erik lundegaard

Friday August 04, 2023

Mariners Keep the Line Moving

Julio highlights

As we walked through the International District to the Mariners-BoSox game Wednesday afternoon, my wife asked me which of the two teams was better.

  • Me: Kind of equal. Both are a couple of games over .500.
  • She: What's .500?
  • When a team's wins and losses are the same. Mariners have like three more wins than losses, Red Sox five or something. But the Red Sox are a much better hitting club. In team batting, they're near the top and we're near the bottom. (Fact-check: 4th vs. 26th.)
  • So is our pitching better?
  • I guess? Today we have Logan Gilbert going and he's not bad. Except he's better during away games than home games; and he's better at night than during the day.
  • Oh.
  • Right. So don't expect much.

For five innings, that Mariners' truism proved true. Then something magical happened. 

Down 3-0, Cal Raleigh hit a 2-run homer in the sixth. That wasn't the magical thing—though it helped—and on the 10th pitch, which made it even better. No, the magical thing was the next inning when we did this:

  • Walk
  • Single
  • Single (1 run)
  • K
  • Single/error (1 run)
  • Single (1 run)
  • 6
  • Double steal (1 run)

It was the most fun inning I've seen all year. I was reminded of the 2014-15 Kansas City Royals, the “Keep the line moving” Royals, who just nickeled and dimed you, and ran on you, and put the ball in play, forcing you to make plays, often forcing unforced errors—as with Julio's single, the third in the inning, which either the shortstop or third baseman could've gotten but neither did. Julio's bat shattered, perhaps confusing them, they bumped into each other, the ball dribbled into left field. Beautiful. The double steal was also super fun. Two outs, Julio on third, Eugenio Suarez on first, Ty France at the plate. Gino goes and seems caught between 1st and 2nd, the catcher throws down, which is when Julio goes. The throw back to the plate is late and Julio, with his highlighter-colored sleeve (pink) and shoes (yellow-green), pops up, exults, has himself another highlight

Here's the whole beautiful inning.

This was the rubber game of the series and it looked like it wouldn't go our way until it did. We played a couple of trade-deadline kids we got from Arizona for Paul Sewald, and one of them, Dominic Canzone, who's 25 but looks 12, started us out with that walk. Cade Marlowe, whose debut Evan and I saw against the Twins on July 20, Moon Day, added that first RBI single. And in place of Sewald, we plugged in fireballer Andres Munoz, who got 'em out 1-2-3 in the ninth. Final: 6-3.

Yesterday was more late-inning heroics, again with the kids. Evan has been tracking Marlowe since the game we went to, like he's personally invested in the kid, and yesterday was a banner day. Ninth inning, down 3-1 to the Angels in Anaheim, we went: BB, BB, a single from Canzone, K, then Marlowe came up and on an 0-2 pitch did this. Then Munoz came in and struck out the side. We're now five games over .500. Is this the start of something? 

Posted at 09:24 AM on Friday August 04, 2023 in category Seattle Mariners  
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