Mariners vs. Nationals: Julio is back, Logan limits damage, and J.P. goes yard

The Mariners struggled in the first two games of the series but managed to end on a strong note before heading home
Seattle Mariners v Washington Nationals
Seattle Mariners v Washington Nationals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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To cap off their East Coast road trip, the Mariners stopped by Nationals Park for a three-game set. After a disappointing first two games which saw them outscored 9-2, they came back in a big way and claimed a 9-5 victory before returning to the PNW. Ending on a victory will hopefully generate the necessary positive momentum for their three consecutive series against division rivals.

Best Hitter: Julio Rodríguez

13 PA, .308/.308/.769, 4 H, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, 1 K, 2 SB

Finally, the series that we've all been waiting for. After struggling week by week, Julio finally put it together and posted a 1.077 OPS including two home runs and two stolen bases. Things finally seemed to click, especially since he was able to keep the strikeouts to a minimum. He's struggled quite a bit with plate discipline and swing decisions this year which may be a big reason his numbers aren't as good as they've been over the past two years but maybe this is the start of a hot streak yet to come.

We would need a deeper dive on exactly what has been dragging him down but a quick peek at his figures begin to uncover a recurring theme. He's getting crushed by offspeed pitches, striking out 40.9% of the time against the changeup. He's also struggling with movement, striking out 45.5% of the time against sweepers and 41.7% of the time against curveballs. Furthermore, he's whiffing more than 50% of the time against curveballs and cutters.

It's now been two months so he's only got about 100 more games to begin to iron out these problems, fewer if the Mariners want to remain a competitive playoff team.

Honorable Mention: Ty France

12 PA, 4 H, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 5 K

Like the 2022 All-Star Game, joining Julio is Ty France in this selection of best hitters. He also had a great series despite being punched out five times. Like his fellow Seattle All-Star, he's been struggling with getting on base and putting the ball in play this season. However unlike Julio, he doesn't have the power or quality of contact abilities so he'll have to make up for his shortcomings in other ways. Nonetheless, he can hit 400-foot home runs when things fall into place just the right way like they did against this lazy Patrick Corbin cutter.