I imagine Wednesday morning came in hard for a lot of you who rolled last weekend into a very long weekend with the Fourth of July falling on a Tuesday. Just as you might have been challenged in getting up with the alarm this morning and putting your best workday face on, the Mariners face the challenge of a getaway day in San Francisco that somehow takes place at 6 PM before they’ll have to board a flight to Houston for a four-game set before earning their own extended-play long weekend of the All-Star break.
The Mariners will also have to deal with some different energy in the ballpark, I’m assuming, as the sold-out crowds for the pre-Fourth fireworks show and the Fourth itself will likely dwindle for this series finale where the Giants will be endeavoring to avoid a sweep. It’s a position the 2023 Mariners have found themselves in too often this season, and an unenviable one.
This is some real “last day of an already-secured series against an NL opponent before immediately starting a series against a divisional opponent” energy from the Mariners and I’m here for it.
Mike Ford, hitting cleanup? Sure. José Caballero and Kolten Wong in the same lineup? Why not, enjoy your day off, Eugenio. No Ty France? Not a problem. Tommy Milone start? Hey, at least it’ll force the Giants to use their slate of slightly weaker righty hitters. And let’s be real: splitter monster Alex Cobb is on the mound for the Giants, and he’s made mincemeat out of the Mariners in the past; this game was a ten-point favorite for the Giants on FanGraphs when it was still Bryce Miller making the start. As much as I’d love the Mariners to rifle off nine straight wins heading into the All-Star Break, I will take series wins against a pair of decent-to-very-good teams in the Giants and Rays, and a split of the four games in Houston, any day.
- In case you missed it over the holiday: the Mariners aren’t the only team getting dinged with some injuries, as some AL West rivals are also having a tough time. The Angels have lost Mike Trout to a broken hamate bone that will keep him out anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Also, both Ohtani and Anthony Rendon left yesterday’s game with training staffs, Ohtani with a cracked fingernail/blister and Rendon after fouling a ball off his lower leg. Ohtani is as of now listed in the Angels’ lineup for tonight; Rendon is not. Over in Houston, José Altuve has an oblique issue and missed today’s game against the Rockies.
- The Mariners optioned RHP Darren McCaughan back to Tacoma to make a space for Tommy Milone. They also transferred Penn Murfee, who is having UCL surgery, to the 60-day IL. The Mariners roster remains full at 40 players.
Today’s game information:
Tonight’s game starts at 6:05 PT and will be broadcast on ROOT Sports, with Dave Sims and Aaron Goldsmith on the call. If it’s too hot to be in your house and you plan to sit outside and listen over the radio (or stream via Mariners.com), you’ll here the dulcet tones of Rick Rizzs and Gary Hill Jr. on 710 AM Seattle Sports.
Today in Mariners history:
- 1982: The original Mariners Julio, Julio Cruz, goes 3-4 at the plate, with two stolen bases, to spark the Mariners to a 5-4 win over the NY Yankees in the Kingdome.
- 1989: Ken Griffey Jr. helps Gene Harris pick up his first major-league win with a pair of long home runs (422 ft. & 426 ft. est. distances) as the Mariners defeat Minnesota, 7-3.
- 1997: Proving only bad things happen in Anaheim, Rich Amaral hits into a rare triple play (8-6-3) as the Mariners go on to lose 5-4.
- 2011: Jamey Wright earns his first career save in his 500th career appearance in an extra-innings 4-2 win over Oakland. It is the 2nd most career appearances to notch a first career save, trailing only Frank Tanana, who had his first save in his 530th career appearance. This was a true “Félixing” as the King went eight innings, allowing just one run (a solo homer to Kurt Suzuki in the eighth), while striking out 10, and for his trouble, earned a no-decision after Brandon League blew the save, as the ancient texts were written.