Seattle started the day hoping to bounce back from yesterday’s loss, and win the series against the Red Sox and stay afloat above .500 ball. Expectations were quickly dashed as the worst versions of themselves were present from the beginning, and Boston dismantled them 12-3. A thread of hope existed that Marco Gonzales would be able to be solid enough against the Red Sox lineup to keep it close.
That thread was quickly snapped from the first inning, in which Marco needed 37 pitches to get through and gave up three runs. The second inning didn’t go any better for Marco, who proceeded to give up another three runs and was pulled at 66 pitches with runners still on, ending with a final line of 1.2 innings, two walks, one strikeout, and eight earned runs on eight hits. Little help came from Trevor Gott who replaced Marco in relief, as he allowed both the inherited runners and one earned run of his own to be added to the score before getting out of the inning, and the Red Sox were up 9-0 after only two.
Eventually the Mariners would answer back with some runs, but not enough and the Red Sox still had more scoring to do as well. Maybe in a different world, the next in the multiverse over, this game could have been closer, as Taylor Trammell did almost answer back with a three run shot in the second. A gust of wind and slightly too high of a launch angle prevented that narrative, and as Brandy told us in ‘98, almost doesn’t count.
Rallies are always possible, comebacks happen, but for that to happen a team would have to hit when there are runners in scoring position. In tonight’s game the Mariners were only 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Not surprisingly based on the final score, the Red Sox were 7-for-13 in that category.
Eventually, the Mariners did score some runs. Raleigh led off the fourth with a ground-rule-double to right field. Swatting a couple of foul balls away first, Teoscar Hernández went down swinging, and Trammell grounded out. You can count on Caballero though, and he was able to beat a throw to first base for an RBI single, and the Mariners were no longer getting shut out, and were only down 9-1.
Of course, I did mention that the Red Sox weren’t done scoring. Unraveling looked fun to Gabe Speier when he saw his teammates Gonzales and Gott do it earlier, so he joined that fun in the fifth inning. Justin Turner led off with a single, Rob Refsnyder singled as well, and Rafael Devers doubled to score Turner before there was even an out. Up next Masataka Yoshida did ground out, but Refsnyder still scored from third, and Devers was able to advance to the hot corner. Sending a sacrifice fly to Julio in center, Enrique Hernández scored the final run for Boston, who were up 12-1.
The game was far from over though after only five innings, and sure enough the Mariners would go on to score more runs. Leading the inning was Trammell with a ground out, but leading the charge in the sixth was José Caballero, who drew a full count walk, only for Sam Haggerty to follow with the same. One Ty France single later, and the bases were loaded with one out. Star center fielder Julio Rodríguez hit into a fielder’s choice, with France erased at second, but Julio was safe at first on the bad throw, keeping the inning from ending. This was good, because both Caballero and Haggerty came around to score, and now the Red Sox were only leading 12-3.
To say that today’s game could have gone better is obviously a major understatement. Having to look for any bright sides in today’s game the only silver lining was probably some of the patience seen at the plate, as the lineup combined for eight walks, almost matching their nine strikeouts. Eugenio Suárez and Teoscar Hernández both went 0-for-4 today with three strikeouts apiece, so aside from them it was actually refreshing to see the rest of the lineup make steady improvements in that department, no other batters having struck out more than once (seven of tonight’s strikeouts came against starter Brayan Bello, who to be fair was working a good fastball).
Going into tomorrow’s off day on this ugly of a loss can be a mood and momentum killer, but perhaps it could also be what lights a fire under the team and gets them to go on a run that elevates them above the .500 line they are doomed to be within one game of this last week. Atlanta awaits Seattle next, the three game set starting on Friday, and it is likely to be a tough series. Most likely, the Mariners pitching will at least mostly bounce back from the ghosts of themselves they were today against Boston, but even if they do, three runs like they mustered today might not be enough against teams this tough. Even the roughest losses quickly become fading memories, and hopefully the Mariners forget about this one as quickly as the fanbase will want to.