Mariners vs. Twins: Garver gets revenge, starters struggle, and Cal makes a sandwich

The Mariners seemed out of their depth against the Twins but still managed to pull off a few highlights in the process
Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins
Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages
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It was a tough stretch for the Mariners as they dropped three out of four games to the red-hot Minnesota Twins. We're still waiting for Julio Rodríguez to bounce back but in the meantime, here are some players that got hot in the final series of the road trip.

Best Hitter: Mitch Garver

.333/.438/.583, 16 PA, 4 H, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K

He still isn't where he's supposed to be offensively but his performance against his old team has been one of the best series showings he's had this year. He walked more than he struck out, got on base seven times, and hit a home run against Chris Paddack in the third game of the set. It was a bit of a cheap shot, traveling just 362 feet and having an expected batting average of just .410, but it got enough to score.

Fans should continue to monitor Garver's quality of contact figures as his barrel rate of 5.8% is less than half of what it was in 2023. It's a big reason why aside from his walk rate, his hitting has regressed in nearly every way since last year. As the full-time designated hitter for the next few years, fans weren't expecting prime Edgar Martinez but a .632 OPS over his first 128 plate appearances has undoubtedly been disappointing to many.

Honorable Mention: Cal Raleigh

.200/.385/.600, 13 PA, 2 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K

Cal was swinging for the fences against the Twins and statistically, it seemed to work out for him (kinda). Sure, six strikeouts in 10 at-bats might make your great-uncle keel over in shock but three walks and two extra base hits aren't too shabby. It's even less shabby when you consider that the home run he hit was a go-ahead grand slam in the top of the seventh inning, giving Seattle the boost it needed to log their only win of the series. Unlike Garver's homer, Raleigh's was off the bat at a whopping 110.0 mph and traveled 445 feet. It also added a neat 45% to the Mariners' win probability.

He wasn't immune to the same cold start that affected much of the lineup but he's started to approach his career averages. With a 2024 OPS of .750, he's not too far off his last two years in the major leagues. More importantly, he's in the top 2% of qualified hitters when it comes to average exit velocity, barrel rate, and hard-hit rate. The main headwinds he's facing are his strikeout and whiff rates which are both in the bottom 10% of qualified hitters. Like fellow big dumper Kyle Schwarber, it seems that Raleigh has really fallen in love with the three true outcomes and it's been at least a little effective.