Last night I took the night off and went to visit some bubble friends to eat Thai food (the only cuisine I feel impossible to satisfactorily replicate at home) and play games not located on the computer and it was a short jolt of normality. But then I got in the car to drive home and the moment I passed the Seattle city limits I could feel the smoke haze go down, and then today I woke up to an angry ocher sky and angry cats that don’t understand why. I can not go out and anger and another day spent in the house staring at the same four walls. So it was very kind of the Mariners to provide a distracting bright spot ̵
The odds were pretty high against the Mariners: Firstly, Justus Sheffield had yet to win an away game this season (or in his career!); secondly, the Mariners faced Zac Gallen, who has been one of the best pitchers in the Netherlands this shortened season. Gallen hadn’t given up more than three runs in one start in his entire career, setting an MLB record, before the Giants came to him on his last start, setting the maximum score at four. Today the Mariners, after looking like they were rocking pixy stix in the last few games, hung four runs on Gallen in his first inning alone. Baseball!
Despite Gallen doing Dylan Moore, spotted a poor beating shit hitter, looking foolish on a disgusting curve ball to start the game, two-hole hitter Ty France got a smashing ball hanging in a 0-1 count and did what you’re supposed to do with a loopy floopy swooper:
This seemed to make some Gallen nervous, who continued to struggle with his command, making Seager walk and then serving a double RBI on another switch suspended at Marmolejos, which brought the pain by tattooing a shot deep in the gap in the Arizona outfield. , scoring a smashing Seager first. Gallen struggled to land his cutter, his fastball leaking out and his cracking balls didn’t have much bite. He accompanied Evan White on a 3-2 tally and then Luís Torrens racked up his first RBI as a Mariner, turning around 96 in his hands:
That was the third hit in the inning and they, uh, weren’t a hard hit:
The Mariners added in the second, as Gallen continued to show some frustration with both the home plate area and his shaky lead. He loaded the bases on two singles to Phillip Ervin and Ty France and then walked the Kyles consecutively to mark the fifth heat of the day for the Mariners. However, that would be all the damage the Mariners could do in that inning. The lack of that KO punch when given the opportunity to do so has been a troubling theme of the 2020 Mariners.
Justus Sheffield, wearing his chopsticks for chef’s hats, worked three strong innings before running into trouble in the fourth, when his lead apparently abandoned him. The trouble began with an 87 mph shift from Nick Ahmed firing into the center of the field, followed by a five-shot walk towards Christian Walker. After a brief visit to the mound, Sheffield appeared to be recovering, getting Eduardo Escobar on a 0-2 tally, but the veteran stooped to hit a center-field change. Then Wyatt Mathisen, who is apparently an MLB player and not a Confederate general, swung on Sheffield’s first roll – the change again, right in the middle of the pot – to hit a single through the 5/6 hole and score two. . A staggering Sheffield would then have accompanied Josh VanMeter on four shots, provoking a visit to the mound, but then bounced to hit Carson Kelly swinging on a high fastball and convince Pavin Smith, in his MLB debut, to the ground to finish the innings, limiting the damage.
With a refreshing change of pace, however, the Mariners offense picked Sheffield into fifth place; Seager took a four-pitch walk and then Jose Marmolejos kicked this ball off muy lejos:
This is a 106.8 EV, 412 feet, to restore the Mariners lead to five runs. Marmo likes it. To refresh your memory: The Mariners hung seven runs on Zac Gallen, who had never previously given up more than four in his MLB career. It’s okay to eat.
Encouraged by his offense, Justus Sheffield went back in fifth and got two quick flyouts but then tried to get too cute with Christian Walker, trying to slam him in with a quick ball on a 1-2 count for the strikeout but ended up hitting him instead of. Use the sliderrrrrrrr, Justus. It’s super effective! He would have retired Escobar with a flyball soon after, however, and then in the sixth, with the pitch count increasing, Justus would have got his declaratory inning, hitting the side on 11 shots, two swinging. He worked so fast that he was granted a seventh inning of work for his second straight start, although even when his number of shots went up in the 90s, Sheff was still pumping 93-94 on his fastball. A sneaky fast Tim Locastro hit an infield hit on a slow reel, but other than that Sheff was not touched, he didn’t let a ball come out of the infield as he put away the bottom of the D-Back lineup. I complained in the thread that I feel like I’m just recapping Justus Sheffield’s beginning, but as they’re usually pretty good games, I should probably shut my ungrateful mouth.
The D-Backs would get another run when Kendall Graveman eventually replaced Sheffield and Christian Walker opened the innings with a double, and then Arizona was able to throw another run through, but other than that Graveman and Hirano have finished putting the bow to Justus’ very well wrapped gift. Who knows if he knows how to do that thing where the ribbon crosses all four corners of the package? I’ve never learned that.
The smoke goes nowhere for a while, and sadly, neither do the Mariners. But tonight was a nice palate cleanser after some really uninspiring leaks, like drinking a glass of cold water after quitting the smoke. Be safe, everyone.
Click Here for a link to donate to the Red Cross to help people affected by Western fires, including ways to help specific communities.
- It’s not all rosy news tonight, unfortunately. The Kyles went to zero tonight, even though Seager accepted his Nightly Kyle Seager Walks (2). KLew, unfortunately, continued to lose ground in the ROY match as his slump continued with two strikeouts and two GIDPs. Ouch.
Donovan Walton had three AB’s tonight and got the first pitch out swinging in two of them. For a guy who stood out at summer camp for being the most annoying who saw a lot of pitching, does that seem like a less than ideal approach? I’m just spitting here.
- Dylan Moore was blocked by Zac Gallen and Yoan Lopez’s vile but predictable plan to feed him all the balls. He saved his night when Joel Payamps made the bad decision of throwing him a high fastball which BamBam promptly shot in the middle.
- Evan White didn’t hit tonight, but he burned the third most hit ball of the game at 106 mph EV (.700 xBA); unfortunately, he was quite an outfielder.
- Speaking of balls hit, Luís Torrens had four balls in play tonight; three were hit above 100 mph. If you want to read more about how hard it has been to hit the Torrens ball lately, well conveniently I have it for you right here!
- Now for the opposite of that. Phillip Ervin was lucky with a double check-swing that snuck down the RF line at 55.2 mph, not only the softest ball of the night, but also the softest extra base hit in MLB this season. Hey, it goes down like 2B in the log.
- Top Potential Pavin Smith made his MLB debut tonight for Arizona and recorded his first MLB success against Hirano in the ninth, a grounder who found grass on the left side. He also had the fifth most hit ball of the game, a defender’s pick / knockout in the third.