pitch into the sixth and limit the damage to 2 or 3 runs every time, the Mariners have a legitimate fourth starter on their hands; a luxury they haven’t been able to afford in 2017.
All in all, Gallardo pitched masterfully, and did exactly what the Mariners needed him to. So now at 52-53, Seattle is just 3.5 games back of a wild card spot, and with a big series against Kansas City coming up next weekend, staying afloat is key at the moment. So props to Yovani Gallardo for stepping up and delivering in the clutch.