Okay, I’m sorry. Actually, I’m sorry twice over. First for the delay in this review (I thought yesterday was an off day, which tells you all you need to know about my current mental calendar), and second for seemingly jinxing the good vibes with last week’s glee. Baseball gods, I apologize. You can go back to haunting Jesse Winker now (I kid, I kid…it’s Mitch they seem to want now anyway).
Record for the week:
These are not your 2021 Chaos Ball, one-run win, fun differential Mariners. These M’s are winning decisively, and they’re keeping it close (sometimes maddeningly slow) when they lose.
Player of the week:
It’s tough for starting pitchers to earn Keelhauler of the Week titles (says me, the single arbitrary arbiter), since they only appear once, maybe twice, within the seven day span but Logan Gilbert unseated Randy Johnson for lowest franchise ERA in first five starts of a season. And when you best the Big Unit you get an award. MLB seemed to agree, recognizing Gilbert as Seattle’s first Pitcher of the Month since 2017. Can you remember who? No cheating. I’m also trying to save you from yourself, because the list of pitchers from that season is aberrantly abhorrent.
Bonus points go to J.P. Crawford, who leads the league in that most treasured of LL stats: batting average. He’s also nurturing an 11-game hit streak as of last night’s game against Houston.
Play of the week:
At-bat of the week:
Tom Murphy’s 13-pitch walk on Sunday, which Scott Servais credited as the “turning point of the game.” It was the fifth inning? And ultimately no one scored? But okay, Scott. We’re not gonna fight you.
Fun fact: This was Murphy’s second two-walk game of the season. Last year he didn’t record his second two-walk game until September 3.
Nemesis of the week:
I humbly nominate the entire state of Florida, whose baseball teams sucked all the wind out of the Mariners sails in much the same way as Florida’s humidity sucks the will to live out of its residents.
Favorite Mariners content:
In the Lookout Landing-verse, I adored this piece from new, exceptionally talented writer Lou Fish-Sadin on Calvin and Hobbes and the joyous childishness of baseball.
Non-LL content, this cured my skin and shoved the clouds away from the sun:
The tentative plan for Kyle Lewis is for him to join Triple-A Tacoma in Salt Lake City this week and begin a rehab assignment, per Jerry Dipoto.— Daniel Kramer (@DKramer_) May 2, 2022
Lewis has been playing back-to-back days in the instructional league, which was among the final hurdles he needed to clear in Arizona.
Favorite thing I ate while watching/listening to a game:
This week I housesat for my parents and took full advantage of my mother’s KitchenAid mixer (the way to my heart is kitchen appliances) by churning up some bread. One oat and honey loaf, one traditional sandwich loaf, both gluten free because Mother Earth could not condone these levels of scintillating intellect and a functioning immune system. If you or someone you love - or someone whom you want to love you - are gluten free, I highly, highly recommend the two cookbooks from Seattle local (by way of the Basque Country) gem Aran Goyoaga.
Bold prediction for next week:
Last week I was wrong on both good and bad accounts - no dingers for Jarred, no IL stint for Steck (and a scoreless inning to boot!). This week, I predict Julio will nab his 10th stolen base (not that bold) and uhh...you know what, why not. I think they sweep Tampa. Remember that magic?
(I also maybe think Justin Verlander could no-hit them on Wednesday...)
The M’s have three in Houston (well, two now since I’m behind), then return (retreat?) to home sweet home for a four-game series with the Rays. I, for one, hope they will pay proper homage to mothers this weekend by playing exceptional baseball and receiving little to no accolades from the national media. (Note: They are the Friday Night Baseball game with the special AppleTV broadcast this week, so there will be plenty of attention sent their way. But you catch my drift. A lot of moms are great and their work goes wildly underappreciated and unrecognized (mine is the best Mom though. Beth Speck a close second.))
This week in Mariners history:
Hinting at the greatness to come, this week in 2001 the Seattle Mariners notched their 20th win of the month, setting a new major league record for April. Kazuhiro Sasaki also set a new record for April saves with 13. And because history gives and takes, this week in 1986 the Mariners also set a major league record of 36 strikeouts in two consecutive games (thanks Clemens).