Another day, another baseball game. Another baseball game, another victory. Another series, another sweep. So it goes for the 2013 Mariners, powerful and infallible, the hottest team on the planet. To be fair there are lots and lots of teams playing various sports and things right now, as always, and I have no real way of knowing if that statement is true.
What we do know is that Seattle just won consecutive game number six, which is the most of any team in the major leagues of baseball. They swept the Angels, and now they’ve swept the Astros. Both AL West foes, no less, but also both weak and pitiful. Especially compared to the Mighty Mariners. To the juicy details!
Friday, July 19 – Mariners 10, Astros 7
The Astros are an easy team to tee off against, what with their hilariously awful pitching staff and all. Going against de facto ace Bud Norris, the Mariners, and Brad Miller in particular, did just that, plating an “easy” six runs before adding four more against the Houston pen. Miller had himself a night to remember, blasting a pair of home runs off of Norris and former M’s first rounder Josh Fields. Remember Josh Fields? Remember when Bill Bavasi ran the team and made a habit of using first round picks on relievers? Remember how none of those first round relievers ever even got good?
The key to this game was, of course, the ineptitude of Houston’s pitchers, who walked eight and gave up four dingers. The two non-Miller bombs were hit by Kyle Seager and Justin Smoak. Dingers! Ding bats! Lost in all the fun was Brandon Barnes hitting for the cycle, then adding an infield single for good measure. Barnes plays center field for the Astros and you have never heard of him before. Joe Saunders pitched and was mediocre, then the bullpen pitched and was piss poor. But forget about that! Ten runs of offense! M’s win woooo!
Saturday, July 20 – Mariners 4, Astros 2
This was an exceptionally weird game, as the Mariners cruised despite being one-hit by Erik Bedard and company. Bedard actually left with a no-hitter intact after six and a third innings, but 109 pitches are 109 pitches. He walked five, but struck out ten. The Mariners offense might be looking good as of late, but it’s still the Mariners offense.
The runs came on a sacrifice fly, a passed ball, and a two-run Michael Saunders double. The lack of Astros runs came because Hisashi Iwakuma was brilliant, striking out seven over seven innings while walking only two and allowing but two measly little runs. Charlie Furbush and Tom Wilhelmsen pitched clean eights and ninths, respectively, and the Mariners won. Because they scored four runs, while being one-hit. That doesn’t happen often, for the record. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
Sunday, July 21 – Mariners 12, Astros 5
A dominant win on Felix Day, the Mariners again teed off against a crappy Astros staff en route to double-digit scores. Jordan Lyles started for the Astros and was awful before being relieved by disgraced former starter Lucas Harrell, who was also awful. Felix started for the M’s and struck out seven in six frames while walking one. Bobby LaFramboise pitched an unspeakably awful ninth inning, but things never got “scary” because the Mariners started the frame with an eleven-run lead. The offense clicked once again, as Dustin Ackley had three (!) hits and Nick Franklin capped a seven-run second inning with a big ol’ grand slam. Saunders and Ibanez added doubles and the Mariners rolled. Felix Day. Big win. Everyone goes home happy.
UP NEXT: Indians @ Mariners
The Cleveland Indians come to town to take on the suddenly-awesome Seattle Mariners. A brief summary of the Indians year: the second-best team in the AL Central, the Indians have been carried by a strong offense and an oft-overperforming pitching staff. Jason Kipnis is breaking out, while the additions of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn have paid dividends. Justin Masterson is having a great year, but overall roster inconsistency and streakiness has led to a season that must be pretty frustrating if you care deeply about the Indians, which seems enormously unlikely. Pitching matchups: Aaron Harang vs. Ubaldo Jimenez, Erasmo Ramirez vs. Zach McAllister, Joe Saunders vs. Scott Kazmir. Sweep! Sweep! Sweep!