Once again, Marco Gonzales came in clutch to keep the Seattle Mariners’ postseason hopes alive.
On Sunday afternoon, Marco Gonzales squared off with one of the American League’s best pitchers, the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, and came away with the upper hand. The two pitchers dueled all game, each ending with a pitching line of seven innings and one run; a Mariners rally in the top of the 8th, however, gave Gonzales his 10th win of the season.
Marco Gonzales is now 9-0 with a 2.68 ERA since the All-Star break, and has been irreplaceable this season for the Mariners in their chase for their first postseason appearance in 20 years. With other starting pitchers struggling during the second half, Gonzales has essentially been a lock to lead Seattle to a win every time he’s taken the mound over the last few months.
During his incredible stretch of games since the All-Star break, Gonzales has also come through in games that were virtually must-win situations for the Mariners; the first came after losing three in a row to the Kansas City Royals in late August (when he turned in a seven-inning, two-run gem), and the second coming this afternoon after a 14-1 blowout loss to the Angels last night.
The Mariners now sit 2.5 games back of the second American League Wild Card spot, but the deficit will assuredly drop to only two games after the conclusion of this evening’s Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees matchup; the Red Sox and Yankees are currently tied in the standings at both Wild Card spots, so tonight’s loser will automatically put the Mariners a half-game closer.
Marco Gonzales next takes the mound on Saturday, October 2nd, in Seattle’s penultimate game of the season, at home against the Angels. If all goes well up to that point, Gonzales will once again be in position to deliver a signature clutch performance.