Remember yesterday when I said that Brandon Maurer vs. Jake Odorizzi was all but bound to be a slugfest? I lied. Or rather, I guessed and was completely wrong. Odorizzi was brilliant, striking out seven over six innings and limiting the Seattle Mariners to one hit. Jake McGhee pitched an inning and didn’t allow a hit. Joel Peralta kept the M’s off the board. Grant Balfour locked down the save with a perfect ninth, and the shutout was done. The opposite of a slugfest is a shutout where the winning team barely scores, or does anything. So we can at least take solace in the fact that the Tampa Bay Rays looked pretty inept against the Mariners pitchers, too.
Which is not to say that Maurer’s outing was any good. It was pretty crappy, actually. The righty was pulled with two outs in the fourth, having run his pitch count up to 84 with barely half of those pitches going for strikes. Maurer did get three strikeouts in his brief outing, but paid for them with four walks. Yiiiiiikes! He was pulled with most of the game to go after walking in a run. Dominic Leone came in next and unleashed a run-scoring wild pitch, but settled down to notch five strikeouts over the next 2.1 innings. Leone is… good? For the time being, at least? Relief pitchers are so weird. What weirdos.
James Jones “led” the offense with a single and a walk. Jones has a fun player profile and while he’s not and never will be a power hitter, he’s the kind of guy who can be impossible not to fall in love with when he’s hitting everything like he has been lately. Dustin Ackley doubled and continues to be lively and productive. Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager drew walks, which is neat. Cano still has one homer on the year. Sorry! Another Brad Miller 0-fer. So who’s it gonna be, Nick Franklin or Chris Taylor? Say what you will about the Mariners’ prospect problems, but at least they’ve given themselves options.
Chris Young vs. Kyle Gibson at 5:10pm in Minneapolis tomorrow. The Mariners are back to .500, just like seemingly every other team. The Texas Rangers just lost Martin Perez and Matt Harrison, potentially (probably?) for the season. The most snakebitten team in the division – or the league, really, and maybe in all of MLB – just keeps reeling with injury after injury. The Mariners get to play a bad Twins team for three days before heading to Arlington. The season’s a quarter of the way through, and things just got even more interesting with the Rangers losing 40% of their rotation. This would be a great time for an opportunistic Seattle hot streak.