About a week ago, I wrote about how Logan Gilbert performs as the “stopper” when the team is mired in a losing streak. Gilbert, despite six innings of eight-strikeout ball against the Brewers, wasn’t able to deliver a win and keep Seattle out of a sweep earlier this week, so now it’s up to George Kirby to try to pull the Mariners out of [PJ Harvey voice] this mess we’re in.
You probably recognize at least two of the batters in that Cardinals lineup, but in case you need a refresher on the rest of the lineup or information on some of St. Louis’s younger prospects, make sure to check out the series preview here.
Over on the Mariners side, Kolten Wong gets another rest day against a lefty, with Caballero getting his second big-league start. Tom Murphy will also get a start, as the club tries to get him going early on.
News and Notes from Scott Servais’s pregame presser:
- In case you missed it, LHP Tommy Milone cleared waivers and returns to Tacoma, to come save the Mariners’ bacon another day.
- Servais says while he liked the process from the offense over the first two games of the series, he thought the team didn’t do quite as good a job in the final game of the series, and is looking to see that improve this game. “Just talking to guys, making sure that they’re sticking to the plan, whatever the game plan is to beat that particular pitcher. . .and it can’t be just maybe two or three guys that are in on the plan, and the other five or six guys go rogue. That doesn’t work. Nine vs. one is way better odds, and that’s how, when we’re playing really good offensive baseball, that’s how we approach it. So if some guys aren’t sticking with the plan, you gotta talk about it, hold them accountable, and get back on track.”
- Servais also says he wants to see the team do the little things well, and while he’s been pleased with improvements from the defense and pitchers throwing first pitch strikes, he wants to see better base running, and for the offense to do a better job with runners in scoring position. “And home runs,” he adds. “Last time I talked about home runs we hit a few, so maybe we can do that tonight.” Or not, as John’s piece from earlier today showed: T-Mobile remains a place where home runs go to die.
- Injury update: Andrés Muñoz threw a bullpen yesterday session and it went well. He’ll join the Tacoma Rainiers in Vegas when the team goes on the road to throw a live BP there and possibly start a rehab assignment if all goes well. “He is progressing, everything has been good and feels good, and has been responding well the next day.” The hope is he’ll join up with the team during the road trip to Oakland, but he might not be back until the next homestand, depending on how things go.
- Another injury update: Dylan Moore didn’t feel 100% after his rehab start in Everett and will be getting an MRI on his strained oblique.
- Yet another injury update: Sam Haggerty has cleared concussion protocol and is ready to rejoin the team tomorrow.
- Per Servais, this is a planned off-day for Cal, again getting Murphy in against some left-handed pitching to try to get him going with some more consistent at-bats. He’ll return when the Cardinals start their righties later this weekend.
- Servais praises Caballero’s effort, saying he’s shown consistency from the player he’s been in the minors into the big leagues: playing good defense, offering positional flexibility, and taking his walks and controlling the zone well.
Tonight’s game begins at 7:10 PT. There’s no Kraken game to conflict, so the game will be broadcast as usual on ROOT Sports NW, with Aaron Goldsmith and Mike Blowers on the call. If you’re listening on the radio, that will be on 710 AM Seattle Sports with Dave Sims and Rick Rizzs on the call. You can also stream the game on Mariners.com.
If you want to come to the park, the get-in-the-door price is currently a staggeringly low $9 on Gametime. If you’re uncomfortable with secondary market tickets, it’s $25+ fees on the Mariners site. The giveaway tonight is this All-Star Hat, which...is fine, I guess. I find the patch uninspiring, but if you’re into a classic look and don’t mind the pretty obvious nod to the Mastercard logo, I could see you liking this. But also: free hat.
Today in Mariners history:
A nice memory, 1996: Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez hit back-to-back home runs twice in a 9-5 win vs. Toronto
Memory-holed for good reason, 2012: Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw the 21st perfect game in Major League history, beating the Mariners 4-0 at Safeco Field. Humber retired all 27 batters he faced on only 96 pitches and struck out 9 batters. He retired Brendan Ryan on a check-swing to end the game.
This one is extra-relevant today because Drew Smyly carried a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Dodgers, only to lose it in maybe the most painful way possible:
6 outs from a perfect game and this happens pic.twitter.com/UjDVDHA75y— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) April 21, 2023
That means Félix Hernández still owns baseball’s last perfect game. All hail the King.