Today’s game saw the Mariners starting three of their top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Watch. Starting in left field was number 15-ranked Shed Long, starting in right field was number 10-ranked Kyle Lewis and on the mound was number 9-ranked Justus Sheffield. If the game is to be seen as a sort of substantive preview of what’s to come, there was a lot to feel good about.
Shed Long had a monster day, flying out to center to start the game but reaching base in each of his next four at bats. He went 3 for 4 with a walk, a single, a double and a home run, his fourth of the year. Three of those home runs have come in the month of September.
Long was replaced on defense with fellow prospect, number-14-ranked Braden Bishop, in the 8th inning. It did no good, as the Orioles would tie the game that same inning on a two-run home run from Austin Hays. Little did we know at the time that the game would be tied forever.
Kyle Lewis went 2 for 4, hitting two singles off of starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski as well as taking an 11-pitch walk. However, unlike Long, who crossed the plate three times, Lewis was stranded each time. In fact, the Mariners left the bases loaded in the first, fifth and seventh innings.
The first three batters in the lineup were an impressive combination, with J.P. Crawford batting between Long and Lewis and going 3 for 4 after being hit by a pitch in the first inning. Crawford singled to score Long in the fifth inning, hit another single in the seventh inning and hit a three-run home run in the eighth, scoring Long and Dylan Moore. I would not be mad about this being our one-two-three combo in the future.
Justus Sheffield showed a lot of promise, although he did certainly experience his share of struggles and was ultimately pulled in the fifth inning. Sheffield retired the side in the first inning, fanning two, including this strikeout of Trey Mancini.
Sheffield gave up 3 runs in the second inning, on a wild pitch, a walk and back-to-back doubles. However, he retired the Orioles in order in the 3rd inning and nearly did the same in the fourth inning, with just the leadoff batter reaching base on an interference call on Tom Murphy. In the fifth inning, though, Sheffield allowed a leadoff double to Steve Wilkerson, and then followed by committing a defensive error that allowed Richie Martin Jr. to reach base. He then gave up an RBI single to Hanser Alberto, giving the lead back to the Orioles at 4-3. The next batter, Mancini, was hit by a pitch and Sheffield found himself with the bases loaded and no outs, having already given up the lead. However, even with all that pressure, he was able to buckle down and strike out the next batter. That was the last batter he faced, and Brandon Brennan came in and got out of the jam without allowing any more runs.
After Crawford’s home run in the top of the eighth inning to put the Mariners up 6-4, they cruised for approximately ten minutes until Sam Tuivailala, with two outs and a runner on first, gave up a two-run home run to Austin Hays.
Because I had plans tonight to go to a 90s and 2000s hip hop dance party, all parties involved decided to stop scoring runs, every pitcher excelled and the only base runner allowed through the 12th inning was Renato Nunez, hit by a Zach Grotz pitch in the 10th inning. Even Dan Altavilla only allowed one single in the bottom of the 12th inning.
But then, in the top of the 13th:
Mariners score go-ahead run in 13th on heads up play by Mallex Smith, who scores from second on an infield single by Tim Lopes, who beat high throw on a chopper to third. Good speed all the way around. M's take 7-6 lead into bottom of 13th.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) September 22, 2019
Erik Swanson came in to handle the bottom of 13th inning, the Mariners won 7-6 and now we can all go listen to Chingy.