With just 38 games left, the Mariners were faced with one of their toughest remaining opponents when the Cleveland Guardians came to town for a four-game-set in Seattle. It’s funny, cause the series itself probably ended up being the third biggest storyline amidst both the Ichiro Suzuki Mariners HOF induction and the Julio Rodriguez Massive Mega Ultra Huge extension.
It’s the actual games that I want to talk about though, and really, the dominant pitching and lack of offense that we saw from the Mariners.
Thanks to the Mariners pitching staff, they were able to win the series against the Guardians
During the entire four-game set, the Mariners hit just .161, but were massively helped by 6 HR, pretty much the only way they were ever able to get on the board. Cleveland didn’t do much better, hitting .194. They were helped by the clown behind home plate in game 3, as Lance Barrett missed a bunch of calls, including a strike 3 on Steven Kwan with Munoz on the mound. Instead, Kwan got on base with a walk.
The Guardians should’ve ended up with just one run (no one scores on the double, RBI groundout, and instead of a sac fly, the inning is over). It would’ve been 3-2, and the Mariners perfect record when heading into the 8th with the lead would’ve been intact. Sure, other things could’ve happened and the Guardians still could’ve won. But… I’m salty at Barrett, so I’m saying he cost us the game. I also understand it doesn’t show as bad on Ump Scorecards, but it was definitely the biggest play in the game.
It doesn’t help when Karinchak would go between the dirt and his hair constantly on the mound, and then instead of checking him at the end of the inning, the umpire SHAKES HIS DARN HAND!!!
Okay, vitriol expelled. On to the rest of the series, which the Mariners dominated. Cleveland scored three in that one single inning and scored only four runs in the remaining 37 innings of baseball. It was an incredible performance by the Mariners, starting with Marco. He struggled early, with three hits in the first, but just one run was given up. After a single to Hedges with two outs in the second inning, Marco would retire the next 12 hitters before walking Jose Ramirez with two outs in the 6th.
Logan Gilbert did his best Marco impression, throwing 6.2 innings the next day, while only striking out two hitters and walking none. He dueled Shane Bieber pretty well, and the Mariners were able to win in extras thanks to a bit of funkiness on both sides of the ball.
Castillo was great in game three, although Cleveland fought as hard as they could, making him throw 115 pitches in just six innings of work. Castillo would limit them to a run on a solo homer while striking out ten.
The best start of the week for the Mariners would end up being the last one, courtesy of the reigning Cy Young winner, Robbie Ray. He went seven, striking out seven, walking none, and allowing just three hits. It’s one of the more impressive starts we have seen from Ray outside of his two no-hit bids. It was actually his second-best game score of the season, 78, trailing only a start exactly two months prior against the Orioles when he notched an 80.
The Mariners are definitely going to need their bats to wake up though, as 19 hits in four games aren’t going to cut it the rest of the way. Currently 70-58, they are in the second wild card spot, just a half-game back of Tampa. It’s an off day Monday, so hopefully, the bats will wake up once they get to Detroit on Tuesday.