Schizophrenic Mariners leave New York in shame
"You deserve this win, Marco. Too bad Servais is gonna hand the ball to our most homer-prone reliever in this tiny ballpark."
May 10, 2019
The final tallies were 7-3, 5-4, 10-1, and 3-1. But the scores don't really tell the story.
As the Mariners leave the Big Apple for New England, they reflect on a four-game set that saw a typical "A" Mariners team in one game, a typical "B" M's squad in another, and two losses that featured failures to execute that are fast becoming signature traits of this club.
In Monday's game it was a failure of situational hitting. Felix Hernández hung a few fat fastballs early on and put the M's in a big hole, but even down 7-3 there were opportunities to come back. Seattle twice loaded the bases in the middle innings and failed to score, once again showing no ability—and no inclination—to put anything on the board without hitting a home run.
On Tuesday, Marco Gonzales was cruising along through six innings, allowing only one run—a solo homer by Gio Urshela on a pitch following an obvious strike three that was called a ball—and was on his way to his sixth win until manager Scott Servais brought in Anthony Swarzak to blow the save in the ninth inning. Swarzak faced four batters and allowed three hits, including the fifth home run he's served up in his last six appearances, to lose the game. Given Swarzak's homer-proneness, the tight score, and the short-fence venue of new Yankee Stadium, he was the guy you don't call on to close this one out, and yet...
Wednesday Mariners version A showed up and plated ten runs while Yusei Kikuchi took a no-hitter into the sixth and pitched his best game of the year. Moreover, only four of the ten runs scored on homers. But the Thursday contest saw M's version B again. Against J.A. Happ, who was not sharp and somewhat wild, the Mariners managed but one hit, a bloop single by catcher Tom Murphy, and didn't get another until two were out in the ninth and Domingo Santana connected for a solo shot off of Aroldis Chapman. Still, despite the B team, the M's were in this one—Mike Leake pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run, and Seattle had some baserunners via walk and a costly hit-by-pitch. Santana had a golden opportunity to tie it at one in the sixth, but instead grounded into a 6-3 double-play.
Thursday also showed why the practice of carrying a mere three bench players is a bad idea. Dee Gordon was hit by a Happ fastball his second time up and not only had to come out of the game but may have to go on the injured list for a time. He was replaced by utilityman Dylan Moore, but Moore was having some pain in his wrist and also had to come out, so in the bottom of the eighth inning the Mariners had to play someone in the middle infield that had no experience there. Right away they had another injury scare when Edwin Encarnación, playing second base for the first time ever, dove for a grounder and rolled his left wrist. That set up the Yankees' add-on rally that proved to be critical, aided by another poor move from Servias, who opted to walk Gleyber Torres and his .313 OBP intentionally to load the bases with two out and pitch to the .350/.400/.530 hitting Urshela. The result was predictable.
One win out of four in New York. With some better thought from the manager and/or situational execution, it'd be at least two and perhaps three wins.
Seattle sits at .500 now, after a hard fall from a lofty start. They roll into Boston to face the Red Sox, who sit at .500 now after a climb up from a dismal start. Will they bounce back upward, or will the M's keep flailing away? Tune in tomorrow.
Mariners vs. Yankees, by the numbers
- Total runs scored: 34 (SEA 18, NYY 16)
- Home runs hit: 11 (SEA 7, NYY 4)
- Bases stolen: 5 (SEA 3, NYY 2)
- Errors committed: 5 (SEA 2, NYY 3)
- Quality starts: 4 (SEA - Gonzales, Kikuchi, Leake; NYY - Tanaka)
- Pitching changes: 22 (SEA 9, NYY 13)
- Starters ERA: 3.50 (SEA 3.16, NYY 3.98)
- Bullpen ERA: 6.46 (SEA 6.75, NYY 4.02)
- Runners left on base: 46 (SEA 28, NYY 18)
- Rain delays: 1
- Injured players: 2 (Gordon, Moore)