Mariners takeaway no. 2 – The bullpen was fantastic with a few exceptions
One of the things I learned from the Opening Series against the Giants was that the Mariners bullpen was solid. I have the same level of confidence in the M’s bullpen after pitching well against the White Sox. Unfortunately, I can’t say the Mariners bullpen looked elite because there were a few bumpy relief appearances, but overall the group looked good.
In the first game of the series, I was impressed with the two relievers who finished the game after Justus Sheffield’s mediocre outing. Drew Steckenrider had a great bounce-back relief appearance after struggling in his 2021 debut. He threw two scoreless innings. Will Vest also threw two scoreless innings and also didn’t allow a hit in the 6-0 loss.
In game two, this is where things went sideways for the bullpen. James Paxton was pulled from the second inning and Nick Margevicius came in to relieve the injured lefty. Nick to his credit came in without warning so his bad outing isn’t very relevant to the whole bullpen story. Casey Sadler was hit around pretty well in the White Sox series and allowed three hits and two walks in 1.1 innings.
Keynan Middleton also got roughed up. He had a clean seventh inning after replacing Casey Sadler in a high-pressure situation but wasn’t able to contain the White Sox in the eighth inning. He got the first two outs of the inning, hit a batter, walked two in a row, and gave up a grand slam to the White Sox star first baseman, Jose Abreu. After Middleton, Anthony Misiewicz came in to pitch the top of the ninth and he didn’t have the cleanest outing either. He didn’t allow a run but did allow two singles to start the inning.
And finally, in yesterday’s game, the Mariners bullpen did a fantastic job of keeping the door shut on the White Sox after Justin Dunn went just 4.2 innings. Will Vest didn’t have a great outing but was able to minimize his three hits to just one run. After Vest, Kendall Graveman, Anthony Misiewicz, and Rafael Montero all put up zeros to keep the four runs Mariners lead.
Graveman also struggled and allowed two walks and a hit, and didn’t strike a White Sox hitter out. Still, a zero is a zero. Like I said, despite some of the rough bumps in the road, the Mariners bullpen was pretty solid. And let’s remember, the Mariners were facing the Chicago White Sox who are the favorites to win the AL Central.
Now, onto the bad news…