Yesterday’s game was, as Olivia Rodrigo might say, brutal. In case you missed it—in which case, tell me how to be like you—the Mariners got shut out against the Round Rock Express pitching staff and Rangers bullpen while rookie third baseman Josh Jung reared up with the force of a thousand Kyle Seagers in Globe Life and drove in five runs all by himself. I knew Jung would be a problem from watching him in the minor leagues; I just wasn’t prepared for how much of a problem he’d be, in last night’s game, specifically. And while hopefully the Mariners pitching staff knows enough now not to be feeding Jung any fastballs directly in the middle or delicious hanging sliders, one of those RBI hits came on a pretty good pitch from Ray that Jung just looped into right field like he’s haunted with the spirit of not just Texas Seager but the contact-happy Beltré, as well. Rough seas ahead for the Mariners, indeed.
Tonight it’ll be the Mariners leaning on a rookie of their own, as George Kirby takes the hill and attempts to rebound from his worst start of the year since a late-June start against Baltimore that served as his season nadir prior to his commandless, brief ride on the struggle bus against Oakland. This could be a real challenge for Our Boy George, as the Oakland hitters—6th in the league in swings in the zone—look as restrained as a British royal next to Texas’s hitters, who lead all of baseball in swings in the zone. Like the A’s, the Rangers will chase a fair amount with all that swinging, but that’s not carte blanche to throw pitches in different zip codes, which is what got Kirby in trouble in Oakland. Hopefully that was just a mechanical off day and Kirby can get back to throwing not just strikes, but quality strikes, this outing.
Meanwhile, the Mariners hitters will have to contend with a lefty on the hill for Texas in Martín Pérez, pushing poor Jarred Kelenic all the way to the bottom of the lineup but giving Dylan Moore a chance to lead off. Sure, why not.
Cal Raleigh had a rough night at the plate last night in addition to the constant low-grade agony inflicted behind it. He thus finds himself with an off-day today, which is for the best for him but does mean a bottom third of the order composed of two lefties and Curt Casali, which means the top of the order absolutely has to be productive tonight if the Mariners stand a chance of winning this game. Mitch and Ty, my guys, I’m talking to you.
News and notes:
- There was no pre-game press conference today; Servais invited the team to come in later in an attempt to bring back the good vibes and fun, relaxed feeling that has been so badly missing from the team. Smash cut to Mitch Haniger hitting off a tee in the T-Mobile parking garage having slept in his locker and Jarred Kelenic furiously shouting at Little Leaguers in Cal Anderson Park to hit it deeper so he can practice his outfield routes. Different strokes for different folks, Scott!
- Yesterday we mentioned that there would be a “stay-ready squad” working out at the complex in Arizona; now that Triple-A Tacoma’s season has officially ended, Mike Curto from the Rainiers has a list of which players that will include. Interesting to note there’s no Cade Marlowe on this list, for now. Also add Taylor Trammell to that group after he was optioned to Tacoma to make room for Suárez.
This list is probably incomplete, but Tommy Milone, Taylor Williams, Justus Sheffield, Brennan Bernardino, Brian O'Keefe, Erick Mejia, Mason McCoy, Drew Ellis, Kyle Lewis, Derek Hill and possibly others are going to Arizona to be ready during the Mariners postseason. https://t.co/ABZBCkfX7m— Mike Curto (@CurtoWorld) September 28, 2022
- Game time: 6:40 PT. Maybe we should go back to 710 start times? Is the ghost of Dave Niehaus angry about the different start time? Willing to try anything at this point.
- Radio: 710 Seattle Sports
- TV: ROOT Sports NW
- Streaming: MLB TV (out-of-area); fuboTV (in-area); Mariners.com (Gameday)