The Seattle Mariners looked so very fine for six innings today.
Erasmo Ramirez continued to be the Erasmo Ramirez we’ve come to expect over the last few weeks: a reliable arm capable of silently putting together a quality start. He made two big mistakes–a slider over the heart of the plate that resulted in a solo dinger and a changeup located in a place no changeup has any business being located that resulted in a solo dinger–but outside of that, he was terrific. In total, he’d surrender just those two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five over six innings.
And the Mariners managed to match those two runs!
Kyle Seager provided the damage in both instances, stroking a RBI single in the first inning and depositing a Dallas Keuchel fastball over the center field wall in the sixth inning. The offense as a whole had no issues picking up baserunners, collecting seven hits and two walks, but Keuchel managed to prevent things from snowballing, and some nights that is all it takes.
Which leads us to the Mariners’ bullpen. Aside from a clean ninth inning from Ryan Garton, it was a bumpy ride for everyone involved.
Marc Rzepczynski opened things in the 7th, surrendering a single, a wild pitch, and a walk before getting pulled for Nick Vincent. Vincent managed to put the Mariners in a somewhat rosier situation, cleanly playing a sacrifice bunt and then intentionally walking George Springer to set up the double play. There was a chance the Mariners would escape, and then, almost instantly, there was no chance at all.
Alex Bregman sliced a line drive to right field, scoring two in the process. It’s probably worth noting that the ball was badly misplayed by Mitch Haniger, but it’s hard to say how much damage was done by the ball skipping past him. Maybe Bregman doesn’t get to second. Maybe Vincent gets a double play on the next pitch. Maybe Mike Trout is watching that double play and thinks, “wow, that team has heart and I would like to play baseball for them once my contract has expired. Also, I want Subway.” It’s all so very hard to predict.
Regardless, it happened, and at this point the game felt like it had very much gotten away from the Mariners. Three batters later, Josh Reddick managed to lift a fly ball to center field that just managed to plop down in front of Guillermo Heredia and two more runs scored. By the time Dan Altavilla cleaned up the mess via pop up, the Mariners were down four and I started to write this very recap (with the sincerest hopes that the Mariners would rally back and I would look like a foolish time-waster).
As you know, the Mariners wouldn’t score the rest of the way. A two-on, one-out situation would be immediately wiped out by a double play. A leadoff single would be immediately wiped out by a double play. Astros closer Ken Giles didn’t even let the dream linger, immediately wiping out all three Mariners hitters on 13 pitches:
The loss drops the Mariners to 69-69 and puts them three games back of the second wild card spot. Tomorrow, we get to see Ariel Miranda go up against Justin Verlander. Let us all hope the former-Tiger goes into adrenaline overdrive in his Houston debut and pitches terribly. Let us all hope.