Behind Big Dumper Power, Mariners win series in Houston to make it six straight

The Mariners were able to take down the Astros late, and have won their sixth series in a row thanks to some late game heroics by Cal Raleigh
Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros / Jack Gorman/GettyImages

Winning a series always feels good as a fan. Seeing your team continue to climb up the standings and increase their win percentage is a great sight to see. However, there is something that makes it even better... doing it against the Houston Astros, and doing it in their stadium.

For years now, the Astros have tormented the Mariners. Sitting atop the AL West for quite some time now, the Astros have been the team that everyone is chasing. They're still dangerous, and proved as much in the series against the Mariners, but Seattle ended up coming out on top with the 2-1 series win.

The Mariners won their sixth straight series adding Houston to the list

A lot of questioning was going on with how the starters/bullpen was handled in this series, but in the end, I think that Scott Servais made the right decisions. The first one was George Kiby, who came out after 6 innings and 88 pitches. We all thought he would throw one more inning, but after it came out that he's been battling knee soreness, it made complete sense as to why he was pulled when he was. It just sucked to see the bullpen instantly blow the game, leading to an opening loss in the series.

Logan Gilbert shined in game two, throwing the 4th-best outing of his young career, at least by game score. He walked four, but allowed only two hits, striking out six, and throwing 96 pitches across 8 innings. There was an inkling he would go for the CG SO, but they had Tayler Saucedo come in to finish it out in the 5-0 win.

The finale proved to be the most exciting game, and the one that fans were the most upset about. Miller was outstanding early, but struggled a bit in the 6th. He gave up a single and a homer, and the Mariners held a 3-2 at the end of the 6th. Miller was only at 77 pitches, so throwing another inning made sense. A 3rd trip through a very dangerous lineup proved too much though, and he gave up another hit and two-run homer, and the Mariners were down 4-3.

Also, that led to the end of the Mariners' streak of consecutive outings by starters allowing 2 ER or less, one short of tying the all-time major league record. I still don't know if it was the right call or not, but Miller has thrown 7 innings twice this year, and been between 90-100 pitches four times, so it makes sense from a pure pitch-count standpoint to have him back out there.

Instead, the Mariners were now down 3-4 heading into the 8th inning. Small ball/chaos ball reigned supreme, as Dylan Moore was hit by a pitch and would advance to second on a balk. Luis Urias would hit a funky single into center, flaring it in there enough for Moore to scamper around third and tie it up at 4-4. That's what the score would be heading into the 9th, and the Astros would bring Josh Hader in.

Unfortunately for the Astros, it was Big Dumper time.

Down 0-2, it was easy to believe Cal would strikeout, as he has been prone to do this season. There is also something else he has been good at, and that's hitting important homers late in game. He is the only player this season to have 2 or more go-ahead or walk off homers in the 9th inning or later, with the other coming against the Blue Jays.

It gave the Mariners the 5-4 lead, and Andres Munoz had a chance to close the door for a four-out save. Dubon and Meyers went down easy, but then the Astros villain came to the plate, as Jose Altuve had a chance to send it to extras. Off the bat, it looked like he might have done just that, hitting a ball with a great launch angle of 29 and enough velo to make it dangerous, leaving the bat at 97.3 mph.

Fortunately for the Mariners, this wasn't in Yankee Stadium, and Raley made the catch to end the game. The Mariners leave Houston winners of six straight series, still leading the AL West with a record of 19-15. They'll head to Minnesota for a four-game series against the Twins, looking to continue their series winning streak. Go Mariners!