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7/18/21: Open Game Thread

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Logan Gilbert vs. LHP Patrick Sandoval

New York Yankees v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a game yesterday that can only be described by words like “yuck” and “eesh” and “what was that, guys,” the Mariners will try to get back on track and escape Anaheim with a series win. They’ll do so behind the efforts of Logan Gilbert, who was sterling in his last outing against the Yankees, and who has faced the Angels a couple times in spring training action and fared well, albeit a very different iteration of the Angels.

In order to secure a series win, however, the Mariners will have to contend with Patrick Sandoval, who they just faced on July 10. Like seriously, you don’t have to scroll too far on Lookout Landing dot com to find Connor’s recap of that game, which the Mariners won 2-0 thanks to Chris Flexen outdueling Sandoval, who was very good nonetheless even as he was a tough-luck loser. With the bottom half of the lineup hitting with the force of a spring breeze wafting across a serene Alpine meadow, the margin for error for the pitching staff is so unfairly thin, and that’s a line young Gilbert will have to tread today while hopefully the top three hitters manage to drag the rest of the lineup into the runs column.

Making life more difficult offensively: Jake Fraley, who was 6th on the team in bWAR at the All-Star Break and fourth among hitters, will be out for a while as he has both tested positive for COVID-19 and is symptomatic. He is currently in isolation at the team hotel and will quarantine for at least ten days. At this point we can only hope that he hasn’t spread it to anyone else on the team, although Scott Servais seemed to suggest that contact tracing had so far come up negative as most of the players connected to Fraley (his “plane buddies”) were vaccinated. OF Dillon Thomas has been recalled to take Fraley’s place.

Tonight’s game starts at 1:07 PT, because as always the Angels are monsters , and is on ROOT Sports NW (TV) and 710 ESPN (radio) as usual; also, for those of you out of area, MLB TV remains free this weekend so you can see the game there even if you don’t have a subscription. As a reminder, MiLB TV is also free this weekend; Arkansas is slated for a doubleheader today after being rained out yesterday (no Julio, though, as he’s on his way to Tokyo); Tacoma’s game starts at 1:30, and Modesto’s at 6:05 if you aren’t doing anything this evening and want to check out Noelvi Marte vs. Marco Luciano in a miniature, shortstops-only version of the Futures Game.

And hey, one bright note: after today the Mariners don’t have to see the Angels again until late September. There will be leaves on the ground when we have to deal with Alex Cobb’s splitter and Sandoval’s changeup again, and I for one am grateful.