Mariners SEAside Thoughts: Mariners Play Great, Then Don’t
Mariners SEAside Thoughts Week 18
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
- I want to start this week’s SEAside with some Thoughts on the trade deadline.
- Like I said last week, I absolutely love the Luis Castillo trade.
- I also wrote last week that the Mariners were so close to jumping into the next tier of contenders, but they needed to do a little more, especially in finding another bat. That did not happen, and that’s really bad.
- The Mariners made a couple of minor deals, acquiring what’s left of former all-star Jake Lamb’s hobbled body, a long inning reliever who hasn’t pitched in eleven months, and Castillo’s former personal catcher. What are we doing here? The Mariners look like the fourth-best team in the AL, and could easily pass the Blue Jays and I believe can beat the Yankees in a playoff series. But the goal is Houston, the new evil empire.
- Those Astros saw Seattle get the ace of the deadline, and they didn’t feel safe with their already dominant team. They went out and got legit starters in Trey Mancini and Christian Vasquez, along with former Atlanta Braves closer Will Smith. They cleaned up their potential holes and look like heavy favorites to win the AL, especially with the Yankees falling apart recently.
- The Mariners needed another bat, and they probably needed two. Carlos Santana, Abraham Toro, Luis Torrens, Kyle Lewis, and Jarred Kelenic are all dudes that have no business getting at-bats on a team that should have aspirations to win a playoff series. For Dipoto to believe that Kyle Lewis and Mitch Haniger are the top additions the team could make at the deadline is ridiculous.
- I love Mitch Haniger, but he’s not someone you can rely on health-wise. Brandon Drury was available, the Giants and Cubs are falling apart as we speak. There was no trade to be made for a big bat like Wilson Contreras, or even a slight tier lower with Ian Happ and Joc Pederson? These are the types of dudes that can help you pull off an upset.
- Luckily for Seattle, the majority of AL wildcard teams stood pat at the deadline, leaving the Mariners looking like winners. I just feel there was a shot there to get enough juice to see this team make real noise come October. I hope I’m wrong, but it feels like Seattle came up short.
- Alright, back to the week on the field.
- Mariners Series win of the year in the Bronx?
- After Marco Gonzalez got destroyed in the first couple of innings in the series opener against the AL best New York Yankees, I think we were all quite concerned about the Mariners surviving this brutal stretch. What happened the next two days was as stunning as anything I’ve seen this year from Seattle, including a 14-game winning streak!
- In game 2, the Mariners used the long ball early to build a strong lead, before a rough Logan Gilbert start forced the bullpen to hold on for dear life. The bullpen continues to be absolutely dominant this season. It is so rare for a bullpen to be great for a whole season, let alone for nearly two seasons. The bullpen is almost entirely under contract for the foreseeable future as well. As the Mariners enter a new era of success, this bullpen looks like a foundational part of the success.
- Most shocking moment of the season? How about the Mariners dropping a 6 spot on Yankees ace Gerrit Cole?! Suarez hitting dingers in Yankees Stadium is a good look. Even though I believe he’s very quickly on his way back to Tacoma, it was great to see Kelenic hit one out as well.
- It helps to have a 6-0 lead before you throw your first pitch, but Castillo looked the part of an ace-level pitcher. Even though he wasn’t on top of his game, he still found a way to control a powerful lineup (yes, Judge rested) leading Seattle to a series win. That’s why you go out and get a guy like that.
- Considering all the injuries that Seattle was going through, and the demoralizing weekend before in Houston, winning that series was so sweet, and may be the biggest morale boost in what is the final stages of a brutal schedule stretch.
- Mariners split in LAA’s Super Bowl
- Coming back to Seattle and with the returns of Ty France and Mitch Haniger, most fans thought a sweep was expected. Considering how terrible the Angels have been, as well as Trout being out, that was a fair expectation.
- What people didn’t think about was the fact that the Seattle Mariners are a huge reason that the Angels have become the laughingstock of baseball. Since the Brawl, the Angels have the worst record in baseball. This was their world series, their championship and they played like it.
- The Mariners looked like the hunted rather than the hunter for the first time all season, with a lifeless offense for three of the four games. To walk out of there with a split is an absolute win, considering how poorly they played.
- Pretty awesome grand salami by Winker. Hopefully, it sparks his bat to life.
- The Mariners now welcome the Yankees to town. Should be another high-attendance game with real postseason stakes at play. The Yanks are coming into town on a five-game losing streak. A tiger is most dangerous when it is wounded, so Seattle should be ready for the Yankees’ best punch.
- After this series, the Mariners will have finished a brutal 20-game stretch in which they played the Astros and Yankees 13 times. In previous Thoughts, I said anything close to .500 play during this run would be a massive success, as I believe Seattle would still be in a playoff spot. We’ve reached the end of this run, and the Mariners currently sit at 8-9 and are still two games up on the final playoff spot. Julio will be back for this series, and Seattle has their best pitchers going. A win in this series should be considered holding serve, but a series win would be huge.
- This week’s SEAside Thoughts Player of the Week is Sam Haggerty. Haggerty is a dude, and he is not only playing, this dude is slaying. This week Haggerty went 7/16 with three walks, and a massive home run in Yankees Stadium. Hitting .438 with an OBP of .526 is some really nice numbers. Sam is bringing swagger and versatility to a team that desperately needed it this week. Haggerty should be the first guy off the bench as this team marches to October, and he might even push Frazier or Winker out of the lineup if they’re not performing.
- This week’s Mariners Music Mojo is Theme from New York, New York by Frank Sinatra.
- A huge series at home against the Yankees, and then the Mariners begin the end of their season, a 49-game race to the finish with the easiest remaining schedule in baseball. In 49 games, the Mariners will only see 5 total games against teams that are currently slated to make the postseason and only 16 games against teams over .500. A Mariners squad at full strength is going to make a major run here, and I can’t wait to see it.
- Go Mariners!