The Mariners and I both had baseball games today. Ariel Miranda and I both went 7+ innings. My teammates gave me 10 runs of support. Ariel Miranda’s did not. Pitching is tough sometimes.
The Mariners lost the third game of the series today 8-2, narrowly avoiding allowing enough late add-on runs to let the final series run differential of 17-16 swing back in the Astros favor. Miranda did several things we have grown accustomed to. He gave up a pair of homers, a ton of fly balls, and not many hits otherwise. By PITCHf/x Miranda is the 21st pitcher in terms of frequency of pitches thrown in the strike zone. Today was no different:
The Astros hit a couple balls very hard but it could have been a lot worse. Whether that is fortune or Miranda doing his job decently or a mixture of both is unclear. He struck out just two and walked only one, neither putting himself in trouble nor helping his FIP do anything but raise one eyebrow ever further. He left after 7.1 innings having allowed four runs, trailing 4-2. The offense was unable to close the gap.
The Mariners had just five hits but 12 total baserunners and did precious little with them. Top Astros pitching prospect Francis Martes didn’t make it to the third inning. He was pushed to the brink twice, once in the first inning when Haniger, Robinson Canó, and Nelson Cruz all walked to load the bases, but Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino had the first two of their combined five strikeouts on the day and the score remained 0-0. The second inning yielded the only runs of the afternoon for Seattle, with Guillermo Heredia and Taylor Motter reaching and then filling the bases with two outs after Haniger was hit by a pitch. Canó smashed a double that I have chosen not to include video of because it made me oh so frustrated. With two runs in, Haniger was sent home and slid to avoid the tag, leaning back as he slipped his hand over the plate. Called out initially, replays showed him getting his hand in, and the umpires agreed as they gestured safe.
Then they reversed.
The final score is accurate and also misleading. The Mariners were up 2-0 and should have been up 3-0 with Nelson Cruz up. They also should have scored in the 1st inning and scored in any of the other seven innings afterwards. Instead, a 2-0 lead turned into a 4-2 deficit that felt entirely surmountable, right up until James Pazos left a series of pitches right down the middle, then nowhere near the plate, and 4-2 became 8-2. At any moment the Mariners could have retaken the lead, but the cannonball on the scale in the top of the 9th dashed those hopes.
Instead, one out of three and a slightly bitter taste in the mouth heading into a leisurely week featuring two off-days and two games hosting the abysmal Phillies. 78 games into the season and the Astros look as insurmountable as ever, but the Mariners remain at .500 after two straight losses. It’s a start.