Boston is, and has long been, a team that loves to work the count. They get pitchers to build up their pitch count early, and it makes it difficult for starters to go deep into a game against them. That’s exactly what happened in the second game of the Mariners series, as Tyler Anderson would be pulled before the end of the fifth inning for the second game in a row.
17, 20, 20, 24, 9. Just 4.1 innings, one run, four hits, and two walks. You can see how Boston works deep in the count, and it plays out to their advantage. If a pitcher gets anxious and puts one too much in the zone, Boston has the talent to capitalize. Anderson was able to stay wary enough of the Red Sox all night, but leaving 4.2 innings up to your bullpen is a lot to ask.
In fact, it was too much to ask of the Mariners bullpen
Although Sadler was able to come in to finish off the fifth inning without any incident, he would be the lone Mariners pitcher on the night to not give up a run. Five other Mariners pitchers would throw from the 6th inning on, and each of them would give up a run. Drew Steckenrider was actually the biggest culprit of the night, giving up three runs in just 0.1 innings, in large part due to the two walks he gave up.
The good news for the Mariners is that they got to Boston’s pen as well, with the Sox throwing five guys from the pen to finish off the night. With their lack of depth due to positive tests, the Mariners have to be feeling good heading into the finale knowing that if they can get to Tanner Houck early, they should be able to face a depleted pen. In 11 starts, Houck has only made it to 5+ innings 4 times, so chances are good that the Mariners will see a lot of pitchers today.
As always, the main villains in the game ended up being the heart of Boston’s lineup. Bogaerts, Devers, and Martinez went 5-13 with four runs and two RBI, with Kyle Schwarber providing pop off the bench with a three-run pinch-hit homer in the 8th inning.
One bright spot from the game, Mitch Haniger scored his 100th run of the season. He actually ranks 6th in all of baseball, something that has likely slid under the radar of most fans.
The Mariners will look to take the rubber game of the series with Marco Gonzales on the mound this afternoon in the 1:10 PM game. Outside of his first Arizona start, Marco has been pitching quite well, and will give the Mariners a good shot at pulling one game closer to the Red Sox for a wild card berth.