Justin Smoak Justin Smoak

Mariners Win Big In Anaheim, Are So Totally In This Thing


The starting pitcher lasted three innings. Justin Smoak, Corey Hart, and James Jones all played. Albert Pujols had a big RBI hit. Sounds like all the makings of another soul-crushing Seattle Mariners loss, right? Wrong! Well, right, for sure right, but the final score tells an entirelty different story.

The M’s destroyed the Los Angeles Angels by a score of 13-2 tonight. Roenis Elias left with elbow tightness, and one notes that the team is watching his innings right now. This was almost certainly a precautionary move, both to preserve Elias’s health and the M’s chances of winning. The young lefty started his night by plunking the leadoff man, then went on to allow two runs on five hits and a walk with only one strikeout. Next up came six scoreless bullpen innings. Elias’s maybe-injury simply allowed the team to highlight their biggest strength.

But those thirteen runs. Remember how the Mariners couldn’t score to save their lives over the last two days? I mean, I know it happened, but I sure can’t remember it right now. Losing 2-0 through four innings, the M’s erupted for four runs in the fifth. They batted around in that inning and the next, during which they tacked on an additional six tallies to make it 10-2. By the time they were playing add-on in the seventh and ninth most of the starters had been replaced. Lucas Luetge pitched the ninth. Yeah, this was a blowout win.

Pick a slumping hitter you wanted to see signs of life from, and odds are he made you happy tonight. Austin Jackson had two more strikeouts, but he also had a big single and a sac fly. Kyle Seager had two hits. Kendrys Morales had two hits! Mike Zunino had two hits and looked great at the plate. Chris Taylor had a pair of hits. Every starter had a hit, and so did most of the bench. Fantastic. Best-case scenario fantastic kind of game.

Perhaps most importantly, everyone else lost. Oakland lost. Detroit lost. Kansas City lost! The Angels lost, obviously. The Mariners were two back today, and now today they’re one back with one game less left to play. Also, KC still has to finish playing half an inning’s worth of baseball in a nearly-completed game in which they are trailing. Yesterday the Mariners were doomed. Today they are so totally in this thing.

James Paxton vs. C.J. Wilson tomorrow at 7:05. Paxton is almost certainly a better pitcher than Wilson. Paxton’s a rookie and Wilson’s on a $75 million contract. Go Mariners.