Mariners Play Bad, White Sox Play Worse in 4-3 Win

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 25: Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 25: Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez /

The Mariners send the White Sox and their misogynistic fans home crying with a series loss. But I thought there was no crying in baseball?

The White Sox came out swinging early. Yoan Moncada launched Felix Hernandez’s first pitch – a poorly located changeup – over the right-field wall and into the bleachers. The homer is already Felix’s sixth allowed this season.

On Felix’s second pitch, Yolmer Sanchez smacked a ground-rule double that flew right over the outstretched glove of Mitch Haniger. Cue the flashbacks of Mike Leake’s start from two nights ago.

Then, BABIP.

Tim Anderson blooped a broken-bat single into left field to drive in Sanchez, extending the White Sox lead to 2-0.

Fortunately, that was all of the damage done, and Felix escaped a Leake-esque first inning.

That said, please allow me to remind you that the Chicago White Sox were a 5-15 baseball team entering today’s game.

On the bump for Chicago was none other than ‘Big Game James’ Shields himself.

Initially, it appeared the Mariners were going to follow the trend of the first two games of the series in which they underperformed against bad pitchers.

CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 24: Edwin Diaz
CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 24: Edwin Diaz /

After an awful two innings of offense, Jean Segura broke through with an RBI double to drive in Mike Zunino. The latter had doubled to start the third inning but was almost stranded.

Robinson Cano drew his second walk of the game. Afterward, Nelson Cruz worked a 3-2 count and poked an RBI single through the second based hole to score Segura. Tie game.

That would be all they could muster in the third, but it was a good sign for an offense that has struggled in the last three games.

Momentum had seemingly shifted, but the White Sox bats came out aggressive once again in the third. With the bases loaded, rookie Daniel Palka hit a swinging bunt that scored the runner from third and Chicago regained the lead.

Long story short, the first two White Sox runs came on bad luck for the M’s.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the White Sox, however, as Jose Abreu had to leave the game in the fourth. Per the ROOT Sports broadcast, Abreu was experiencing flu-like symptoms.

The offensive struggles returned to the Mariners in the fifth. After Daniel Vogelbach and Dee Gordon reached safely to lead the inning off, Segura and Cano failed to bring them in.

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At first glance, it appeared the Mariners were not going to capitalize on the opportunity. That almost became the least of their problems.

On a first pitch check-swing, Cruz tweaked his hip and was in visible discomfort. Scott Servais and Rob Nodine jogged out to visit with him and my anxiety started to creep up.

He stayed in the game, then tied it at 3-3 on the next pitch because that’s what Nelson Cruz does.

Alike the third inning, the Mariners were unable to snag the lead. With Felix not being very sharp, this wasn’t an ideal situation to be in.

But Felix showed some resiliency. After getting into another jam in the fifth, the M’s were able to double up an unlikely candidate in Tim Anderson. While his command has been consistently poor this year, Felix has exhibited the ability to work through adversity. This was another example of it.

Now, it was time to finally put Shields away. Mike Zunino did just that.

On Shields’ 100th pitch of the day, Z blasted an opposite field dinger into the Mariners bullpen. It feels so good to have him back.

After the first two men reached for the Mariners in the seventh, Segura was picked off at second. This would cost the Mariners a run as Cruz doubled into the left-field corner on the next pitch.

The White Sox then intentionally walked Kyle Seager to load the bases for Mitch Haniger. With how hot Haniger has been swinging the bat, this appeared to be the wrong decision. It was not as Haniger softly flew out to Trayce Thompson.

If there was a frustration font, I would be using it.

There were now two outs with the bases loaded, still 4-3 Mariners, and Ben Gamel in the box.

Gamel’s at-bat was… pathetic, striking out on a pitch down and far away from the strike zone. Still just a one-run lead for the Mariners.

Felix’s day ended as James Pazos entered the game in the bottom of the seventh. For Felix, three runs allowed on seven hits in six innings pitched. He also had a total of six strikeouts.

As for Pazos, the man did his thing in working a scoreless seventh with a strikeout. Pazos has been impressive in his last two outings after starting the season slowly.

Juan Nicasio had a fantastic eighth inning, striking out the side. He seems to have gotten past his early mechanical issues, judging by his previous couple appearances.

The Mariners were unable to add any insurance runs for Edwin Diaz, wrapping up a pretty disappointing offensive series.

Diaz handled business, per usual. It was his MLB-leading 10th save of the year, which gets the Mariners record to 13-10.

This is also the first Mariners win I have done the recap for, so yay me!

After taking two of three games in Seattle for Opening Week, the M’s wrap up the season series with Cleveland in a four-game set. Tomorrow night, James Paxton (1-1, 6.51 ERA) squares off with prime Tim Lincecum wannabe Mike Clevinger (2-0, 1.75). It’s an early start, as ROOT Sports will have the call at 3:10 PM PT.

Next: 5 Most Valuable Mariners Trade Assets

The game will take you right to the start of the NFL Draft, though the Seahawks are probably going to trade back into the second round so whatever.

Go M’s.