The Mariners keep chugging along.
Following an 8-3 comeback win against the Reds yesterday, the M's followed it up with a 4-0 win today. With the victory, Seattle has secured yet another series win at the very least. While the team didn't crush the Reds, they always seemed to be in control.
That's the thing about this team. Even when they don't dominate or complete incredible comebacks, you can just tell when the game is going to be a win. It used to be the opposite. There were many years where games felt hopeless long before they were over. A 4-1 deficit in the sixth inning was as good as a 7-1 deficit. When the M's went up 4-0 in the fourth, there was little doubt in my mind the team would hold on to win.
Maybe that's because of the M's solid bullpen paired with the Reds' terrible one. But this isn't the first time I've felt this way watching the team this year. I hope I'm not the only one. The wins keep coming and different players are stepping up every game.
The Mariners are at the point where it's not going to take a whole lot to make this season successful.
If the #Mariners were to play .500 ball the rest of the season, they would finish with 85 wins.— Dae-Joe Lee (@JoeVeyera) May 21, 2016
I think they're going to surpass that.
The Mariners are on pace for 96 wins.— Mike Salk, 710 ESPN (@TheMikeSalk) May 21, 2016
Onto the next one, and onto the bullet points!
The biggest news of the day is that Ketel Marte jammed his thumb while sliding into second on a stolen base. The shortstop stayed out on the base paths at the time and even stole third, but was removed from the game at the end of the inning. Shannon Drayer has the report from Scott Servais:
Initial reports on Marte's thumb sprain is it is not too serious but pretty clear they will have to make a move.— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) May 21, 2016
- Felix Hernandez had an interesting game. At times he looked incredibly sharp. At other times he looked vulnerable. He retired the first eight batters and looked like vintage Felix until John Lamb hit a dribbler that barely escaped the grasp of Chris Iannetta. After that Felix loaded the bases and got out of it thanks to a line drive from Joey Votto delivered graciously into Felix's glove. He also loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth. Votto grounded out to end that threat. Felix sure dodged some bullets, but I'll take 6 IP, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K every time.
- Leonys Martin continued his reign of terror. He hit a line-drive home run in the second inning to put the Mariners up 1-0 and made a spectacular catch in center later in the game. The dinger marks his eighth of the season, which ties a career high from 2013. It's still just May and a quick look at his stat line suggests that he could very easily reach 20/20 in homers and stolen bases (8 HR/7 SB so far). He's already put up 1.0 WAR which is twice as much as he had all of last season. If you want to play the fun comparison game:
Leonys trade has been hilariously one-sided:— Ethan Novak (@EthanNovak) May 21, 2016
Martin: 1.0 WAR
Wilhelmsen: -0.9 WAR
Jones: .237/.291/.328 in AAA
Kiv: .191/.260/.272 in AAA
- Franklin Gutierrez also did a thing:
- The distance on the blast (473 feet) is the longest by an American League hitter this season and second in baseball only to Giancarlo Stanton (475). While Guti has yet to get truly hot this season, it's great to see that he still has it in him. His story is so much fun to follow. Someone start writing the movie script on this guy.
- Vidal Nuno, Mike Montgomery, and Joel Peralta all threw a perfect frame apiece to close out the game. While nobody in the pen sans Steve Cishek is ever flashy, they get the job done. They just kind of take the hill and before you know it the game is over.