Mariners vs. Astros: Seattle Loses A Lot More Than The Series

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JULY 30: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners injures himself on a strike three swinging in the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 30, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - JULY 30: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners injures himself on a strike three swinging in the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 30, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Mariners lost yet another series in Houston as they lose three of four to the Astros. A lot of the talk from this series has little to do with the games themselves, but the Mariners lost the first two games of the series, including an 11-1 loss in game two.

The story of the game was split 50/50. Half goes to Justin Verlander’s brilliance, the other half to Robbie Ray having yet another poor performance against Houston this year.

Robbie Ray has made three starts against the Astros this year, all of which are pretty ugly. He didn’t make it through the third inning after he loaded the bases with his third walk in the inning.

In his 2.2 innings, he gave up five hits, four runs, and four walks with three strikeouts. This brought his season totals against the Astros to an ugly 10.2 innings pitched, 23 hits, 14 runs (13 earned), with seven strikeouts and seven walks. Not exactly what the Mariners want from the from last years AL Cy Young against their biggest rival.

But that night is when this series became chaotic as if the series against the Astros this year haven’t been chaotic enough.

The Mariners made the blockbuster trade for Reds pitcher Luis Castillo and all hell broke loose in the next 48 hours. In the next game of the series, the Mariners came out flying. They nearly batted through the order in the first inning, putting up three runs. And then the Mariners offense went mute while Houston’s stormed back scoring runs in the fifth, sixth and two in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead.

Then in the top of the eight Julio Rodriguez struck out swinging on a fastball that wound up hitting him in the hand. He would go out to play center field for the bottom of the inning but when it came his turn to bat in the ninth, Abraham Toro pinch hit in his place.

Toro would wind up hitting a two-out two-RBI single that would give the Mariners the late lead, to which the Mariners would hold on and win, snapping a five-game losing streak to Houston.

Julio, along with Dylan Moore, who left that game with back spasms, have been placed on the 10-day injured list. Ty France also had a re-aggravation of his wrist injury and Sam Haggerty had to get stitches to his forehead. All of these moves resulted in Jarred Kelenic being called up from Tacoma and Jack Larsen being selected from Arkansas.

This made for a hectic last game of the Mariners vs Astros series.

Jose Altuve was nailed with the first pitch of the bottom of the first with a fastball from George Kirby, which lead many to say that the Mariners were retaliating for the pitch that landed Julio on the IL the day before. It certainly didn’t help the Mariners case for innocence that the first pitch to Yuli Gurriel almost hit him as well. But that pitched truly looked like a curveball that got away from Kirby.

Altuve and Gurriel would both score, but that wound up being all the damage from a wild, 31-pitch inning from Kirby.

The Mariners shook off that bad first inning and were able to tie the game up in the top of the eight with a two-run shot from Jesse Winker on a first-pitch fastball. Winker had himself a nice series going 3-9 with a walk and two RBIs.

Seattle was on their sixth pitcher of the evening and in the bottom of the 10th and they sent out Brennan Bernardino who was making his MLB debut after being called up for the inured Tommy Milone who got added to the 15-day IL after the game two blowout.

Altuve was intentionally walked to start the inning, then a Gurriel fly out was able to advance Mauricio Dubon to third. Yordan Alvarez was then able to get his 17th hit and 13th RBI in 15 games against Seattle this year to get a 3-2 win for Houston.

This series was all kinds of frustrating for the M’s. They struck out 33 times in the four game series, 15 of which came from the first four batter in the Mariners lineup, and six of those were from the leadoff spot. That flat-out can’t happen.

I realize that in that last game from Frazier, it canceled out. Frazier had two of the Mariners four hits and his walk wound up allowing Winker to hit a homer on the next pitch to tie the game, but he and Jarred Kelenic struck out back-to-back in extra innings with the, at that time, go-ahead runner on second. You have to put the ball in play. It’s a must.

Carlos Santana also continued a bad stretch. He went 1-11 with a walk and a double and now has one hit in his last 25 plate appearances with two walks as well. This doesn’t bode well for Seattle if they can’t add a bat at the deadline and if Ty France misses any time past this upcoming Yankees series.

dark. Next. What Should The Mariners Do With Backup Catcher Luis Torrens?

The Mariners have to weather the storm of these next three series at the Yankees and then home versus Angels and Yankees, with most if all without Julio Rodriguez.