Mariners vs. Guardians: Moore hits 2 homers, rotation struggles, and Crawford's pizza

After a strong start, Seattle ultimately faltered in a three-game series against the current leaders of the AL Central as they lost the series to the Guardians
Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Guardians
Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Best Pitcher: Bryce Miller

5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

It was a rough week for the rotation. No one was able to put up a quality start but Bryce Miller was the closest, falling just one batter short of hitting the six inning mark. He pitched in the first game which was a rough outing for both team's starters with Triston McKenzie conceding four earned runs in just 2.1 innings. While he's usually good for whiffs in the double digits, he had just six swings and misses which coincides with his two strikeouts.

His command seemed a little off in Cleveland, with many of his pitches ending up too high in the strike zone, most notably his four-seam fastball. As his primary weapon, the effectiveness of his fastball essentially dictates how each start goes. Insufficient command and too many hitter's counts make him more hittable.

Despite his struggles, he still outperformed Luis Castillo and Bryan Woo. If anything, this matchup against the Guardians perfectly illustrated that without the starting rotation in peak form, Seattle becomes a very beatable team.

Honorable Mention: Ryne Stanek

1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

After a rough May, Stanek is starting to bounce back. After a 4.66 ERA over 9.2 innings last month, he's already recorded a 3.24 ERA over 8.1 innings pitched with four saves. He's allowing more baserunners and is particularly being haunted by his typically high walk rate, but he's yet to give up a home run this month, helping him minimize his earned runs.

At the beginning of the year, it seemed like the Mariners would have the luxury of being able to use two different high-leverage pitchers. Now that we're nearly 80 games into the season, it's clear that Andrés Muñoz is the team's primary closer with Stanek being a distant second. Munoz has a 1.47 ERA and 13 saves to Stanek's 3.81 ERA and seven saves. Nonetheless, both are flamethrowers and there's a chance Stanek makes necessary adjustments to return to his 2022 form by the time the postseason runs around and his abilities are needed the most.