Seven runs a game was so odd the first time it happened. Well, it wasn’t the first time ever, but it was the first time in weeks and weeks and weeks. Now, it’s just something the Seattle Mariners do every couple of days. The M’s scored thrice against Rick Porcello in the second, then tacked on a run per frame for the next three innings before capping their night with a run in the ninth. It was what, a week ago that we were wondering if this team was even capable of this? Yes, it turns out, they are very, very capable.
That second inning onslaught was the product of five straight men reaching base. Kyle Seager started it off with a single. Mike Zunino was then hit by a pitch, and that’s just his version of drawing a walk (he has as many HBP this year as he does free passes). Singles from Logan Morrison and Endy Chavez scored the first two runs, Chris Taylor singled to load the bases, and Austin Jackson grounded into an RBI double play. Detroit loves him still, by the way. He got cheers and everything!
Robinson Cano hit a home run leading off the third. LoMo doubled in the fourth and scored on a Taylor single. Taylor’s average is creeping back towards .400, amazingly. Cano singled in the fifth and scored on Seager’s second hit of the game. The weirdest run of the game was easily in the ninth, when Taylor was picked off – allowing Brad Miller to score from third. Both were playing at that point because Cano left in the eighth with a minor foot injury. Miller’s been getting some time at second lately, to little fanfare. I guess what’s important is that he can be defensively versatile, since his new shortstop competitor has twice his batting average.
James Paxton took the hill and was brilliant, living off the ground ball out for six innings. He only struck out two batters, but got ten outs on the ground while allowing one solitary run. He walked one and allowed five base hits, limiting the Tigers opportunities to do anything against him. Tom Wilhelmsen, Dominic Leone, and Danny Farquhar each pitched an inning and did exactly what you’d expect them to do. This Mariners team isn’t half bad!
This was the most important game of the Mariners season. That’s true, and it’s going to keep being true virtually every day until the Mariners have successfully clinched a playoff spot. The Detroit Tigers may be playing poorly right now, but they’re still the Detroit Tigers, and it seems like just yesterday they were considered one of the very best teams in the game. Like they did against Toronto, the M’s opened this critical series in dominant fashion to knock their competitor down a peg. That’s becoming a trademark of this team. It’s important to remember that “this team” is the 2014 Seattle Mariners. Wow. What?!
Felix Hernandez vs. David Price today at 4:08pm. The Mariners are currently eleven games over .500, and that much hasn’t been true in seven years. A win today would further propel them forward, as there wouldn’t be a single other team within a game of their playoff spot. This season, Price has the same ERA as Chris Young. This season, Felix has a better ERA than most closers. Go M’s.