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Doggone M’s Walk-off Win Baseball Game

Sam Gaviglio, Guillermo Heredia make Italian-Americans, Italian-American casual dining chains proud, respectively

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners
Someone’s getting a trip to Olive Garden!
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Buona serra, Lookout Landing familia. Pour yourself a celebratory Moscato, throw a Louis Prima record on the Victrola, and of course, treat yourself to a few hearty breadsticks. You’ve earned it. We all have.

Tonight the Seattle Mariners won a baseball game, and they did so in exhilarating fashion.

With the team about to take to the road to visit the NL’s top two teams in the Nationals and Rockies, and the ever-competitive Red Sox in between, a series win against a mediocre Chicago White Sox team would certainly sit well.

Of course the M’s will have to do it with a beleaguered pitching staff that has already seen a league-high nine different pitchers start a game this season. Now get ready to meet the tenth.

Tonight’s sacrificial pitching lamb was Sam Gaviglio, a soon-to-be 27-year-old rookie out of Oregon St, known primarily as the guy who did marginally better than Pat Venditte for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic.

Fortunately his first career MLB start went about as well as anybody could have possibly hoped. In 5 innings of shutout baseball, Gaviglio allowed only three hits and one walk, pairing a good two-seamer that tailed in on lefties with a diving changeup. He did a nice job pitching to contact, throwing strikes, and forcing hitters to beat him.

Generally, they couldn’t.

Lest I forget to mention it was Bark at the Park Night at Safeco Field, which never fails to entertain.

The Seattle Mariners official Twitter account may have done just a little better job dog-umenting the sights and sounds than I did.

Gaviglios and doggos aside, the Mariners got on the board in the 3rd inning, as Jarrod Dyson, who was understandably not interested in getting hit by any more pitches today, smoked the first pitch he saw from White Sox starter Dylan Covey over the right field fence for his second dinger of the week.

Danny Valencia was robbed of a homer in the 4th inning on a nice play by Melky Cabrera, but nobody was robbing Jean Segura in the 5th, who emphatically extended his hitting streak to 17 games on this tasty morsel:

Gaviglio exited the game after 5 strong innings with a 4-0 lead, in line to get the first win of his major league career. But, to paraphrase Scottish poet Robert Burns, the best laid plans of mice and men often get burned summarily to a crisp in the dumpster fire that has been the Mariners bullpen in 2017.

Recent waivers acquisition Casey Lawrence put up a scoreless 6th, but surrendered a 2-run shot to Matt Davidson in the 7th. He turned things over to a flailing Dan Altavilla, who proceeded to toss up consecutive dingers to Todd Frazier and Tim Anderson, tying the game and erasing Sam Gaviglio’s decision.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners
Mama mia.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Mariners failed to return the favor in the bottom of the 8th. But after Nick Vincent tossed a scoreless 9th, the table was set for the finale we all craved.

Taylor Motter kicked off the inning with an opposite-field base hit off Chicago lefty Dan Jennings. Dyson failed to advance the runner on an 0-2 bunt, but still managed to reach after Jennings gunned down Motter at second.

Carlos Ruiz followed with a groundout, but Dyson beat the throw to second (#ThatsWhatSpeedDo) to keep the inning alive. The White Sox intentionally walked Segura to bring up Guillermo Heredia, pinch hitting for Ben Gamel. The rest, shall we say, è storia.

Grazie, Guillermo. Grazie, Gaviglio. Grazie, Mariners. And until next time, arrivederci.