Seeing old friends can be fraught. On the one hand, you’re happy for their success! No really! So happy for them! On the other hand, though, even if you are genuinely happy for your old pals doing well, it can feel a little like a referendum on where you are in your own life. Poor Domingo Santana isn’t enjoying the same team success with Seattle as he was with the Brewers—hope you didn’t get too used to the playoffs, Domingo—but today he and the rest of the Mariners showed they’re doing just fine, thank you, no I’m not wrapping up this bread to take it home, okay fine I am, but it’s to feed the ducks in the very picturesque pond located next to my townhouse, and definitely not to save on breakfast tomorrow.
In this, more tangible contest, the Mariners got on the board quickly thanks to a leadoff triple from Mallex Smith followed by a double from J.P. Crawford, who is just having himself a series. Omar Narvaez, who came into today with a 132 wRC+!, singled him home to put the Mariners up 2-0 right away.
The Mariners Opener strategy was non-disastrous, for once, as Matt Carasiti worked a scoreless inning despite walking the first batter he saw, who was then promptly erased on a smooth 6-4-3 double play. That wasn’t Crawford’s best defensive play on the day, though; that honor belongs to this snare he made in the fifth:
The Brewers didn’t get the same solid performance from their opener Adrian Houser, who gave up another run in the second after surrendering an RBI triple to J.P. Crawford, who is just all over the game notes today. Former Mariner Freddy Peralta was able to hold the Mariners down for the next four innings, striking out five despite walking two and giving up two hits. Peralta, you will remember, was traded as part of a package for Adam Lind, one of Jerry Dipoto’s first (and not necessarily best) deals. The other pitchers in that package, Daniel Missaki (TJ, then later released) and Carlos Herrera (currently 21 and in Milwaukee’s extended spring training), didn’t account for much, but Peralta, the centerpiece, is blossoming into a solid piece for the Brew Crew at just 23 years old. The things the Mariners have done to solve that first base problem are more ill-advised than anything I did in my early 20s, and that includes the time I thought I’d look cute with a bob.
Wade LeBlanc, for his part, mostly held the Brewers down, stymieing them (I looked up how that’s spelled and that’s weirdly correct?) with that old Cajun razzle-dazzle for six Ks over five innings.
Things fell apart in the sixth, however, when Wade gave up a mammoth blast to Mike Moustakas, determined not to be fooled this time, and then Mac Williamson gave up a little league HR to Ben Gamel, which I will link to but refuse to embed here because although I will always be fond of Ben Gamel, I am not fond of Mac Williamson occupying a space that ought to belong to Ian Miller. Typing that sentence made me grumpy, so here’s a shot of Ben Gamel living his best life:
The 3-2 lead forced leaning on the steadily-becoming-overused Austin Adams in the seventh, which on one hand concerns me because I like AA and don’t want his bones ground to dust, but on the other hand, he’s about the only fun thing to watch coming out of the Mariners bullpen currently:
No, that’s not a re-cast of last night; that’s Austin Adams sitting down Yelich again on his nasty slider. This pitch needs a nickname. Shoutout to David Donald Chu on Twitter, who suggested “Machine Gum Adams” as a nickname for the man himself. I am calling the folks at Breaking T as we speak.
The Mariners offense couldn’t score anything off any Brewers pitchers not named Houser, despite having opportunities to do so, until the 9th, when the dynamic duo of Mallex Smith and J.P. Crawford did it again. I am ready for this buddy comedy.
This gave Roenis Elias the thinnest bit of padding as he was called on for a six-out save. (The bright side of this is that Austin Adams was in to face the teeth of the Brewers’ lineup, again whether by design or accident, I don’t know.) Elías labored a little in the eighth but, buoyed perhaps by the insurance run, got two quick outs in the ninth before having to face one last Old Friend as a Final Boss:
Elías made quick work of Thames and his totem pole arms on three pitches, securing the win for the Mariners alongside a series win, which is a very pleasant surprise! The Mariners will close out this series tomorrow with some day baseball (11 AM PT) before heading down to Houston, which promises to be much less fun. But hey, at least we have this bread in our pocket for breakfast tomorrow.