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Seattle Mariners bring Miller and a mop, Watch Angels Perish

In a series that felt like the most important of the season, in a game that felt as close as a game can possibly feel, the Seattle Mariners take one more step towards destiny and thoroughly silence the Angels with a four game sweep.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels
Today, we are all Tayler Saucedo.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Mariners in this house

There’s some M’s in this house

There’s some M’s in this house

There’s some M’s in this house

I said Chaos Ball freaks, seven days a week

Watch Angels Perish, make that playoff game weak! (GOMS)

“I have no words.” It is something we say when we are so overwhelmed, or at a loss, when we are unable to forge the molten metal of thoughts into the piercing form of linguistic expression. Sometimes, there are too many words. The molten metal builds under pressure, implodes rather than erupt, and now our tongues are made still by a river of fiery ash. In either time, we lucky few may be blessed that we don’t need to form those words, that the action of the situation figuratively and literally speaks for itself.

That was today’s game that the Seattle Mariners played against the Los Angeles Angels. That was the four game series that the Seattle Mariners just played against the Los Angeles Angels. Whether you were stilled into silence, or imploding into it, today’s game spoke for itself, and it spoke volumes. For Mariners fans everywhere today was a Odyssean epic, it was the swelling soundtrack of the century, it was poem and prose and every good word ever uttered from one person’s lips to another’s heart. Today the Seattle Mariners broke out the mops and completed a four game clean up of the Angels, winning 3-2 in extra innings.

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

In Every Single Game they did something spectacular, multiple somethings. They did everything you want in a competitive team. They grinded, they hustled, they came back, they won. Today was certainly no exception, and given how strikingly close they were to each other in performance today, it made Seattle’s heroics coming out on top all the more sweeter. Today’s game rang of history, and will without a doubt live in the hearts and minds of Seattle fans for years, maybe even decades to come. In fact, today’s game already is historic. No, not just for being the likely death knell to the Angels competitive window, their attempt at a dynasty, or being home to quite possibly the most talented player ever. Both team’s starters pitchers fought so fiercely, matched each other’s pace so precisely, that they collectively went down in the history books together.

Chase Silseth, the rookie starter for the Angels, finished with a final line of one hundred pitches thrown, sixty-seven for strikes across seven innings pitched, two earned runs (both solo home runs) on four hits, two walks, and twelve strikeouts. He had 21 (!) whiffs, the bulk of them (12) coming from his splitter, his second most used pitch at twenty five percent, behind his slider at forty percent usage and eight whiffs. Mariner’s rookie starter Bryce Miller threw eighty-five pitches, sixty-four for strikes across five innings pitched, one earned run (a Mike Moustakas RBI double in the first that scored Ohtani, who had reached on a single) on five hits, no walks, and ten strikeouts. He edged out Silseth in the Whiff department with 22 (!!), nine scattered between his slider, sinker, and sweeper, and the remaining thirteen coming off of his elite fastball. He did allow runners with two singles and a double in the first, but his first eight outs in a row were all strikeouts. Miller settled down nicely, his command got sharper as the game wore on, and even though he only lasted the five innings after needing twenty-eight in the first, he kept his team in it.

Miller’s fastball can’t be stopped, Watch Angels Perish

After seeing all that and you are thinking that the starting pitching was an unlikely mirror of itself, wait until you see where the runs landed on the scoreboard. J.P. Crawford, the spiritual team captain that the Mariners front office chose to believe in, dedicated to making their everyday shortstop, and who has been playing the best year of his career, was the one to get things started. It is not the first time I typed that sentence this year, and it will bear repeating until it is no longer true. J.P. Crawford is the heart and hustle of the Seattle Mariners, and he only needed to see the first pitch before putting his team up by one early, his tenth home run of the year and a career high.

Captain Crawford with that POP, Watch Angels Perish

The Angels answered back in the bottom of the first with the aforementioned Moustakas double, and there the game remain tied until the seventh inning. Now it was Teoscar Hernández’s turn to put his team ahead. Chase Silseth maybe stayed in the game just one inning too long, and Teo punished him and the 96 mph fastball he left at the top of the zone, for it. It was crushed 106.9 mph off of the bat, and gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead.

Teoscar also bringing that POP, Watch Angels Perish

Again the Angels answered back in the same inning. This time they answered a bomb with a bomb, Matt Thaiss easily handling Trent Thornton’s middle-middle meatball he left hanging. From there it remained scoreless until a tie forced it into the tenth, but in the top of the ninth the game was yet again oddly reflective, this time of moments earlier in the series. After Hernández was the first to get on base with a one out single, he was replaced with pinch runner Jose Caballero, and Death Cabby did what he does best and drifted Tokyo style around the basepaths with a would-be steal. He swiped second, and the errant throw allowed him to swipe third. Or, at least it would have if Mike Ford’s bat didn’t come around and clip the catcher’s gear as he set up to make the throw, and for the second time in the series an interference call erased a stolen base.

One Mike Ford walk and Dylan Moore pinch runner substitution later, and the Mariners had their speediest threats on the bases, only one out, and already-a-legend-rookie Cade Marlowe up to bat with the opportunity to come through like he did in game one of the series and put his team multiple runs ahead and out of reach. He started the at-bat 0-2, but even this was a tease; it was an 0-2 count that he hit the game one grand slam on. The similarities and the offense for that inning died there, as Marlowe and France both flew out to end the inning.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This series had already seen relief pitching heroics, desperately needed to fill the void of Paul Sewald, but one side effect of those efforts was that there were limited pitchers available for tonight. The bottom of the ninth, with the game tied and a home team backed into a corner up to bat, and the series sweep on the line, offered a challenge so daunting that even a rested bullpen arm would be pressed. Tayler Saucedo had already been used in this series, has only recently started to be slotted into high leverage roles such as these, but was Servais’ man to go to in this affair. Mike Moustakas led off the inning, and flew out to Dominic Canzone in right field, almost leaving the park (and it would have in most of them). Randal Grichuk thought that looked fun so he also flew out to Canzone, but he didn’t do a very good Moustakas impression and it was a much easier catch and not as deep. Then, Mickey Moniak struck out on a 1-2 slider that The Sauce perfectly dotted the bottom of the zone with.

Up until the top of the tenth, it had been a close game and the teams were engaging in an odd game of mimicry, but eventually something would have to give and one team would have to score when the other did not. Having used all of their bench options with the exception of Tom Murphy, the Mariners were in a position where Ty France, one of their slowest players and it’s not even close (except probably Mike Ford) was the automatic runner on second. Crawford ended up in a 2-2 count that should have been 3-1 if blue didn’t steal a strike (to be fair, not the first bad call and both teams benefited throughout the game), but it didn’t stop Crawford from storming off in a flurry of expletives after he struck out. The Angels wanted nothing of next batter Julio Rodríguez who was 2-for-4 on the day, and they gave him the free pass to first. Eugenio Suárez was next up to bat, and recently had a run where he set the team record for most consecutive games with runs batter in. Yes, that streak ended with yesterday’s game, but his recent play instilled confidence in this situation.

Good Vibes cannot be STOPPED, Watch Angels Perish

Eugenio came through with the RBI single, and the Mariners were up 3-2, the same score they won game three of the series with. The play did cost an out with Julio coming off of the bag on third with tag applied (he didn’t slide for some reason), and while Raleigh did slap a hard liner towards right field, it never made it there and instead jumped right into C.J. Cron’s glove to end the inning. If the Mariners were going to win this one, one run would have to do. If they were going to win today, they were going to have to do it on the back of Tayler Saucedo, who already pitched one inning and multiple games this series. Tayler Saucedo, new to these high leverage spots. Tayler Saucedo, officially a hot-sauce-slider slinging member of Los Bomberos.

Hunter Renfroe lead off the inning, and quickly swung through the first two pitches, but was able to work it back to an even 2-2 count, when Sauce planted one a little off the plate, but close enough blue offered another gift (and I maintain, still a makeup gift for ones he offered the home team earlier). Chad Wallach also went 2-2, but his at bat ended with a fly out to Cade Marlowe in left field. The Angels were down to their last out, in so, so many ways. After C.J. Cron fell victim to two changeups for a called strike and a swinging strike, he managed to foul the third changeup. You can’t blame Tayler Saucedo for going with a “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” strategy here, but now he would need to pivot. One 94.7 mph four seamer perfectly, and I mean perfectly riding the top of the zone later, and Tayler Saucedo earned himself his third career win, his team the series sweep, and the moment being immortalized in memory.

Tayler GOATED with the SAUCE, Watch Angels Perish

No words. Too many words. The whispers of longing in the heart. The roar of the crowd, the chants of victory. History, and future. Momentum, and crystallization. The felling of the rival’s legacy. The rising of their own. This game had it all. Yet... the best part is not the page that was just written. The best part isn’t how today’s game and this week’s series end a chapter of struggle, or are in the middle of the arc of the season. The best part is the chapter that today has begun.