Game two concluded last night, and unfortunately, our Seattle Mariners are down 2-0 in the best-of-five division series against the Houston Alvarez’s, I mean, Astros. Kyle Tucker started the scoring with a ceiling-scraper home run off Luis Castillo in the second inning. The Mariners grabbed the lead back with a throwing error by Framber Valdez and an RBI single by Dylan Moore. Yordan Alveraz struck again in the bottom of the six with an impressive home run to the opposite field. They extended their lead by an extra run thanks to Alex Bregman’s single. Going back to Game One, the Mariners beat up Cy Young front-runner Justin Verlander for six runs over the first four innings, only to have their lead erased by a walk-off three-run home run by Yordan Alvarez off of Robbie Ray. Yes, the starting pitcher Robbie Ray.
Momentum for Game Three:
These two games have been close. Going into this series, the Astros had the third-best offense in the American League. The Mariners are competing with the Astros in scoring, thanks to Carlos Santana, Eugenio Suarez, and Julio Rodriguez. The Mariners are also excelling in getting on base. In Game Two, the Mariners walked seven times and could have gotten more walks if not for some questionable strike calls (see Cal Raleigh’s last at-bat).
The starting pitching has been great as well. The two starters, Logan Gilbert and Luis Castillo, each gave up three runs. In Game One, Logan Gilbert, in his first postseason appearance, only gave up five hits over 5.1 innings, which is excellent for a rookie. In Game Two, Luis Castillo held the Astros to five hits over seven innings.
The Mariners have left thirteen people on base, with nine coming in Game Two. Also, in Game Two, the Mariners were 1-6 with runners in scoring position. In watching the games, though, it hasn’t been the fault of the Mariners at the plate. Here are some examples:
- Top of the 3rd inning, JP Crawford on second, Julio Rodriguez grounds a ball up the middle. Thanks to the shift, Jose Altuve is there to field, as he’s going away from the first basemen. He jump-throws to first, barely getting out Rodriguez.
- Top of the 8th inning, Taylor Trammell pinch runs for Carlos Santana on first, Cal Raleigh takes strike three on a pitch that was at about his shins and away from the plate.
- Top of the 9th inning, Adam Frazier on first, JP Crawford hits a liner directly at first basemen Yuli Gurriel, turning into a double play.
The bullpen has also been lackluster, given Munoz and Sewald’s reputation going into the postseason. Between the two, their line is 2.2 innings pitched, five hits, three earned runs, two walks, and two strikeouts. This was the Mariners’ most stable part of the team through the year, winning many one-run games thanks to these guys.
We head back to Seattle for Game Three on Saturday, where the Mariners will throw George Kirby. As I mentioned earlier, Kirby rarely walks batters, so giving up the eventual Yordan Alvarez will have minimal damage on the scoreboard. Look for the Mariners to be more aggressive at the plate on Saturday, sacrificing those walks from Game Two. They will be up against Lance McCullers, who features one of the best curveballs in the game. All it takes is for one of those to hang or bounce with a runner on third for the Mariners to grab the lead.