The Mariners allowed the Detroit Tigers, one of baseball’s most impotent offenses this season, to score 15 runs this series, all while nabbing just 3 of their own, getting no-hit along the way. You know it, I know it, the whole baseball world knows it. It needs to be said though, loud and clear. The Mariners, who pushed Shane Bieber out of a game in the 4th not long ago, have been swept by the Tigers at home.
Here at LL, Kate always tells us to write the recap the game deserves. This game, this series, deserve absolutely nothing. You can simply imagine a blank page here with some angry doodles on it, if you’d like.
If you’re interested in the nitty gritty, I don’t have much to offer you other than a brief of Gilbert’s belabored outing and a celebration of Seager’s status as the new home run king in Seattle’s ballpark.
It’s unsurprising that some fans are already calling for Gilbert’s head after two unimpressive starts, insisting that he’s either a bust or simply not ready for the bigs. Neither of those are remotely true, of course, and it wouldn’t be hard to fill a book with all the well-heralded pitching prospects who took their sweet time in getting accustomed to the major leagues.
It’s true that the secondaries weren’t firing on all cylinders, but the fact that we saw more usage of them than in his first start demonstrates that he is developing past the “throw it hard in case they miss it” mentality he showed then.
As in his last start, Gilbert’s fastball velo started high and rapidly diminished, riding around 95 and touching 96 in the first before slipping down to 93/94 in the second, getting as lethargic as 91 at times. The three hardest hit balls of his night were all off 93-and-below four-seamers that seemed to just lag into the zone. He also has yet to throw a changeup, over-relying on a FB that hitters quickly learned to expect and that dipped in velo enough to become quite hittable on a night where his secondaries were doing him no favors.
None of this is permanent, and the adjustments he needs to make aren’t at all insurmountable.
The lone offensive highlight of the game was a two run shot by Kyle Seager that not only thwarted the looming threat of a no-no early, but allowed him to establish at long last his dominance over Safeco Field/T-Mobile Park.
With his 84th homer in the stadium, he passed Raúl Ibañez and Nelson Cruz for the all-time park record, and got to watch his daughter congratulate him on the big screen.
As Mariners fans, we are well-accustomed to celebrating individual achievements over team success. For many of us, it’s easy for a moment like this make up for a game as depressing as the one witnessed tonight. Maybe it shouldn’t have to be enough, maybe it’s not enough. Nevertheless, it’s what we have.