Back to normal
The brilliance of Marco Gonzales was no match for the wildness and lack of variety brought by Dan Altavilla
August 18, 2020
So, yesterday's aberration was apparently just a one-time deal. In this afternoon's game between Your Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Dodgers, formula returned:
- Excellent starting pitching: Check. Marco Gonzales was brilliant, painting corners and bucking the expectations of the Dodger batters for seven innings, the only run allowed stemming from a cheap infield hit by Austin Barnes on a swinging bunt; Barnes rolled over on a 2-2 changeup and managed to hit it too weakly. Dodger third baseman Justin Turner was the only one to solve Gonzales' mastery of misdirection, lining a two-out single that scored Barnes. Otherwise, Marco was tying the Dodgers in knots, striking out nine to tie his career high while still averaging under 15 pitches per inning.
- One or two Mariners produce well at the plate, everyone else struggles: Check. The Kyles, Lewis and Seager, stayed hot, but the only RBI was a fluke from Tim Lopes when he failed to hit the ball either the other way or past the infield to score a runner from third. Instead, Lopes meekly grounded to the third baseman and got the RBI because Lewis made a daring dash home and Turner decided not to gamble on a play at the plate. The rest of the lineup: 1-for-23.
- Scott Servais makes a bad bullpen move and that pitcher loses the game: Check. To be fair, he did leave Marco in for the seventh inning when he might not have had yesterday not depleted the bullpen some; one might have expected him to bring in Joey Gerber or someone instead. But he let Marco keep on, so good there. But with the score tied at 1-1, he opted for Dan Altavilla in the eighth. Altavilla had just had two consecutive appearances in which he wasn't scored on; you could look on that as a sign that he's gotten better, or you could look at his composite history and conclude he wasn't going to get away with that three times in a row. There's a reason, after all, that his ERA is huge. No, of all the available relievers, this was the most likely choice to blow up in the Mariners' collective face. Swanson: better option. Even Ramírez, though he would have caused a lot of fidgeting as well, could have at least been explained as being a developmental move to put the kid into a challenging spot. Gerber...well, he's more of an unknown than Altavilla, so, yeah, better option. Guilbeau? He didn't throw that many pitches yesterday, could have used him. Somehow, despite fooling no one and throwing three allegedly distinct pitches that were all similar and fat, Altavilla only allowed one run, but that was enough.
It was a nice matched pairing with yesterday's slugfest, though. Too bad the contrast couldn't have included different winning sides as well.