It’s the eighth intrasquad game, and we’re workin’ on our night cheese for the first time this camp! For reference:
Logan Gilbert, making the start for the Pilots, begins his day by fooling Dylan Moore on this slider:
Dee Gordon, who will have the most success against Gilbert, starts out by bunting himself aboard and promptly swiping second. The threat is quelled, however, when Nola pops out and J.P. Crawford flashes some leather:
In a mirror image of the top of the first, the bottom of the first begins with Mallex Smith air-bunting a ball that Rick Rizzs calls “a butterfly with sore ankles” into right field. Mallex then moves up on a passed ball by catcher Austin Nola, and then advances again on a Shed Long flyout to center. That sets up an Evan White RBI single:
Nice to see Evan White's bat heating up with this RBI single off Marco. Note Kelenic's hustle in getting to the ball, too. pic.twitter.com/QrzBuip169— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 19, 2020
Daniel “Thickelbach” Vogelbach (credit Air Forslund in the YouTube chat) then strikes out looking to end the inning. Pilots 1, Steelheads nothing.
In his second inning of work, Gilbert retires Haggerty on an easy flyout, but falls behind Jarred Kelenic 3-0. Gilbert then challenges Kelenic with a high fastball for a swinging strike, and gets another called strike on a well-placed fastball on the inside corner. The next pitch would be, in my opinion, the most exciting pitch so far in summer camp: two competitors, two huge pieces of the Mariners’ future, squaring off head-to-head. Winner: Gilbert, who has the confidence in his slider to throw it in a make-or-break count.
Perhaps feeling emboldened, Gilbert goes on to make quick work of Donnie Walton, striking him out on four pitches. Gilbert is the opposite of showy, but there is a little strut off the mound visible here:
Marco responds with a quick inning of his own, striking out Murphy and Crawford and getting Tim Lopes to ground out to MiLB Gold Glove winner Donnie Walton. The strikeout of Crawford was particularly gnarly, so submitted here for the approval of the Midnight Society:
Recent podcast guest Joey Gerber is up next and allows Patrick Wisdom to scorch a ball past Crawford, but induces a double play off the bat of Braden Bishop and then gets an easy flyout from Dylan Moore before...winning the intrasquad prize of a fourth out, getting Dee to fly out to Opening Day Starting Left Fielder Tim Lopes, who tracks the ball down admirably, if not with maximum efficiency.
More Marco, who after getting an easy flyout from Mallex Smith, gives up an oppo single to Shed Long, continuing to show an ability to make contact all over the zone, and then it’s Evan White’s time to shine again, baby:
Evan White: two at-bats, two hard-hit balls. This was smacked: pic.twitter.com/KpWtvHUeUX— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 19, 2020
White’s bat heating up is an encouraging sign moving forward. A groundball out off the bat of Kyle Seager scores a run to make it 2-0 Pilots, before Kyle Lewis pops out to end the inning.
Brandon Williamson replaces Gilbert in the Wheel-o-Pitching-Prospects and immediately jams Nola for a sky-high popout. Williamson had a little trouble hitting his spots in his first televised camp appearance and surrenders a deep double to Jose Marmolejos before walking Haggerty. Williamson uses that beautiful curve to get ahead of Kelenic 0-2 before getting Jarred to ground out softly, but then issues a walk to Donnie Walton, who seems less entranced by the dark magic of Williamson’s curve, instead pushing the youngster to his pitch limit, ending the inning.
Marco, getting tuned up in his last “start” before Opening Day, is back out for a fourth inning of work, and has Braden Bishop to thank for a fairly quick inning of work, as Bish effortlessly runs down deep drives off the bats of Vogelbach and Crawford. Tom Murphy dunks a single into CF, but the inning ends quietly on a Tim Lopes groundout.
Williamson is back up in the top of the fifth, and looks much sharper with two quick outs—a Wisdom groundout, and a Bishop pop out to catcher Tom Murphy. Dylan Moore also can only manage weak contact against BWilly, but Seager but can’t make a play on the chop and Moore promptly steals second and takes third on a muffed pickoff attempt. Dee Gordon, of all people, makes the hardest contact off Williamson in the inning, but the ball is run down nicely by Mallex to end the inning and maintain the Pilots’ 2-0 lead.
Matt Magill, battling for the closer role now that Hirano is out indefinitely, replaces Marco in the bottom of the fifth and gives up an infield single to Mallex after a lengthy battle. Mallex moves to second, sneakily evading Dylan Moore’s tag on a Shed Long groundout. Evan White puts a good swing on the ball, but ultimately flies out to LF, and then Seager flies out to Bishop to end the inning. It was an effective inning in one of the few we’ve seen from Magill, but it’s hard to look at that and say “ah yes, that’s closer material.” On the other hand, will having a dominant closer really matter for the 2020 Mariners? Likely not.
Human Sominex pill Kevin Mather joins the broadcast for the sixth inning, and I hit the mute button. Nick Margevicius takes the mound and gets Nola to fly out to center and strikes out Marmolejos for two quick outs. Sam Haggerty sneaks on board when J.P. Crawford can’t make his second highlight reel play of the day, but is caught stealing, and Nick Margevicius gets added to my prayers for the night in gratitude for this short inning.
Dan Altavilla is the next one out and continues to look solid this camp, winning the power-on-power battle with Kyle Lewis by getting an easy groundout to Donnie Walton. He walks Daniel Vogelbach on some...questionable calls by umpire Andy McKay, but then beats Tom Murphy on a fastball and gets another ground out off the bat of Crawford to end the inning tidily.
Margevicius is back up, and begins the inning by giving up a single to Jarred Kelenic:
Down 1-2 in the count to lefty Nick Margevicius, Kelenic dumps an off-speed pitch into left for a single pic.twitter.com/lV3kmEvUAz— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) July 19, 2020
...who immediately swipes second, because if you give a Kelenic a cookie:
Walton grounds out, pushing Kelenic to third, and then a sac fly from Wisdom brings him home to make it 2-1 Pilots. Margevicius is then the victim of some bad BABIP luck, giving up three straight groundball singles to the power trio of Bishop, Moore, and Gordon, tying the game up 2-2 and ending the inning.
Nestor Cortes is the next man up and he brings his multiple arm slots and general trickeration to strike out the side in dastardly fashion. One of the most valued qualities in a reliever is the ability to symie a revenge rally after your team has scored the previous half-inning, and Cortes lives up to that billing here.
Eric Swanson starts off his inning well, setting down Cal Raleigh swinging, but then surrenders a walk to Marmolejos and a base hit to Haggerty, not hit particularly hard but hard enough that the S.S. Marmo can chug into third. Swanson then hits his fellow middle-of-the-countryman Kelenic on a pitch that bends too far inside and while Kelenic appears to be fine, the inning is declared over before any more Mariners prospects can be injured. A good call, methinks.
Nestor Cortes gets the last inning of this particular matchup but isn’t as sharp this time, giving up back-to-back singles to Evan White and Kyle Seager. He rebounds by striking out Lewis, and then Vogey almost ends things heroically, cranking a ball into right that just goes foul. Instead, the game ends on this, er, swing:
Some might call this an anticlimactic walkoff given that they kept on playing but don't tell Vogey or Evan White that: pic.twitter.com/wJrRBvqfXr— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 19, 2020
Don’t tell Evan White these games don’t matter, though, as he wants everyone watching to know he was S-A-F-E safe at home. As we hope you all are, as well.