The Seattle Mariners are still floating despite the fact the pitching has had its ups and downs because of injuries.
On Thursday night against the Chicago White Sox in the first game of four in Safeco Field the Mariners beat them with a 5-4 win on a walk-off single by pinch hitter Guillermo Heredia. Jarrod Dyson was on second base after running on a pitch that should have been on a double play but his speed allowed him to reach the base. It could easily been an extra inning game.
Sam Gaviglio who made his first major league start for the Mariners pitched five innings giving up only three hits and walking one batter had an outstanding game shutting out the White Sox. The Mariners took a four to zero lead with a home run by Dyson in the third inning and then Jean Segura who continues to hit a hot bat had a three-run homer in the fifth inning. Gaviglio hadn’t started a game in ten days so the five innings seem to be his limit this time out.
Casey Lawrence who the Mariners picked up several days earlier from the Toronto Blue Jays on waivers made his Mariner debut. The Mariners actually got him when they were in Toronto and sent him originally to Tacoma. He started off pitching well however gave up a two run homer in the seventh inning. Dan Altavilla who has been struggling spotting his pitches gave up another two-run homer in the eighth inning for the White Sox to tie the score at 4-4 before Heredia walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. Nick Vincent pitched the ninth inning for the Mariners to get the win.
Though the Mariners have had their ups and downs far as the starting rotation because of injuries the biggest obstacle has been their bullpen. Outside of right hander Nick Vincent and lefties James Pazos and Marc Rzepczynski the bullpen has been terrible. Closer Edwin Diaz has been removed from the spot as he is working on his mechanics. The Mariners need him to be back in order. Steve Cishek who blew the save on Sunday has just gotten back into action for the Mariners. He should make the bullpen better in a few weeks; also Tony Zych who came back shortly before Cishek should help as well. The bullpen has been the sore spot for the Mariners so far this season however we hope things will get better.
When it comes to the position players the real position that needs upgrading and we all know the answer is catcher. Currently Mike Zunino who started the season as the regular catcher was sent down to Tacoma because he was striking out way too often. He was named recently as PCL player of the week however I don’t think he is ready to resume his place as the everyday catcher. The problem is the two catchers who are platooning Chico Ruiz and Tuffy Gosewisch are doing fine defensively but the offense is not any better under them than Zunino. I am sure that Zunino will be back up in a few weeks or sooner however it would be nice if the Mariners could go out and upgrade at the catcher’s position. Of course with the injuries to the starting rotation the Mariners have had other priorities. I am sure though if there was someone out there to improve the catching they would so. A major problem is that there are not many catchers that would upgrade the Mariners however if Zunino isn’t able to improve when he is called up once again the Mariners will have to look at finding someone. The thing is the solution probably won’t happen until after the season.
It will be nice to see Robinson Cano and Mitch Haniger come off the disabled list when the Mariners go on their next road trip next week. Also James Paxton should be ready to go soon as well however they expect him to make at least one rehab assignment.
In the meantime if the Mariners can stay around the five hundred mark than they will be in good shape. On the positive side they are exciting to watch though the pitching can be aggravating. Go M’s.