Seattle Mariners continue to be fun team with fights in them, beat Red Sox in 7-6 win
Let’s drop all our pretense, and all our pomp. The Seattle Mariners won a game against the Boston Red Sox, who had beaten them seven straight. The Seattle Mariners won a game where they fell behind not once, not twice, but three times. They won a game where they allowed six runs on eight hits and allowed three homers. They were down, and until their last out, their last strike, and they still won against the Boston Red Sox, beating them 7-6.
You can call it Chaos Ball. You can call it grit, or non-quit. Call it what you want, I just call it fun baseball. This 2022 Mariners team wears its heart on its sleeve, just like their fandom. I am no exception to this. I’ve been a lifelong fan well into my thirties, and can say with a clear head and a full heart, this is the funniest Mariners team I’ve ever seen.
This team has been fun, all year, even through several of their losses. One of their biggest weaknesses has been getting their different parts to work in sync. Let’s go over tonight’s game one by one with these different parts, starting with the pitching. Seattle’s starting pitcher was twenty-four-year-old rookie George Kirby. Last night was certainly not his biggest outing of his seven starts so far, nor his worst. In five innings, he was scored for five runs, three of which were earned, on six hits. He gave up two circuits. He struck out four and only walked one.
One of Kirby’s greatest assets is his command, and a look at his pitch board from last night shows you he had room to improve. A little too often, his breakup cases remained unresolved in the zone. He first ran into trouble in the first inning after leadoff hitter Trevor Story was able to reach an error by JP Crawford, who mishandled a groundout and couldn’t play. Two pitches later, Rafael Devers sent a fastball that caught too much plate over the wall to put the Red Sox in place early.
Xander Bogaerts was the next batter to reach base, but with a single. But then the Boston batters used a combination of small ball and Kirby’s inattention to the runners, to get Xander Bogaerts to first steal second, then reach third on an Alex Verdugo pitch, and finally to score on a single by Christian Vázquez. Somewhat frustratingly, Kirby also allowed Vázquez to steal second base, but it was tied when Franchy Cordero pulled out to end the inning.
Kirby was then dialed out over the next three innings. He struck out two in the second and allowed just one single, and in the third and fourth innings he faced the minimum and racked up one strikeout in each. In the fifth inning, he allowed his only walk of the game and was immediately punished for it when JD Martinez hit a home run, putting the Mariners behind for the second time in the game. But I said this game, and this team was fun? Kirby may have matched his season high for points allowed at five, but he fought back. He threw sixty-seven of his ninety-seven pitches for strikes. It’s exactly what you would expect from a young pitcher making his season debut. After tonight, he still has an excellent 20.1 K-BB%, thanks in large part to his 2.6% walk rate, which is good for second-best in the league among all pitchers with at least thirty innings pitched. Its WHIP is 1.14. It’s not just fun, it’s exactly what the Mariners expect of him. Here are his four strikeouts of the night.
After Kirby left the game, the bullpen did everything they could to keep the Mariners in the game. Penn Murfee continued to be stellar, striking out two and allowing no runners in his work inning. New face Ryan Borucki faced the minimum in the seventh, allowing Story to single, but inducing a double play to end the inning. Diego Castillo then pitched the eighth inning and continued his recent streak of reliability with a 1-2-3 inning, including forcing Bogaerts to strike while swinging on a dirty two-seam fastball that cut deep inside . Paul Sewald came in ninth and was able to run Vázquez down and then pull Cordero out, but ended up leaving too many sliders in the middle of the zone against Bobby Dalbec who hit a home run to put the Red Sox in place. for the third time in the game.
Much has been made of Winker’s questionable defense, but it was an admirable effort on his part and he managed to put a glove on the ball, but not bring it back with him. That was all they could get and Sewald ended the first half of the inning by having Jackie Bradley Jr. swing.
Enter, the Mariners offense. The Red Sox couldn’t have taken a three-time lead if Seattle hadn’t fought back and fought back. They fought back immediately in the first set. First Ty France reached on an error, then Rookie of the Year candidate Julio Rodríguez moved France to second base with a single. After JP Crawford singled to right field, extending his hitting streak to six games, the bases were loaded with one out. Now, for most baseball teams, that would be a fortuitous development. For the Mariners, there’s something about one, scenario-laden bases that have been their kryptonite-killing rally.
Luckily for Seattle, Chaos Ball didn’t make the roster, but he showed up ready to play. Eugenio Suárez came up to bat, and the pitch that gave him a full count was equally wild, scoring France and advancing Julio and JP to third and second, respectively. After Eugenio drew the walk, Adam Frazier decided to have fun with an RBI single, and suddenly the Mariners were trailing by just one. Red Sox starter Michael Wacha was able to stop the bleeding and finished the inning by bringing out Abraham Toro and Taylor Trammell on strikes.
The Mariners then struck in the second inning. Jesse Winker singled off a line to right field, his only hit of the night, but it was instrumental in what happened two batters later. Two hitters later, Julio Rodríguez, undeniably and undeniably fun. Wacha left a fastball in the area and Julio hit it for a two-point blast.
After tonight’s match, Julio is now tied with his RoY rival Jeremy Peña in wRC+ at 123. If JRod continues his pace of play, things are going to be very interesting when it comes to voting. Now, I mentioned that the Red Sox took the lead a number of times, and by the time the Mariners scored again, they were indeed up, five runs to four after Kirby’s snafu in fifth. But the Mariners? They kept coming back. The heart of the order certainly had its part to play, but believe me when I say that the heart of this team is in every place of this formation. They beat in unison; they succeed or fail together. In the end, the heroes of tonight’s game came not from the heart of the order, but from the bottom of it.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of doubts about Abraham Toro lately in the comments and the speech. Part of me understands, he’s been streaked, and lately the streak is colder than hot. Luckily for all of us, Toro doesn’t have eyes for enemies, and instead has eyes for slamming the clutch. First, he contributed with an RBI double in the seventh, scoring JP Crawford and tying the game. It was inches away from being a home run.
I’ve already mentioned the unfortunate home run given up by Sewald in the top of the ninth inning that gave the Red Sox their third lead of the night, and Toro, well, he had to take it personally. When ATOB (Abraham Toro, Our Beloved) ties a game, he expects it to stay tied, at least. From the heart of the order in front of him, Julio had failed, JP Crawford drew the walk, Eugenio Suárez picked and Frazier lined up. The runners were first and second, and there were two outs. Toro started the 0-2 at bat. The Mariners were on what could have been their final out and strike. Never doubt Toro when he has the eyes. He brought it back to an even count, then when Hansel Robles left a change in the upper end of the zone, he did.
Now draws, as we all know, don’t win games, but it kept them alive. Luckily, the Ms didn’t just want to tie him up, they wanted Moore. Dylan Moore, that is, who had a crush on Taylor Trammell earlier in the game. DMo, having seen Toro’s strategy of starting the game at 0-2, thought he would try it for himself. On the third pitch, a mid-mid slider, Moore swooped it wide to left center for the game-winning RBI single.
It was a win the Mariners needed to end a losing streak against the Red Sox. The one they needed to retain the ability to continue their streak of streak wins. A win that fans at T-Mobile Park, and indeed anywhere there are Mariners fans, needed to know this team is a fun team, a team to watch, a team with struggle. I said it earlier this year and I will say it again now. This is not the same old sailors. I will not make any promises for the playoffs. I won’t make any guesses as to the ups or downs to come for this season. But I know in my heart, which may be foolishly refusing to fall in love with this team, that if they keep fighting even half as hard as last night, it’s going to be a wild ride worth beating. taken with them. We have to love these guys.