The Mariners had the opportunity to win three games against the Tampa Bay Rays especially when Yovani Gallardo pitched an unusual good game.
I am sure Mariner fans continue to be frustrated because the Mariners can’t get along when they go above the five hundred mark by a couple games and can’t hit against a pitcher who has been struggling most of the season. Blake Snell who is a native of Seattle did have incentive to do well against his hometown team. He gave up only two hits, walked two and struck out eight. A very good performance especially for the Mariners offense that have a hard time hitting against pitchers who are having a subpar season; manager Scott Servais did make the lineup right handed hitting heavy since Snell is a left. Only lefties in the lineup were Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel. The Mariners had Taylor Motter inserted in the lineup in place of Kyle Seager. Motter was recalled and activated before the game.
The two hits that came off of Snell were both singles by Cano and Cruz. It was interesting that Danny Valencia who started because he is platooning now with Yonder Alonso at first base struck out all three times he faced Snell.
Gallardo pitched as I said before a good game he did give a home run to lead off the game and then again in the seventh inning with a runner on base. Those are where the Rays got all three runs scored in the game. It makes me still wonder what the Mariners era would be if they didn’t give up so many home runs. The Mariners could have replaced Gallardo in the seventh inning before giving up the home run however Servais decided to leave him in the game. Though the Mariners have seven relief pitchers on the staff right now you would have thought they could have brought in a pitcher before Gallardo gave up the home run. After the home run the Mariners brought in left specialist Marc Rzepczynski to face center fielder Kiermaier who let off the game with a home run. Kiermaier and Lucas Duda who batter after each other both are left handed hitters. We can guess that Servais wanted to save a right handed pitcher before facing those two. It is hard to say whether things would have been different if the Mariners had brought in another pitcher before Marc R.
On the positive note the Mariners did win the series two games to one and only used two relief pitchers in the game. Casey Lawrence pitched the eighth inning for the Mariners since they were behind 3-0 the same as the final score. The Mariners did get the chance in the ninth inning to at least tie the game but it was not meant to happen.
Now the Mariners go to Atlanta to face the Braves. Since it is interleague game there is no designated hitter used in a national league park. Personally I believe that the national league rules should be used in the American League parks and vice versa in the National League parks. It would make it interesting for the fans to see the games that way. Speaking of no designated hitter that means likely Nelson Cruz won’t be in the starting lineup unless Servais decides to put him in right field which most likely won’t happen or won’t happen in all three games anyway. He will be available for pinch hitting duties for sure. This will depend on how the games go for the Mariners.
The Mariners will start Andrew Albers against his old team the Braves on Monday night. He will be facing Mike Foltynewicz a right handed pitcher for the Braves having a winning record of 10-8. He does have a high era though of 4.75 so the Mariners may be able to get to him. It would be interesting to see if the Mariners struggle for the second game in a row though. Be really nice to win the first game of the series so the Mariners can look toward winning another series. We will see how it goes. Let’s go M’s.