There are a handful of things that Mariners fans can normally count on when watching or listening to a game. You won’t see the same catcher in back-to-back games, Ty France is gonna put together good at-bats, Jesse Winker is going to make pitchers work, and JP Crawford will be solid in the field.
Unfortunately, not all of those things happened last night, and it was the one that hurt the most that happened. JP Crawford struggled, and provided the most outside-the-norm game we have ever seen from him.
JP Crawford had a very un-Crawford like game for the Mariners
It started off on a fantastic note. Not known for his power, Crawford is more of a gap guy. He hit 35+ 2Bs last year, but got all of one last night, hitting one of the furthest homers we have ever seen him put out in his career.
His blast increased the lead to 5-0. With Crawford in the field behind Marco, plus the M’s bullpen, you would figure that it would be smooth sailing for the rest of the night. Right?
With a 5-2 lead in the top of the 5th, things were still going well for the Mariners. Despite some issues with leaving men on base, they had a comfortable lead. It started to go south when Crawford made a throwing error to first, allowing Eli White to get on base. A flyout and a sac fly would score him, making it 5-3 instead of being the end of the inning.
Then, Crawford would make another error, this time bobbling a ball to allow the runner to scamper to first. A 2B and an HR later, and the Rangers took a 6-5 lead over the Mariners. Instead of 5-2 and the inning being over, the Rangers put up 4 unearned runs.
I feel bad for Marco. The man has given up 13 runs this year, but only five of them are earned.
The Mariners clawed their way back to tie it in the 8th, but a Rangers rally with two outs in the 9th would plate two runs, and give them the 8-6 win, helping them avoid the sweep.
It was one of the oddest games we will ever see from Crawford. He’s known for slapping the ball around and having a slick glove in the field, not as a power guy with shoddy fielding. Unfortunately for the Mariners, it cost them the sweep. It’ll just be a blip in his wonderful year though, and I fully expect Crawford to make a flashy play or two and provide solid defense all weekend against the Royals while they are in town. Go Mariners!