A perfect game has a specific connotation, so it cannot be ascribed to this afternoon’s 6-0 win for the Seattle Mariners. “Flawless” is a bit overwrought as well, as a 2-for-11 line w/RISP and 10 left on base indicates just how close this game was to being an even greater laugher. Perhaps “exemplary” is accurate enough, for a game that featured no major mistakes by the Seattle Mariners, and saw them create so many chances against a young starter in Keaton Winn and the rest of the San Francisco Giants’ bulk relievers that they couldn’t help but build an insurmountable lead.
Any lead, of course, would have been insurmountable today, thanks to Logan Gilbert’s first career complete game shutout. The last time Seattle saw a CGSO by their starter was from Yusei Kikuchi in 2019, so you can be forgiven for forgetting, but Gilbert’s gem today featured plenty of highlights. A three-pitch inning, the third in franchise history, on a couple nice plays by Julio Rodríguez in center and an easy fly to left. In the bottom of the 3rd and 4th innings, players reached second base, threatening a puncture to Gilbert’s ultra-efficient armor. Tidy, consistent, and utterly without stress, Gilbert was never again threatened, and finished the game retiring the final 10 batters straight.
Amped Cam: Logan Gilbert— Daniel Kramer (@DKramer_) July 4, 2023
Complete-Game Shutout Edition™ pic.twitter.com/1J1smghH2J
When the 8th inning came, Scott Servais and the M’s staff may have been content to leave Gilbert in anyways, but his teammates made sure of it.
During the top of the ninth, pitching coach Pete Woodworth went to the dugout phone to call out to the bullpen and all the players in the dugout started chanting: "Logan! Logan! Logan!" and yelling to leave him in the game.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) July 5, 2023
The reason Gilbert was secure to stay in was in part the exhaustion of the high-leverage bullpen, but also that the offense has managed to stay awake over the past several games, giving Gilbert plenty of breathing room to work in the zone and avoid free passes. Leading the charge on his birthday was Mike Ford, whose 4-4 day featured a near-cycle, with a stellar combination of sprayed line drives and cranked home runs. It is not exactly clear how long he can continue treating MLB like the Pacific Coast League, but I won’t be stopping him anytime soon.
Every Mariners player reached base. AJ Pollock went yard. Julio had a multi-hit game. In a season that’s been flush with stressful and disappointing performances, this was a cakewalk and a delightful one at that. Back to .500, with some possible cracks in clubs ahead of them showing, there is life yet in this M’s club.