After his last start, there was a bit of worry about George Kirby. Was he hitting a bit of a rookie wall? Maybe getting tired from the grind of the big leagues, and not entirely being used to it.
After Saturday’s start against the Oakland Athletics, Kirby put a bunch of that doubt to rest. AFter the 4-inning, 7-earned run outing against the Orioles, Kirby came out and dominated more than he had done at any point in his career.
Saturday’s outing was the best start we’ve seen, so far, from George Kirby.
The Mariners would get seven solid innings from George Kirby, in which he would give up just three hits, one walk, and one run. Oddly enough, that run actually came in the first inning, meaning that he put up six shutout innings after the first. He would also tie career-high in strikeouts, sitting down nine Athletics hitters along the way, a fact he did earlier in the season, also against Oakland.
This does mark the most innings he has gone in a game, previously going six innings on five different occasions. It only took him 100 pitches to make it through those seven innings, and he would throw an impressive 71 of those pitches for strikes.
There is another impressive stat to pull from his start. He had a game score of 75, falling behind only Robbie Ray, who has put up 76 and 80 on the season so far. It’s an incredibly impressive performance from someone so young. Speaking of impressive youth, Julio Rodriguez would steal his American League leading 20th base of the season.
Unfortunately, George Kirby would end up with a no-decision, as the Mariners wouldn’t score their first run until a solo homer by Justin Upton in the 8th inning, which actually tied the game up at 1-1. Ryan Borucki and Diego Castillo would put up a scoreless 8th and 9th, respectively.
Coming up in the 9th, the Mariners needed some late-inning mojo to pull out a win in regulation. Eugenio Suarez would walk, and Carlos Santana would rip a single that would get pinch-runner Marcus Wilson over to third. With five infielders now after a shift, a Tony Kemp fielding error would allow Cal Raleigh to get to first, and the bases were loaded with no outs.
Abraham Toro would come up, and after watching a couple of balls go by, he would rip a shot into the right centerfield gap, scoring Wilson and getting the Mariners a 2-1 win. Late inning heroics, a stellar outing, and a win. What more could you ask for? Go Mariners!