Best hitter, pitcher, and moment of the Mariners' series vs. the Cleveland Guardians

Seattle hit their first roadblock of the season, getting outscored 13-2 against Cleveland, but as always, there was a silver lining.
Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners
Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Best Mariners Pitcher: Ryne Stanek

1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 SV

One of the many new faces in the Mariners bullpen, Stanek was instrumental in getting Seattle their only win of the series. After Andrés Muñoz gave up a solo home run to Josh Naylor to bring the Guardians within one run, he finished the eighth inning and passed the ball to Ryne Stanek. Tasked with protecting a narrow lead, Stanek got Ramón Laureano to pop out, struck out Bo Naylor, and got Brayan Rocchio to flyout to end the game and earn his first save with the team and fifth of his career.

Stanek's great stuff has him poised to be another high-leverage option for the team this season. With Muñoz still learning the ropes of the closer role, Stanek is an excellent veteran option. In case you aren't familiar with his work, his four-seam fastball sits in the high 90,s while his slider and splitter both garnered whiff rates >40% last year.

Honorable Mention: Gabe Speier

It was a rough series for the rotation, but another bullpen arm was able to step up in the first game of the series. As one of the few lefties on the pitching staff, Gabe Speier is an excellent talent that got kind of unlucky last year. While his 2023 FIP was 3.35, his ERA was 3.79, so he might be even better than the numbers report him to be.

Speier entered the first game of the series in the seventh inning. After conceding a single to Bo Naylor, he retired the next three batters in order, including striking out Steven Kwan and Andrés Giménez, players who don't strike out often. He's made some major upgrades to his arsenal to potentially add a split-change and a cutter, so he'll be even more dangerous than he was last year.