Sundays are supposed to be for getting things done. It’s a day for you to complete all of your shopping, chores, and other stuff that you don’t really have time for during the week. But sometimes, we let those Sunday tasks slip by us. Sometimes, we don’t get out of bed until the sun has started to descend from its apex in the sky, if we ever get out of bed at all. It’s a Lazy Sunday, and it happens to everyone.
That’s kind of what today’s Mariners game felt like, as Seattle fell 3-2.
It started off promisingly enough, with Dan Vogelbach finding himself at the plate in the bottom of the first with Dylan Moore at second. Vogey has had a rough go of things lately, and really needed a positive outcome to push him in the right direction. He got just that.
109.3 mph off the bat of Vogey and we're on the board! pic.twitter.com/bOwRRID9ug— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) August 2, 2020
But after that the game got a whole lot quieter. Kendall Graveman wasn’t the velocity-fueled machine that we had been teased with. He mostly ditched his four-seamer in favor of sinkers, which he pounded the zone with to a reasonable degree of effectiveness in the low-to-mid 90s. He was able to control the pitch very well, consistently sitting in the bottom of the zone. Even though he left the night with just three strikeouts, he got the Pitching Ninja treatment for one of them.
Kendall Graveman, Wicked 94mph Sinker...and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/Awkx8udHpv— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 2, 2020
Even if it was kind of a boring performance from Graveman, it got the job done. Graveman can certainly carve a role out for himself in the M’s rotation as a stabilizing presence among a sea of question marks. Ryan Divish even dropped some insight on Graveman’s future in Seattle.
I expect the Mariners exercise the $3.5 million club option on Graveman for next season ... that is if they don't trade him or something. https://t.co/SiyRcuqrjf— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) August 2, 2020
He hadn’t allowed any runs over 4.2 innings by the time he left the game with runners on the corners. Rather than letting Graveman get the last out in the fifth to escape the jam, Scott Servais called upon Anthony Misiewicz for cleanup duty. Nursing just a one-run lead, Misiewicz hung a curveball right in Ramón Laureano’s wheelhouse.
That ended up being all the A’s needed to seal things. But not for a lack of trying on the M’s part.
Recent Rule 5 Draft selection Yohan Ramírez came in after Misiewicz and really impressed. Pumping his high-90s fastball to go along with some really dazzling breaking stuff, Ramírez cemented himself in my mind as the team’s most exciting reliever. In total he tossed a pair of scoreless innings while striking out four. Here’s some footage of an absolutely gorgeous slider.
Good to see Yohan Ramirez bounce back after walking the first two batters. He gets so fired up, pogoing off the mound after a strikeout, it's hard not to pull for him. pic.twitter.com/NCG3ftDWKj— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) August 2, 2020
He may not be the team’s most effective reliever, but whenever he’s on my TV screen I’m watching. This guy is fun and in a rebuilding season like this, I’ll take all of the fun I can get.
Speaking of fun, Kyle Lewis came into the eighth inning without a hit. His torrid stretch to the season had seen him collect base knocks in nine consecutive ballgames entering today, but he simply looked feeble at the plate in the early parts of the contest. A couple of punch-outs in some ugly-looking at-bats were fostering thoughts of his inevitable regression. But Lewis showed that he wasn’t going to be silenced today.
The M’s threatened in the ninth against Liam Hendriks. Shed Long singled which set up Kyle Seager or Austin Nola with the potential to walk it off, but both struck out against the Oakland closer to give the A’s their victory.
It was the kind of loss that, in a normal season, we’d likely see a lot of from this kind of squad. A young team that shows flashes of excitement can often be less than that as they continue their development. I’d say Lewis and Ramírez provided performances worth viewing today, and if we get one or two of those a game, I’ll be perfectly happy watching this season.