Another day, another win for the best team in baseball. Business as usual.
If you thought the Mariners were bound for regression coming out of their hot opening week, you may want to think again. Following another series victory—this time over the Chicago White Sox—the Seattle Mariners are 9-2, and sport the hottest offense in the American League.
They are far from a fundamentally-sound baseball club. There is no ace atop their rotation; their bullpen is among the worst in the MLB; and they lead the league in errors. Yet, they keep winning.
Baseball is a strange sport, and some of its strangest happenings are simply better left unanswered. So while this particular group of players getting off to the greatest start in team history defies all logic, we’re just going to happily roll with it.
A wise man once said that this team is here to hit dingers and play defense—and they’re all out of defense. This statement rung true once more Sunday afternoon, as the Mariners tallied three more home runs and one error to their league-leading totals.
Dingers are what they do best; defense… well, not so much.
Today, however, the Mariners failed to set the tone with a dinger, and instead opted for the boring approach of scoring runs with base hits and solid baserunning. You know, like “good teams” do or whatever.
As of the fourth inning, the Mariners had already put seven runs on the board and had driven everyone’s favorite almost-Mariner Iván Nova out of the game. Edwin Encarnación then deemed this period in the ballgame “R.P.H.” (Real Parrot Hours), slugging a two-run ding-dong to left field and taking his imaginary friend from the sky for a much-needed stroll around the bases.
Meanwhile, Wade LeBlanc kept things neat and clean (hyuck), averaging a strikeout for each of the six innings he pitched. He allowed two runs in all—a much better performance than the one he had last Sunday versus the Red Sox.
However, that didn’t stop Tim Anderson, a.k.a. the modern day Michael Young, from haunting the Mariners for the third consecutive day. Anderson finished 4-for-5 on the day, capping off a 10-for-13 series. Thankfully, the Mariners won’t see him again until mid-September.
Back on the offensive front, the Mariners continued to play add-on as the game went on (and boy, did it go on for a loooooooong time). Our favorite large adult son, Daniel “Cornelius” Vogelbach, launched two home runs and a three-run double this afternoon, posting a career-high six RBIs in total.
Who knew that 153 plate appearances over the course of three seasons wasn’t enough information on dear ol’ Cornelius?
The Mariners laid claim on an 11-2 lead before Matt Festa entered the game. Festa struggled to find his command, allowing three runs to the White Sox, including a solo shot from Adam Engel and a José Abreu RBI double.
This felt like a good time to provide Cory Gearrin with a stress-free oppotunity to figure out his command issues, but the Mariners didn’t take advantage. Instead they rolled with Festa, Chasen Bradford, and Anthony Swarzak to shut the door on Chicago.
Tomorrow, the M’s head to Kansas City for a four-game set with the Royals. Fortunately, they will avoid facing Brad Keller, who pitched against the Tigers in a losing effort today. Félix Hernández will get the nod in Monday’s opener, hoping to stay on course following his promising performance versus the Angels last week.