Coming out of slump against the Minnesota Twins Robinson Cano decided go to the front of the class hitting two home runs with the second one in the 11th inning to break the tie to lead the Mariners over the Astros in Houston 4-3. The Mariners had 3-1 lead including Cano’s first home run and an error by the Astros however Edwin Diaz was unable to close out the game in the ninth inning giving up two runs on four hits. At least he did not give up the winning run that was on base. It looked like he was throwing his slider too much that wasn’t working Monday night. He should have thrown more of his high heat against those Astros. He will learn from this experience.
This game the first of the three game series was very important for the Mariners too win. This gives them more confidence and keeps them in the race for the playoffs though with six games remaining will be hard to come by. The Mariners need to win these six games to really have any chance. One loss to either the Astros or the A’s most likely keeps them out. The Astros are still in the race as well but the Mariners could eliminate them with a victory Tuesday night.
The Mariners had twelve hits the game and left at least ten players on base. One key hit could have allowed the Mariners to win in regulation time. Iwakuma pitched a very good six innings in the game. The other relievers besides Diaz did a fine job. This will be another key besides the starters going as many as they can to win the games. The offense though needs to its part not to put so much pressure on the pitching. The Mariners need some hitting out of Kyle Seager who has been in a slump for most of September. This is especially true since Nelson Cruz who had a great series against Minnesota has a sore wrist. Monday night you could see that Cruz was having difficulty swinging. Seager needs to join in so Cano doesn’t have to do the work himself.
Tuesday night Felix Hernandez goes to the mound against the Astros. The Mariners need another outstanding game out of Felix like in his last outing against Toronto in Seattle when he left saying “not in my house”. Jesus Sucre who has been the catcher most of the time for Felix since being called up from Tacoma is expected to be behind the plate. He has been on a six game hitting streak himself including a home run in Minnesota on Sunday. If he continues to hit well I would not be surprised to see him more behind the plate since Mike Zunino has been struggling hitting as of late. Not sure whether we will see much of Chris Iannetta in the last six games since he struggled defensively.
Other players like Leonys Martin who has been struggling at the plate lately as well need to come through for the Mariners as well. We need to see Aoki and Heredia whoever is starting in left field get on base to set the table for Cano, Cruz and Seager. It would be nice to see Seth Smith and Franklin Gutierrez start hitting once again along with Adam Lind and Dae-Ho Lee. We need all the guys contributing especially with runners on base. Look forward to these last six games. Go M’s.