erik lundegaard


Wednesday June 28, 2023

Tom Murphy Goes 3-3 in Dispiriting M's Loss

And here ya are. And it's a beautiful day.

In the bottom of the second, with one out, a man on first, and the M's down 3-0, Mariners catcher Tom Murphy hit a dunker into right field for a single. A second later the non-Diamond Vision screen let us know it was his 200th career hit. I applauded softly and then realized, “Wait, that's a season for some guys. How long has he been playing anyway?”

Since 2015, it turns out. But he's mostly backup, and often injured, and 200 is 200. Plus we had a rally going now. Go M's!

Until we didn't.

Murphy had himself a day anyway: 3-3, all singles, using all fields. And he never made it past second. He was: 1) stranded at first, 2) stranded at second, 3) eliminated at second. But then it wasn't exactly Murderers' Row hitting behind him. Our No. 7 hitter was A.J. Pollock, a DH hitting .158(!), who went 0-3 with two strikeouts. Behind him was Dylan Moore, a backup left fielder hitting .050(!!), who went 0-3 with one strikeout. No. 9 hitter Jose Caballero (.238) must've thought, “How am I hitting behind these guys?”

It was a beautiful day at the ballpark and not a good day at the ballpark. I arrived late, or at least on time, but then waited a while in a slow-moving line to get inside. By the time I did, the M's and Logan Gilbert were down 3-0: single, single, double, single. Then Logan found his game again. Julio hit one to the wall in the first, and we had that first-and-third situation with one out in the second, and we nearly tied it in the fifth when J.P. sent one to the warning track in center with two on and two out, but that was the best we managed against Washington Nationals starter Patrick Corbin, who went 7 innings, struck out 9, walked nobody, and gave up zero runs. The last time Corbin went seven or more and gave up no runs? Pre-pandemic. August 2019. Welcome to Seattle, kid.

We got our one run with a leadoff homer from Caballero in the 8th. That was off new pitcher Amos Willingham. And by new I mean new. He'd just been called up, and Jose was the first batter he'd ever faced in the Majors. Two batters later, Julio sent another one to the warning track, but Jose's was the only hit the kid gave up. Good for him. Welcome to the Majors, kid.

But it's getting dispiriting again. The M's began poorly last year but made their move by now. No move is being made this year. We're just floundering. We struggle to .500, then slip below the surface again.

My next scheduled game is the All-Star Game on July 11 and I can't fathom who our All-Star will be. We don't really have one. Last time the ASG was in Seattle was that year we won 116 games and we had, like, seven All-Stars. This year? No regular player is hitting above .275, or slugging above .450, or getting on base at a .350 clip. We're second in the Majors in strikeouts, 15th in walks, 15th in homeruns. Seriously, I don't know who I'd pick. Jered Kelenick for his hot start? Teoscar Hernandez for his hot June? Julio for being Julio? I guess I'd go Luis Castillo, who, sure, is 5-6, but with a 2.86 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and a 108-28 strikeout-walk ratio. Oh, poor Luis! I just realized: Last year it looked like we'd saved him from MLB pergatory with the hapless Cincinnati Reds, and now the Reds are young and hot, and the M's are not and not.

In the ninth, down 4-1, manager Scott Servais' one move was to pinch-hit for our 3-for-3 guy, Tom Murphy, with two out and nobody on. He didn't let him have his day. Or he didn't let Cal Raleigh have his day off. I don't get it, to be honest. Raleigh K'ed on four pitches. It's an ending that makes sense anyway, even if it doesn't make any sense. 

Posted at 05:52 PM on Wednesday June 28, 2023 in category Seattle Mariners