The Mariners earned a series win over the Minnesota Twins over the weekend after a 4-3 win on a difficult day for MLB.
Yesterday, Mariners‘ starting pitcher Taijuan Walker took the mound after learning that star pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident with a heavy heart. In the end, Walker earned a win to honor Fernandez, who Walker says he looked up to. Any player killed during the prime of his life is tragic, but for Fernandez, who emigrated to the US from Cuba and battled through injuries to become one of the best pitchers in MLB, the loss is excruciating and the reverberations are being felt all over baseball.
Walker eked out a close 4-3 win over Minnesota to keep the Mariners in the playoff hunt. Mariners’ designated hitter Nelson Cruz hit two home runs, but he was taken out of the game with a wrist injury in the eighth inning. The injury is supposed to be minor and will allow Cruz to play still tonight against the Houston Astros.
The Mariners blew out Minnesota 10-1 in the first game of the series and dropped the second game 3-2. With the Mariners needing a series win, it was up to Walker to keep the Twins at bay. He worked his way out of trouble at times, notably in the fourth inning yesterday, when he stranded two runners with a strikeout.
The Mariners travel to Houston to again face the Astros, who lurk a half-game behind Seattle in the Wild Card standings. The M’s are 2.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles and need to jump over the Detroit Tigers to reach the birds. With seven games left, those 2.5 games loom large. Two series remain this season: a huge three-game set with Houston starting tonight at 5:10 pm, and a four-game series at home against Oakland. The Mariners are going to have to win six or all of these games to cut into that 2.5 game lead down the stretch. Let’s go!