Last week, George Kirby had his worst start of the season. It was an awful showing vs one of the worst teams in baseball, and far from what we have come to expect from the impressive youngster.
Whether it was a random struggle, a bit of fatigue, or a sickness (that has been circulating… that he was sick but wanted to try and pitch through it), there was still a slight worry that Kirby may have hit the proverbial rookie wall.
Against the Rangers, George Kirby had a wonderful outing for the Mariners
He occasionally got into trouble, but it never bit him. The lone worry was that son of a biscuit Josh Jung who started the first inning off the same way he had played throughout the entirety of game one, with an RBI. That would be the last run that the Rangers would drive in on the day.
The Mariners got players in position early and often against the pitcher that many think is the Ace of the Rangers staff, Martin Perez. Although he only allowed eight runners, it seemed that they always came in bunches. They jumped on him right away, with a walk, single, double, and sac fly. It was 2-1, and the Mariners would never give up the lead.
They had a chance to put the game away in the third, even potentially knocking Perez out. Single, single, walk, and they had the bases loaded with no outs. It was a bit disappointing to see them only manage one run in this situation, but they made it 3-1, and the pitching staff would do the rest.
Kirby managed a Game Score of 61, which doesn’t even make it into his top ten outings. That shows you truly how good he has been this season. 6 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 4 K, and it’s not even top ten. I’m sure this will jinx it as well, but Kirby has the longest active streak going of starts without giving up a home run. That number is up to 14, back when he somehow gave up four to the Orioles in June.
If George Kirby was great, the bullpen was perfect. Literally perfect. Swanson, Munoz, Sewald… 9 up and 9 down. When Los Bomberos is on, it’s hard to do anything against them. Especially when Munoz has that hot nasty slider going.
It ended up being a perfect day for the Mariners. Pairing their win with losses from Tampa, Toronto, and Baltimore cuts the Magic Number for the M’s down to 3, as they creep ever closer to their first playoff berth since 2001. The finale is Thursday night with Marco Gonzales vs Jon Gray, and the Mariners will have an even better idea of where they sit with Baltimore playing a morning game and Tampa playing an afternoon game. Go Mariners!