The Mariners went 5-2 this week to get back to .500. They swept the Detroit Tigers in a four-gamer series and managed to win a game against perhaps the best team in baseball in the Houston Astros. This week saw the return of Seattle’s leadoff hitter in Jean Segura and King Felix Hernandez.
At one point this week, the Mariners were two games above .500 for the first time this year. With an off day on Monday, the M’s sit at 39-39, two games back of a Wild Card spot. According to FiveThirtyEight MLB Predictions, the Mariners now have a 33% chance of making the playoffs, up from 23% last week.
The Mariners averaged 6.3 runs per game in the games against the Tigers and Astros. Seattle bludgeoned Detroit, swatting eight home runs in the four-game series.
Ben Gamel continues his hot-streak, hitting .346 with two home runs and a 1.000 OPS in six games this past week. In Tuesday’s 5-4 victory over the Tigers, Gamel went three for five with a home run, a double and two runs scored.
Mike Zunino is starting to show he can be somewhat consistent, despite perhaps an average below .250. His average is up to .247. He put on a show on a nationally televised game on Monday. He banged out two home runs and drove in four as the Mariners started their successful week by beating Detroit 6-2.
Robinson Cano has struggled lately but he did have a big outburst against the Astros on Friday night. He hit two home runs, including his 11th career grand slam. He drove in six runs in the 13-3 thrashing of Houston. He was second in all of baseball with 11 RBI this week.
The 13-3 undressing of Houston on Friday was thanks to Seattle’s 16 hits including three home runs. Everyone chipped in as six different Mariners had multi-hit games.
The pitching staff posted a 4.50 ERA this week. Although he allowed six earned runs on four home runs in two starts this week, Ariel Miranda went at least seven innings in each start. That is all the Mariners ask of Miranda: go deep in a ballgame to lighten the bullpen’s load and give the team a chance to win late. He did that.
Sam Gaviglio also made two starts this week, allowing four runs in 11 innings and doing what Miranda did, giving the team a chance to win. Seattle won his first start in Monday’s 6-2 win.
James Paxton is still a point of concern. In 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday, he allowed four runs (three earned) and struck out 8. He still is showing a lack of the pinpoint control he displayed before his trip to the disabled list.
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The two stories of the pitching staff this week were Andrew Moore’s major league debut and the triumphant return of Felix Hernandez. Moore started Thursday’s game against Detroit. He pitched a solid seven innings, allowing three runs with no walks and four strikeouts. It was a very encouraging debut for the M’s #4 prospect.
Felix was not dominant, but solid in his return on Friday but thanks to 13 runs of support, he earned his 157th career win. He went six innings, allowed three runs, and struck out six. It was an encouraging outing by Seattle’s all-time strikeouts and wins leader.
The bullpen left something to be desired, especially during the weekend against Houston. James Pazos allowed four runs in just 2/3 innings in Sunday’s meltdown. On the bright side, Steve Cishek is trending the right direction, allowing just one run in four appearances. Edwin Diaz notched a save this week as well.
The Mariners committed a season-high six errors this week. They dropped from 11th in Defensive Runs Saved to 15th at +6. They also stole just three bases and were caught twice.
There also was a few base running errors mixed in. Not the sharpest week of defense but going 5-2 will help alleviate that.
Player of the Week: Ben Gamel (.346, 2 HRs, 5 RBI, 1.000 OPS)