It really seemed like the same ol' same ol' with the Mariners and Astros as they started up their first series of 2023. Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker hurt the Mariners with big-time plays, and the Astros scored when it mattered to take the first game of the series. That made it 4 wins in their last four games against the Mariners, and you could tell M's fans were a bit worried.
Game 2 was much of the same. The Mariners were held scoreless through 7.2 innings of work by Houston. They managed just 5 hits, 2 walks, and a HBP over that time frame.
Mariners = Chaos Ball
After a ground out and a strikeout, the Mariners were down 3-0 in the bottom of the eight with two outs. Ready to see what happened next?
Bases Clearing Double
That's 9 batters in a row that reached base. When all was said and done, the Mariners tallied 2 walks, 3 infield singles, 2 normal singles, and 2 doubles. That resulted in 7 runs (!) with two outs, a massive rally and comeback against Houston. They would hold on to win 7-5, and it really felt like all the momentum was on the Mariners side. I know there are those out there that don't believe in momentum, or have even tried to prove it doesn't exist, but I fully believe in it, and it showed in the finale.
Bryce Miller took the mound for the second time this season and continued with the dominance he showed in his MLB Debut against the Athletics. He allowed just 2 hits and one walk on his way to six scoreless innings. Julio started it off by breaking a long homerless drought, launching a massive blast of 454 feet into the stands. The Mariners would add 2 more, and end up getting the 3-1 win. For the first time in quite a while, the Mariners are back to 500, and things are looking up.
We've been worried about the offense for quite a while, but they showed up in this series. They had 31 hits in the series across 100 ABS. A batting average of .310 against anyone is a good series, especially so when it's against the Astros. Add in the 10 walks, and it makes for a strong showing for the Mariners as we get into the second week of May.
Next up is a series against the division leading Texas Rangers. Things are going to be just as tough, if not tougher, as they face their second Texas team in a row. You could argue the Mariners top 3 pitchers are going in this series, so it's a great opportunity for the Mariners to jump above .500.