Mariners complete improbable comeback, topple Rangers 6-4

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 29: Relief pitcher Edwin Diaz
SEATTLE, WA - JULY 29: Relief pitcher Edwin Diaz /

It easily could have been over after two innings for the Mariners. Felix wasn’t even close to on his game, it was already 4-0, and well, after an already disappointing tradeless day, why not cap it off with a loss to the Rangers.

The Mariners entered the day .500, a position they’d been in 5 times prior in 2017. Four of the games directly following reaching .500 resulted in a loss. If you can do the math, that means prior to Monday’s game, the Mariners had only been over .500 once all season.

So why shouldn’t they have just rolled over and made it 5/6 losses directly following reaching .500? It would’ve made sense after all; this 2017 team that wins some, loses some.

But, they weren’t going to sit by and watch the jet crash into the earth, because after all the Mariners are a sustainable product worth being liked.

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Or at least that’s what Jerry says they are.

Whether they are or not, and whether they need more starting pitching or not, they still went out and won a baseball game they had no business winning to get above .500 and pull within 2.5 games of a wild card spot.

They did it by catching a lot of breaks.

And that is what it is going to take the rest of the way for this Mariners team to accomplish anything. But guess what, they caught zero breaks in the first half of the season, so maybe they still have a few saved up to use now.

Danny Valencia started the scoring with a single after back-to-back doubles by Cruz and Seager. A throwing error advanced him all the way to third. A hit by pitch would lead to Heredia reaching base, and then Leonys Martin would come up and knock Valencia in on a fielders choice.

It was still 4-3 though, and the Mariners wouldn’t have another scoring opportunity until the sixth inning. They caught another break when Heredia reached on an error, and as much as I’m pinning this game on luck, sometimes you are just good, and Leonys Martin, .145 average and all, is just good. He stroked a ball 406 feet, home run distance, but had to settle for a triple. Still, Heredia scored and the game was tied at four.

They couldn’t bring Martin home though, and the game would stay knotted until the ninth.

Now I could just gloss over the middle innings, act like nothing out of the ordinary happened, but that would be stupid, because David Phelps dominated Rangers hitters and deserves recognition.

He faced six hitters. He walked Mike Napoli, but struck out the other five.




Foul tip.


Just like Jerry drew it up when he swapped Brayan Hernandez and three pitchers for the bullpen arm.

Then, in the ninth inning, Carlos Ruiz led off with a single and then Ben Gamel grounded into a double play.

Except he didn’t.

Yet another error by the Rangers meant Gamel not only was safe at first, but also got second too. They walked Segura, intentionally. Then Robinson Cano stepped to the plate. He’s been slumping of late, but the Mariners second baseman would not sit idly by and watch his team lose to the Rangers.

Alex Claudio balked, for the second time of the night, this time it was important though, and the runners moved up 90 feet.

It didn’t matter though, because Cano hit the ball into the gap and both would’ve likely scored anyway. Cano got thrown out at second, but the game was already over. A two run lead for the recently stellar Edwin Diaz seemed untouchable.

And it was.

Next: Mariners v. Rangers series preview: 3 keys

A strikeout, lineout, and another strikeout put the Mariners above .500 for the second time all season. It was a huge start to a road trip that carries massive implications for the rest of the season.

The Mariners face the now Yu Darvish-less Rangers again tomorrow, and hopefully, they’ll get a big start from the newly acquired Erasmo Ramirez, and get the M’s their fourth-straight win.