Sometimes things work out.
The forever-hangin’-‘round-.500 2017 Seattle Mariners won a series in Houston against a team with 63 wins on July 19. This is the same Mariners team who went 2-8 through the first 10 games of the season thanks largely to having to play these same aggressively good Astros seven times. But lo and behold, here they are. Battling back to steal the first game in extra innings and then dominantly pitching their way to a victory in the rubber match. Feels good, doesn’t it? Yes, today feels good.
The Astros started off the scoring in the third inning with some well-executed small ball, which just feels like trolling coming from a lineup like the Astros. Like why do you have to toy with your prey? Jake Marisnick bunted the infamously mad online Alex Bregman over to second, Bregman stole third, and then scored on a George Springer sacrifice fly. Annoying, right?
Charlie Morton was cruising through the Mariners lineup with ease until Ben Gamel, who hadn’t hit a home run since June 23, decided he was simply not having it today. No, sir. He went and deposited this pitch to his favorite place to hit home runs; just over the right field wall.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the 2017 Mariners without some RISP-y business. The Mariners loaded the bases in the top of the sixth inning with no outs thanks to some classic Damn it, Astros-level defense and, you guessed it, only scraped one run out of it on a fielder’s choice by Robinson Cano. Cruz would follow up by grounding into a double play. Bad heart of lineup, bad! No ice cream!
But let’s go back to the good stuff. James Alston Paxton. The lefty from Ladner. The Maple Grove’s pride and joy. James had his stuff today and he made a few Astros batters look silly on his way to 7 innings pitched with 7 strikeouts and 1 walk.
Mike Zunino, the newly fairly competent MLB hitter, gave the team an extra run of cushion with an RBI double in the top of the seventh inning, so Paxton was able to hand the game off to the recently quite good bullpen with some amount of confidence to get the final 6 outs, which they did so dutifully.
Also, this happened in the bottom of eighth inning.
How’s that for confidence? After perfectly playing the ball off of that garbage can left field wall they have in Houston, Guillermo effortlessly rifles the ball to third to hose the not-at-all-slow Springer. I feel a bit pregnant after watching that .gif a lot, to be quite honest (heart eyes emoji).
Edwin Diaz, who is also good again now, racked up his fifth save on the road trip with no major drama and that was the ballgame. Just a ho-hum series win in Houston, no big deal. The Mariners now return to Seattle to a four game series with the New York Yankees, starting with Felix on the mound tomorrow.
But that’s a worry for tomorrow. Hey, who has two thumbs and won the Swelmet? THIS GUY RIGHT HERE.