It was only fitting that manager Scott Servais’ pregame comments about the vibe being different this past week could barely be heard due to the blasting EDM music around the stadium, and excited shouts from Geno Suárez and J.P Crawford as they jogged out to batting practice. Watching the team interactions throughout the night, their energy, confidence, and excitement truly has been unmatched this month. And for good reason.
The “Woo!” chants from the crowd for starter Bryan Woo as he took his spot on the mound and worked a solid first inning quickly turned to an even louder roar of excitement, as J.P smashed the second pitch of the game into deep right-center for his 12th home run of the season, extending a career high.
Both teams traded hits and took turns stranding runners up until the bottom of the third, when the runs started pouring in from the Mariners’ offense. J.P led off the inning with a hit once again, this time a single hit hard to right field. Julio’s bat stayed absolutely scorching as he extended his hitting streak to thirteen games, a career high of his own, with a double lined to the outfield wall to score J.P.
The hits kept coming, as a long single from Teoscar Hernandez scored Julio and brought Geno, who had reached on a walk, to second base. A single to left by Ty France loaded the bases for Dylan Moore, who grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Geno but kept the speedy DMo safe at first. Multiple runners were stuck on base to end the inning once again, but not before the damage had been done as the Mariners carried a 4-0 lead heading into the 4th inning.
Another 1-2-3 inning from Woo, who was cruising with only two hits allowed and four strikeouts recorded, brought another two runs in the bottom of the fourth with a no-doubt home run from Julio to dead center to score J.P from first. Julio’s third straight game with a home run brought another career high for him as the Mariners continued to dominate.
Woo exited at the end of the sixth inning with six strikeouts, three hits, 15 of 20 first pitch strikes, and a pumped-up Monday night crowd of over 37,000 cheering for him just like they had at the start. He did exactly what was expected and gave the team what they needed, even going an extra inning into the 6th when Servais had only planned to keep him in through five. And to back him up, everyone in the lineup was able to contribute to the game in one way or another and continue to bring the fire that has been lit all month.
The Mariners continued their offensive production with another run in the bottom of the inning. Julio hustled out a single to first and a wild pitch got him to second, and a Teoscar Hernandez single sent him home with a score of 7-0, where it would remain until the game ended.
Three mostly stress free relief innings from Saucedo, Campbell, and Thornton closed out the game to send the excited, consistent, and confident Mariners back into the EDM-blasting club(house) with their 20th win of August.
“The whole Pacific Northwest is excited with where we’re at,” Servais commented postgame. “These guys show up ready to play every day, competing for the entire game. Our focus right now is just to win the ball game, whatever it takes.”
Woo echoed Servais’ comments by praising the veteran leadership that the team has brought to this hot streak. “A lot of the older guys have been doing a really good job of setting the standard: take care of our business today and don’t get too caught up on the other teams and what’s going on around the league. We’ve just got to handle what we’ve got to do today and stay present; take care of today’s game and let the rest take care of itself,” Woo said.
With one more win this month, the Mariners are now poised to win more games in August than any other Mariner team in history. We are witnessing unparalleled greatness through every trident raise and victory dance, and although this team is taking things one game at a time, they surely don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. Let the good vibes continue to roll through this historic season, as the Mariners show us day in and day out why they belong atop the division and are a true postseason contender down the stretch.