SEAside Thoughts: Mariners Return to October in Style
SEAside Thoughts Week 27, Mariners Wild Card Series Game 1
- Welcome back to playoff baseball Seattle!
- The Mariners ambushed the confident Alek Manoah in the first inning, silencing the raucous Blue Jays crowd with a quick 3-0 lead.
- My heart stopped both times Julio was hit in the hands. Both were important moments in the game, as both resulted in runs, but come on!
- It seems like every year in the playoffs, there’s a team that may not have been the elite of the elite, but a player or two gets hot and takes them on an epic run. I’m starting to wonder if Cal Raleigh might end up being that heater for Seattle. Twice in the past week, Big Dumper has stepped to the plate in a big moment, and he absolutely delivered.
- Do you know who else delivered? Our Ace Luis Castillo
- Castillo was the best player on the field yesterday.
- He went 7.1 innings pitched with only 6 hits and 5 Ks. Most importantly, he had zero walks. He played the role of a weak contact ace, before finishing the game with a flurry, striking out the side in the 7th.
- To go into a hostile environment, against one of the most intimidating offenses in the league, and dominate as Castillo did? Dream big Seattle. This team can go far…like really far if he continues to roll as he did.
- I was expecting to see some nerves from the team. Heck, it’s their first experience in the postseason in forever. It’s important to note the favorable moments in this game to help the young team acclimate to the moment, while the Blue Jays did not.
- The Mariners first opportunity to score brought a playoff veteran to the plate in Eugenio Suarez, and he delivered. With a 1-0 lead right off the bat, you have to think a little bit of pressure was taken off of Cal’s shoulder before he launched.
- Having Castillo, who had already pitched well in the 2020 playoffs, getting off to a good start in game 1 was a huge advantage. The moment was too big for Manoah early on, and the game was over before he found himself.
- The Mariners head into a potential closeout game today, and the ball will be in the hands of former Blue Jay Robbie Ray. Ray has had a weird season, but he will be heading back to where he was at his very best, with a chance to bring Seattle one step closer to a championship.
- No matter how you feel about Ray and his first season in Seattle, he has a chance to be a hero, and get Seattle to Houston. He doesn’t need to be what Luis Castillo was yesterday, but he needs to keep the ball in the yard, and keep Toronto under 4 runs through 6 innings. If he does that, Seattle is popping even more champagne tonight.
- Tonight could be a special night. The pressure is now all on Kevin Gausman and the Toronto Blue Jays. Don’t forget Gausman chose the Blue Jays over the Mariners. Don’t forget the Blue Jays were the AL East favorites when the season started. They are the ones that should be nervous, not these young Mariners of chaos.
- Go M’s!