The Mariners and Athletics squared off at T-Mobile Park this afternoon for a lazy Sunday contest. The away team prevailed, mercifully ending a first half and sending both teams into the All-Star break.
It was a gloomy, dreary, overcast day — the last day of a four-day weekend for some of us. It was the type of weather that perfectly teed up some Sunday blues. Unfortunately the Mariners contributed to the colorless, unilluminated afternoon. Well, everyone with the exception of Omar Narvaez.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom today though. Today is my father’s birthday. He turns 58 today! Instead of partaking in extended conversation regarding the juxtaposition of our differing Mariners philosophies, we drank wine. We drank wine, listened to Bob Dylan, enjoyed some good barbecue and better company. The Mariners did their thing in the background while we coalesced and talked about the good ol’ days.
*Checks Mariners Wine Label*
The 2019 Chateau SoDo T-Mo Merlot intertwines grungy coffee midtones while attempting a full bodied approach. The hollow, uninspiring notes fall short in the end, but could age nicely if laid down for a few years to mature. The 2001 vintage remains the piece de resistance for this label.
I’d rather wine about the Mariners than whine about the Mariners most days.
You see, hanging with the elders provides that level of top shelf humor you readers yearn for.
There are a few points I want to examine from today’s game that are worth discussing.
First, Matt Carasiti had a really bad day. Yes, I know, that’s starting things on a sore note, but when you’re down 5-0 after the first inning, it kind of tells the tale of the day.
Down 5-0 after the 1st, and 6-0 after the 2nd, Seattle found themselves fighting an uphill battle all day. Carasiti, who had performed rather well his first few times out, was absolutely shelled from the get-go. He allowed five runs on four hits and walked one.
Over the course of 28 pitches, Carasiti went from an impressive, alluring option as an ‘Opener’, to just another one of the guys.
Carasiti at 1:00 p.m. - 5 innings, 1.80 ERA
Carasiti at 1:21 p.m. - 5.1 innings, 8.44 ERA
Carasiti strikes out Davis, but Canha doubles. Still just one out. The opener approach had been going better lately for Seattle. Not so much the case today.— Lauren Smith (@smithlm12) July 7, 2019
With guys like Dan Altavilla, Austin Adams, Connor Sadzeck and Branden Brennan on the mend, the opener role is Carasiti’s to lose. Expect him back out there after the break.
Secondly, Omar Narvaez is the real damn deal. His bat is LOUD. Seattle appears to have flipped Alex Colome for their backstop of the future.
Narvaez, having already compiled a 2.2 WAR according to ESPN through 94 games, ranks 4th in baseball in the category at the catcher position. ESPN’s WAR rating are admittedly scored a little more generously in Narvaez’s favor.
His 13th and 14th dingers on the season push him ahead of Mike Zunino for most home runs by a Mariners catcher before the All-Star break. It also continues to drive up his new career high total.
Continue to mash em, my upper cut hacking, right field tank-shot son.
Finally, I’d like to touch briefly on two more pitchers.
First off, Wade LeBlanc continues to succeed with the opener approach. His last four ‘starts’, he’s been rock solid. In 22.2 innings, LeBlanc has allowed just four ERs. That’s good for a 1.62 ERA. He’s added 16 strikeouts.
Secondly, Matt Wisler, in one inning of relief, showed much better than his stat line would suggest. The slider is a real tool with plus vertical break. In fact, it almost looks like a sharp curveball. The four-seam fastball sat comfortably at 93, while his 2-seam sat a touch below while exhibiting good arm-side run.
He’ll be a name to watch moving forward and could be a strong option to open some games.
Also. He gave up a home run to Ramon Laureano that wasn’t a home run, regardless of what video replay seemed to “confirm”.
The Mariners have 68 games to go.
Go enjoy four days off, folks. You’ve earned it.