Mariners win without Nelson Cruz and Mike Zunino is a sniper

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 18: Yonder Alonso
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 18: Yonder Alonso /

The Mariners entered Monday’s game still sitting back of the Angels and Twins in the wild card race. Playing in Atlanta, a National League park, meant they would be trading Nelson Cruz’s boomstick for the bat of Andrew Albers (solid swap). But hey, it all worked out right?

The second inning saw the scoring get started by Albers himself. After the Braves intentionally walked Leonys Martin, loading the bases, to get to Albers, he made them pay with his first major league hit. The Mariners led 1-0, and it felt like they had the momentum. But then, the inning after, the Braves got two runs and took the lead.

That wasn’t it for the Mariners though. They seem to realize that this whole possible playoff baseball thing is going to take a lot of work, a lot of effort, and a lot of determination. They aren’t going to be seeing a game 163 if they roll over at the first sign of adversity. So what did they do?

They played some sloppy baseball. 4 error sloppy baseball. But, they also scored 5 more unanswered runs and took a 6-2 lead. Yonder Alonso placed the team on his back in Cruz’s stead, and the Mariners took home a nice win.

Next: Mariners will lean on Andrew Albers to Stay Afloat

What we learned:

  • The Mariners are a very good baseball team with a seriously good offense. They have a lot of contributors who can step up and do damage. Alonso’s 3-for-5, 3 RBI performance put an exclamation point on that statement.
  • Mike Zunino has a cannon of an arm. He threw out two baserunners on Monday; one in the bottom of the ninth to squash a rally the Braves tried to get going.
  • Andrew Albers isn’t all that bad. In two starts, he has an ERA of 3.60, but pitched very effectively through the beginning of the game. In all, he’s a pretty solid option at the moment.