Mariners save offensive explosion for final game of series

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees
Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

A trip to New York to take on the Yankees saw the Mariners lose two of three but outscore their opposition 13-9. After scoring just a single run in the first game and two in the second, they exploded for 10 in the final game. 

Pitching was good in all three games, but the lack of distribution of the offense amongst the three games cost the Mainres mightily. Coming in hoping to make up ground in the AL Wild Card standings, they now sit 4.0 games behind the very Yankees they failed to win the series against.

Game 1: Mariners waste fantastic George Kirby outing; Final 3-1 Yankees

Using the momentum from his great performance last time out against the Yankees, George Kirby once again pitched well against the East Coast squad. In their home stadium, he went 8.0 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits while striking out four. 

A quality start and one that usually is part of the recipe for winning was not enough for a team that scored just a single run against Gerrit Cole. Cole, in the midst of his best season in pinstripes, went 7.1 innings, striking out eight and letting just a single run across. 

Getting only four hits, not a single player on the Mariners had a multi-hit game against the Yankees ace, with the top four in the order combining for a 0-for-15 showing. 

But, the most newsworthy part of this first game was a specific at-bat between Cole and the Mariners’ Jose Caballero. Caballero, who is known for his antics in the batter’s box, seemed to get under Cole’s skin.

In retaliation, Cole through a ball over Caballero’s head before striking him out, continuing to talk to him on his way to the dugout. 

Game 2: Offense gets only four hits yet again; Final 4-2 Yankees 

For the second straight game, the Mariners only had four hits as a team and lost by two runs. Luis Castillo went 5.0 innings and gave up three runs and was outpitched by the Yankees’ Jhony Brito. 

The start by Castillo was one of his worst on the season, as despite not giving up many runs, he struck out just three batters while walking four. It was the first time in 2023 that he outright walked more batters than he struck out, and his four walks were the second-most given up in a start this year.

Coming out of the bullpen first for Seattle is a player that has been on an upward trend recently. Matt Brash has his ERA on the season down to 3.94, making its way down to his FIP of 1.56. Despite starting to look like one of the unluckiest pitchers in the league to start the year, his results are trending toward where they should be. 

Game 3: The bats finally came to play; Final 10-2 Mariners 

After putting up three runs on eight hits in the first two games, the offense had 10 runs on 11 hits in the final game of the series. Four hitters had multi-hit games and Kolton Wong hit his first home run on the year. 

While the best hitters in the lineup did not perform exceptionally well, a steadfast attack all throughout the order was enough to put up a healthy amount of runs. 

Bryan Woo, not looking to ruin the offensive explosion, went 5.1 innings giving up just two hits while striking out five and walking three. It is the first outing of his career without giving up a run, and he has been on a steady increase in results since his debut. 

In his last three starts, he has gone 15.2 innings, striking out 21 and maintaining a 2.30 ERA. Maintaining that level of production should not be expected for a rookie that was not necessarily poised to make an MLB impact during the preseason, but he certainly looks to keep the Mariners’ playoff hopes alive with his pitching. 

Avoiding the sweep is vital for a team set to head to Baltimore for an important three-game set against the Orioles.