It’s no secret that the strength of the 2023 Mariners will be their pitching staff, and today that was on full display as Mariners pitchers held the Brewers to just two runs, striking out a combined 13 batters over a 7-2 rout.
Logan Gilbert got things started and was in full Walter mode, scattering just three hits across his four innings of work with five strikeouts. Logan sat 95 on his fastball, getting Brewers hitters to strike out on the pitch both swinging and looking. He didn’t allow an extra-base hit and got four groundouts to just two flyouts, eliciting lots of weak contact off the bats of Brewers hitters.
Logan Gilbert's first strikeout of the day comes against old friend Abe Toro. pic.twitter.com/PyvBVuSLRX— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 20, 2023
There is some conviction in these pitches:
Second strikeout came against Luke Voit pic.twitter.com/VzusPwvfcO— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 20, 2023
Gilbert also got a swinging strikeout from Eddy Alvarez on the changeup, which earned a lot of praise from the Brewers booth: “that was a great pitch.” He’d later punch out Tyler Naquin on the split change as well.
Third strikeout was against shortstop Eddy Alvarez pic.twitter.com/69gbzu6OCH— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 20, 2023
Logan also got a little help from Cooper Hummel, who is showing he can get things done on both sides of the ball.
and here's Hummel's sliding catch in right field pic.twitter.com/HdjaIhqwyM— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 20, 2023
It was Hummel who got the Mariners on the board first, getting to Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff for a solo shot, his fourth of the season, tying him for the team lead with Kelenic.
Things came apart a little for Woodruff after that homer, as he went on to walk Colin Moran and hit José Caballero on the elbow (just a graze, no worries). A ground-ball double off the bat of Ty France then scored two more runs and the Mariners were off and running.
Ty France's two-run double in the Mariners three-run third inning pic.twitter.com/AfD9oD4LWJ— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 20, 2023
Tanner Kirwer then came in to pinch-hit for Jarred Kelenic, sparking fears across Mariners Twitter—first, that he was hurt (one report had him grabbing at his quad), and then later, that he’d been traded, because Mariners Twitter is Not A Healthy Place. Of course it turned out to be no big deal:
Jarred Kelenic has some minor quad tightness and was pulled out of precaution per Scott Servais— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 20, 2023
Congratulations to you if you missed that particularly annoying hour or so of discourse.
The Mariners added on off Woodruff in the fourth as a Tommy La Stella comebacker caught Woodruff on the shin, followed by a Brian O’Keefe line drive double off the base of fence. A hot shot off the bat of Moran ate up Brewers shortstop Eddy Alvarez scoring Tommy La Stella, and then José Caballero sacrificed home O’Keefe to stretch the Mariners lead to 5-0.
Caballero, whose path to the big-league club opened up some after the injury to Dylan Moore, continued to impress today, knocking this home run to push the lead out to 7-0.
Caballero crush pic.twitter.com/Lq2BLABEZj— Mariners Player Development (@MsPlayerDev) March 20, 2023
The Brewers got a couple of runs back late against Matt Festa, still shaking off jet lag after being overseas with Team Italy for the past couple of weeks, but other than Festa’s wobble the pitching staff was absolutely lockdown today. Following Walter’s dominant performance, Andrés Muñoz made his official Cactus League debut and dear Brewers hitters, Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant. Muñoz looked absolutely filthy, getting a swinging strikeout at 100 mph, and collecting two more strikeouts swinging on his slider.
Andrés Muñoz pumping 100 mph on this strikeout to Keston Hiura here in his Cactus League debut. pic.twitter.com/TGYIyp1EEu— Daniel Kramer (@DKramer_) March 20, 2023
Next up was Matt Brash, equally mean to the Brewers hitters as he was pumping 98 on the fastball and 90 on his slider. He did give up a double to old friend Abe Toro, but also got a groundout and two strikeouts, one looking and one swinging on the slider. Hopefully next time Muñoz and Brash take the bump it’ll be televised because [Werner Herzog voice] I would like to see the babies.
Compass Points of Interest:
- AJ Pollock beat out an infield hit and the Milwaukee booth marveled that he’s still pretty fast. I thought he was pretty slow, but Statcast does indeed have him in the 60th percentile for Sprint Speed. I owe you an apology AJ, I was not familiar with your game.
- Colin Davis made it into this game and made some nice catches and collected a single. Davis was the Mariners’ seventh-rounder in 2021; AquaSox fans might be familiar with him from the nine games he played in Everett last season, but look for him again this season.
- Jake Scheiner persists in big-league camp through the cuts and continues to acquit himself well, getting an infield hit today.
- Jose Caballero continues to duke it out with Mason McCoy for who will get reps at SS/2B while Dylan Moore is out. Caballero takes the lead today with the home run and 3 RBI, but McCoy maintains the defensive edge.
- Tomorrow is an off day; the Mariners will be back in action Wednesday evening.