Virtual Season: Mariners implode, lose 10-6 in Texas

This post chronicles a virtual 2020 season played on the computer game Out of the Park Baseball 21. See the virtual opening day post for details on the setup. We’ll be updating this “season” as our coronavirus-enforced life without real baseball continues. See this page for the alternate-universe MLB news and stats.

Score ticker

Taijuan Walker was solid through five innings today, allowing only a solo home run to Joey Gallo, and was enjoying a 5-1 lead when the wheels fell off his wagon. In just a matter of minutes, the Texas Rangers erased that cushion in the bottom half of the 6th inning on a pair of homers.

Joey Gallo drove in four runs in the Rangers' come-from-behind win today in Texas

Robinson Chirinos started the frame with a leadoff walk, then with one away went to second on a base hit by Danny Santana. That brought up hot-hitting Willie Calhoun, who belted his third home run of the series to make the score 5-4. Gallo followed with his second bomb of the day, a 394-foot shot to left field.

Walker would escape that inning without further damage and end his day, but reliever Brandon Brennan (0-1) got into trouble in the 7th, thanks to a questionable call by the home-plate umpire on a two-out, 3-2 pitch to Chirinos. "I thought I had him," Brennan said. "Sure looked to me like it had enough of the plate. I don't know what the ump was smoking, that was strike three." Instead, Chirinos was handed first base on ball four, allowing the inning to continue and the next three batters reached safely—Elvis Andrus on an infield hit off the spongy artificial turf, an RBI double from Santana, and another walk to Calhoun. That chased Brennan, who was relieved by left-hander Tyler Webb. The Rangers didn't mind, though, and continued their attack, connecting for a single, double, and walk off of Webb before Nick Solak mercifully popped up for the third out. In all, five runs crossed the plate.

"That was brutal," said manager Not-Scott-Servais. "I mean, the ball four call was not great, but that's one batter. You go get the next guy. Didn't happen, though."

Against a Ranger team that is known for scoring in bunches, was Not-Servais too quick to go to the ’pen? "Yeah, maybe," he said. "Walk has been so good since the spring, and he wanted to go back out there after they tied it in the 6th. I figured it was best to get a fresh arm in the game instead. Brandon just unspooled from that ball four call, though, and we had to rush Webb into action."

Webb, a waiver pickup earlier in the season, has given up runs in each of his last three outings after delivering scoreless performances in his first three with Seattle. His Mariners ERA now sits at 7.20.

Dee Gordon, Evan White, Jake Fraley, and Mallex Smith each had a multi-hit game for the Mariners, and Daniel Vogelbach continued to improve his numbers with his seventh home run.

The Mariners are off tomorrow as they travel home to Seattle and prepare to take on the Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros in a five-game homestand starting Tuesday night. Marco Gonzales (1-2, 3.66) is scheduled to pitch Tuesday for Seattle against Andrew Heaney (2-3, 5.23) of the Angels.

Notes from around the league

  • The Dodgers continue to be undefeated on the road, having beaten Pittsburgh 5-3 to go 13-0 away from Chavez Ravine.
  • Tampa Bay came from behind to beat Kansas City today on a walk-off, two-run homer from Yandy Díaz. Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh also homered for the Rays.
  • Ex-Mariner Edwin Díaz blew his third save of the year for the Mets, but New York still won the game thanks to a 13th-inning home run from Luis Guillorme. Robinson Canó went 1-for-5 in the game to raise his average to .160.

On the Farm/Prospect Watch

  • Tacoma got hammered 9-1 by Albuquerque in Triple-A action.
  • Double-A Arkansas defeated Tulsa 8-3 with help from Jarred Kelenic and Dante Bichette Jr., who each had a pair of hits, and Eric Filia, who had three (and four RBI).
  • Modesto won their Class-A game against Stockton 2-1.
  • Key prospects and their current numbers:
    • OF Julio Rodríguez (Modesto): .354/.427/.585, 15 RBI
    • C Cal Raleigh (Arkansas): .288/.323/.475
    • OF Jarred Kelenic (Arkansas): .212/.278/.455
    • RHP Ljay Newsome (Modesto/Arkansas): 1-1, 1.50 ERA, 24 Ks combined
    • RHP Logan Gilbert (Arkansas/Tacoma): 3-1, 2.05 ERA, 27 Ks combined
    • OF Braden Bishop (Tacoma): .222/.266/.264, 4 SB
    • IF Shed Long Jr. (Tacoma): .269/.324/.343
    • OF Kyle Lewis (Tacoma): .238/.329/.349, 1 HR
    • RHP Justin Dunn (Tacoma): 1-1, 2.20 ERA, 11 Ks