Game 1 saw the Mariners jump out to an early lead, putting up a 5 spot in the 1st inning off of Touki Toussaint. They put up 2 in the 5th and 6th along with 4 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th for good measure. They would go on to win 14-2 in a game that saw big production from a few key Mariners.
Cal Raleigh led the Mariners offense going 3-5 with 6 RBIs and 2 HR. Teoscar chipped in with 3 RBIs, and Josh Rojas stayed hot, scoring 3-5 with 2 runs. Luis Castillo took the mound for the opener and dominated the White Sox, throwing 7 innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 run while striking out 9. He was so dominant and confident that he could mow down their lineup and threw 47 consecutive fastballs!
Bryan Woo started game 2, making his first appearance since being placed on the IL on August 8th. He was solid in his outing, completing 4 innings with 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3. The bullpen was tasked with covering the next 5 innings and did a fine job going 5 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts.
The Mariners offense stayed hot and got production up and down the lineup, with everyone but Cal Raleigh and Cade Marlowe getting a base hit. JP Crawford, Ty France, Mike Ford and Cal Raleigh each had an RBI while Josh Rojas continued to show that he could be the answer at second base going 1 for 4 with 2 runs and a 2-run home run.
The Mariners looked to continue their win streak with George Kirby on the bump, taking on a struggling Michael Kopech. Kirby was not very efficient in this outing throwing 100 pitches over 5 and 2/3 innings. Before a Trayce Thompson 2-run home run in the 5th, Kirby had thrown 5 2/3 innings, with 8 hits, 0 walks and 9 strikeouts. Kirby was definitely good enough to win this game for the Mariners. They just could get much going offensively.
As the weather heated up in Chicago, the Mariners bats surely cooled off. They scratched out a run in the 7th on a Josh Rojas infield bunt after Caballero stole 2nd and 3rd base. In the 9th back-to-back 1-out singles by Rojas and Raleigh followed by a JP Crawford walk brought Julio up to the plate with the bases loaded. He ended up getting hit in the hand in a scary moment. Eugenio gave the Mariners the lead with a single up the middle.
The White Sox tied it up in the bottom of the 9th after a leadoff double by Oscar Colas and a single by Andrew Benintendi. In the 10th, with the runner starting on 2nd Justin Topa came in to face Elvis Andrus. Andrus tried to bunt Tim Anderson over to third and missed, and a great throw to 2nd base had Tim Anderson dead in the water. Unfortunately, when JP went to throw the ball to Geno, it hit Tim Anderson in the head and skipped to the foul area, allowing Anderson to trot home for the win.
Could the Mariners shake up their bullpen in the coming weekend?
Andres Munoz has really struggled as of late, not necessarily giving up a lot of runs, but he has had some lengthy and tough outings. I think Matt Brash has to be the guy in the key, high leverage situations. He has been nails since June 1 (32 2/3 IP, 13 BBs, 46 Ks, and a 2.48 ERA). The real move here I think should be Justin Topa. He needs to be given more high-leverage chances. He doesn't have the elite stuff that guys like Brash or Munoz have, but he has silently been the Mariners best reliever. In Topa's last 26 innings, he has given up 21 hits, only 5 BBs, and 24 Ks to a 1.38 ERA.
Gabe Speier is another guy that deserves more high leverage situations. In Speier's last 13 IP, he has only 2 BB, he has 19 Ks and a 2.08 ERA. He has shown a sort of "dog" mentality. like when he got the save against the Astros blowing a 97-mph fastball right by Yordan Alvarez. His mentality has changed this year and he has a very confident mindset right now.