The Mariners swept a four-game series with the Orioles over 4th of July weekend, knocking the AL East-contenders on their tailfeathers while outscoring them 31 - 15. Seth Smith gave starter Hisashi Iwakuma a four-run lead to work with in the third inning, when he tagged the unfortunate Ubaldo Jimenez for a grand slam, the first of his career.
Some fun things about that home run: in addition to being Seth’s first Papa Slam, it was his fourth home run in as many games, and his tenth overall, and he also contributed to some Mariners history: this was the first time the team had ever had 7 players with 10 or more home runs before the All-Star break.
The Orioles didn’t go down quietly, rallying back to get within a run, but the Mariners never took their foot off the gas, eventually pulling out a 9-4 victory. It was a total team effort, with contributions up and down the lineup; every player had a hit except for Guti and O’Malley (who only had one at-bat, in to replace Seth Smith). The Mariners hit five doubles in this game, including two off eventual Mariner Ariel Miranda. The game also featured shutdown innings from newly-arrived fireballer Edwin Díaz, as well as Joaquín Benoit and Vidal Nuño. But it was Seth Smith who staked the Mariners to an early lead, and he who would wear the Swelmet:
There is a less-than-zero chance Seth Smith won’t be a Mariner this year, and we will have to retire our jokes about Honda Odysseys and riding mowers and “World’s Greatest Smeth” coffee cups. But we have left our mark on Seth’s career:
So in case we have to say goodbye to Seth this off-season, here is a head start on appreciating the quietest, steadiest Mariner, in all his farmer-tanned, “barely tolerating this” smiling, cutoff tee-wearing glory. We love you, Dad.