Mariners SEAside Thoughts Week 19
“Life is like a roller coaster, live it, be happy, enjoy life.”
– Avril Lavigne
- Before we get into the week that was, I want to talk about the biggest news of the week with the Fernando Tatis Jr. PED suspension.
- What an absolutely disappointing season for the young superstar. Coming off an MVP-caliber season, and with the mega trade for Juan Soto, the Padres had to be feeling like they were one of the best teams in baseball and were going to have a real shot at upsetting the Dodgers, considering their powerful trio of Tatis, Soto, and Machado could win any series…not so fast.
- Instead, the Padres and their General Manager A.J. Preller are left wondering if they can even trust Tatis. Since his mega extension of 14 years for $340 million, there have been clubhouse respect issues, multiple motorcycle accidents, the mysterious wrist injury that has sidelined him all season, and now finally this PED suspension. The Padres, in the middle of a freefall themselves, are once again playing the part of a snakebit franchise.
- It makes you wonder what the future will hold for Tatis. He was billed as the next face of the league, a title Julio is coming for, but it is rare for a player of his caliber and his young age to be suspended. He will have plenty of time to change the narrative, but his stock is as low as it can get right now.
- With all that said, Jerry Dipoto’s first call this winter should absolutely be to Preller to gauge how tired of Tatis the Padres really are. If the Padres would rather financially commit to Soto, and look to get out of the Tatis deal, Seattle should jump all over the opportunity to snag Tatis at 80 cents on the dollar.
- It’d still be a massive haul, but not to the level of Soto. Seattle getting a player of his caliber, albeit concerning behaviors and judgment, is worth the risk. Imagine a healthy Tatis and Soto for the next decade. Quite the dream.
- The Series of the Year
- Back to the real world! The Yankees came to town in a massive series with major playoff implications. Seattle, still missing Julio, got clobbered in game one 9-4. The one highlight was seeing Mitch Haniger go yard. So good to have him back.
- Game two was special. All my thoughts and feelings can be bottled up right here. An instant classic that will be remembered for a long time.
- In retrospect, I wanted to give a shout-out to Aaron Goldsmith and Mike Blowers. The way they delivered that game to us fans was nothing short of perfection.
- Luis Castillo has been everything advertised, and then some! He has the look of a true ace and Seattle has needed it. Today he’ll face another Cy Young caliber pitcher in Shohei Ohtani. After that, he should have a decided talent advantage in the rest of his starts. Considering the weakness of their schedule, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run the table.
- The Wednesday finale continued a wild 20+ hours of all-time baseball.
- It sucks watching Nester Cortes join the Chris Taylor club of players to turn into stars after leaving Seattle.
- Haggerty is a stud. He was our player of the week last week and honestly could have won it again. His home run off of Cortes was huge and continued to show that Swaggerty has some surprising power. He continues to produce and is one of our best players right now.
- Robbie Ray looked like a solid number two for Seattle, against a Yankees lineup that has given him fits. He needs to improve his walk rate in the final weeks of the season, but he as a number two is very exciting for a team that is facing the very likely possibility of a three-game wildcard series.
- Santana is clutch!
- The Mariners looked like a real threat to the New York Yankees. This isn’t the same Yankees squad from back in June, but it still has championship potential. For the Mariners to not only win this epic 31-inning battle but also take two out of three in the Bronx, says a lot about the potential of this Mariners club. I sure hope they get a chance to meet in October.
- The Texas-Sized Letdown
- Much like when the Mariners won their Yankees series in New York, they came home to a far inferior Angels club and came away with only a split. The same situation came up again as they lost two out of three in Texas to the slumping Rangers.
- The series loss felt a little more jarring than usual. The Mariners looked like their normal selves in an impressive 6-2 win in game one. George Kirby is dealing and clearly looks like the third-best pitcher on this team right now.
- The next two losses came after blowing a 3-0 lead midway through game two and a 1-0 lead early in game three.
- Marco Gonzalez and Logan Gilbert just don’t look great right now. They’re not pitching to the normal standard we have seen from them.
- Gonzalez has lost the elite control he used to possess that made him the solid number three he use to be. We’re down to the final six weeks and can’t have Marco failing to hold on to 3-0 leads to teams that are already out of postseason contention.
- This frustration is compounded by the fact that it was Flexen that was moved to the pen when he’s clearly been the better pitcher for some time. I get the decision, as Flex has better stuff for the pen compared to Gonzalez, but it still isn’t the best for the team in my opinion.
- I have similar concerns about Logan Gilbert going forward. We saw it yesterday, he just has no life to his off-speed pitches. He still has an explosive fastball that he plays at the top and bottom of the zone. Without a lively curveball or slider, it takes guessing right on that fastball location for the meatball to be clobbered. We saw that in both of Gilbert’s no outings. He was terrible against the Yankees and was solid, but far from the man we saw in April yesterday. This version of Gilbert can’t be the guy to start a deciding third game of a wildcard series.
- Losing two out of three to a Rangers team you’ve owned sucks, but the Mariners caught a break as the rest of the wildcard chasing rivals failed to gain much ground on the Mariners.
- While Seattle did fall from the 4th seed to the 5th seed, they find themselves only half a game behind the Blue Jays for the top wildcard spot. Most importantly, the Mariners maintain a two-game lead over the teams currently on the outside looking in. With 46 games to go, I think every Mariners fan would gladly take that considering how things looked in June.
- The Mariners simply can’t relax against these lower-tier teams, they need to win the series, as a playoff birth won’t be given to them, they’re gonna have to earn it.
- This week’s SEAside Thoughts Player of the Week is manager Scott Servais. He is not a player, but I have to give the skipper his props and congratulations on his 500th career win as manager. All 500 with the Mariners, through thick and thin. The steady rock, the dad of these Mariners, fans should be happy to have such a solid manager.
- This week’s Mariners Music Mojo is still the Theme from New York, New York by Frank Sinatra. Mariners own the Yankees until otherwise.
Go Mariners, and Happy Castillo Day tomorrow!