Some of my most vivid memories of attending Mariner games are from games that involved the Toronto Blue Jays. For better or worse, the droves of Jays fans that make the trek from Canada create an atmosphere that can be best described as “tense”.
With the stands colored all shades of blue, the Jays’ royal blue standing out against the Mariners’ teal and navy, the stakes of each play feel unreasonably high. Each Jays’ hit is immediately followed by chants of Lets Go Blue Jays, the Canadians demanding that their invasive presence be heard. Each Jays’ out is met with screams of jubilation from the dueling Mariner fans, quickly drowning out the chants. The dueling swells of cheering create a see-saw of noise, and subsequent cheers feel aggressively pointed.
After last night’s absolute nail-biter punctuated by Eugenio Suárez’s walk-off dinger, the Mariners have found themselves on the right side of both of the first two games of this series, much to the chagrin of the visiting contingent. With staff ace Robbie Ray on the hill for tonight, they have a good chance to clinch a series win.
News and notes from pre-game
The Mariners made several roster moves in advance of today’s game.
- Luis Torrens had a rehab session yesterday that went well, and he’s back from injury tonight. Backup catcher Andrew Knapp has been DFA’d in a corresponding move.
- Erik Swanson is on paternity leave for “the next few days” after he and his wife welcomed a baby last night.
- Ken Giles has hit the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. Servais specified that Giles is experiencing tightness in the back of his shoulder, and that he likely won’t be back until after the All-Star break.
- George Kirby has been optioned to Triple-A Tacoma, which Ryan Divish reports is for “workload management”.
- To replace those three, the Mariners have recalled relievers Matt Brash, Matt Festa, and Jacob Barnes, all of whom will be available tonight out of the bullpen (and may well be needed after last night’s extra inning affair).
- On Brash, Servais notes that his velocity is up a tick, and they’ve liked what they’ve seen from him in Tacoma. Servais went on to say that Brash’s success will be contingent on his ability to throw strikes, but that his velocity and plus breaking ball lend themselves well to high-leverage situations.
It’s nice to see Cal Raleigh back starting after getting most of last night off. One would assume that Torrens will start in his stead tomorrow. Carlos Santana continues to draw the cleanup slot duties. Today marks the second-to-last game of Jesse Winker’s six-game suspension. Abraham Toro slots in tonight in place of Sam Haggerty, as Adam Frazier slides back into left field.
Game time: 7:10 PM PT
TV: Root Sports NW
Radio: 710 AM ESPN Seattle