Cardinals 7, Mariners 3
(Seattle, WA) With the series already wrapped up, the Seattle Mariners looked to close out the homestand the same way they started it, with a sweep. With the Sunday cream jerseys on and the offense humming along, the Mariners had an ok day at the plate but that wouldn’t be enough. The St. Louis Cardinals bats finally came alive and exploded for 13 hits as the Mariners dropped the finale to the Red Birds 7-3.
Pitch number one got the Cardinals on the board. Lars Nootbaar cranked his second home run of the season to make it 1-0 immediately. A couple of singles from Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Gorman followed to put runners on the corners before the Mariners ever recorded an out. Seattle traded a run for a double play as Nolan Arenado struck out swinging and Gorman was thrown out by Cal Raleigh trying to steal second. Goldschmidt trotted home on the throw to second to make it 2-0 but that killed the inning for St. Louis.
A base running mistake by rookie Jordan Walker kept the score the same heading into the bottom of the 2nd. Jarred Kelenic for the second straight game drove a first pitch down and in the other way for a solo shot to left field. Kelenic’s continued use of the entire field keeps highlighting his improvements and home run number six continued his incredible April. It also got the M’s on the board trailing 2-1.
That would not be all for the Mariners in the 2nd. A two out single by Kolten Wong followed by a double by J.P. Crawford put runners on second and third with the top of the Mariner order coming to the plate. Julio Rodriguez drew a walk to load the bases for Ty France. After a rough first two games of the series, France came through in the finale. A groundball found its way through the left side of the infield and into left field for a base hit. Both Wong and Crawford scored easily and an errant throw by Tyler O’Neill let Rodriguez move to third and France to second. More importantly, the base hit gave the Mariners a 3-2 lead. A bases loaded strikeout by Cal Raleigh two batters later ended the big inning but not before Seattle turned the game in their favor.
Chris Flexen’s struggles continued in the top of the 3rd. A couple of walks to Paul Goldschmidt and Willson Contreras wasn’t too scary with two outs but once again the Mariners opponents cashed in on a two out opportunity. Former Mariner, Tyler O’Neill, smashed one right up the middle for a base hit to score Goldschmidt and tie the game at 3-3. Flexen would get Paul DeJong to groundout to end the inning to at least keep the game tied.
Defense faltered in the top of the 4th and that dealt a big blow to the Mariners. With runners on first and second with one out, reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt hit a bullet right at J.P. Crawford. The Gold Glove winning shortstop hauled it in and threw it to Kolten Wong covering second for what looked like an inning ending double play. The ball instead went off the side of Wong’s glove for an unofficial error and the inning stayed alive. The next batter, Nolan Gorman, continued his great start to the season with his sixth home run of the season. The extra life for the Cardinals is all they needed to take a 6-3 lead.
The Red Birds weren’t done with the long ball. Freshly activated of the IL, Paul DeJong found his way into the home run and RBI column for the Cardinals in 2023. DeJong took Diego Castillo deep for his first home run of the season to extend the Cardinal lead to 7-3 in the 7th.
Seattle’s only threat against the St. Louis bullpen came in the bottom of the 7th. With Kolten Wong on second and Julio on first, Ty France couldn’t come up with the big hit this time around. A 6-4-3 double play ended the Mariner threat and that would be the last gasp for the M’s. Four of the last six Mariner hitters struck out as they fell short of the sweep dropping the finale to the Cardinals 7-3.
Seattle (10-12) will get Monday off before starting a nine-game road trip on Tuesday. The first stop will be in Philadelphia for a three-game series with the reigning NL champions in the Phillies. Game one is scheduled for Tuesday at 3:40pm and it looks like the M’s will avoid the rain for the entire series. Logan Gilbert (1-1, 3.57 ERA) got hurt by a couple of long balls in his last start against Milwaukee but has been consistently good so far this year. Another lefty will oppose the Mariners as Bailey Falter (0-3, 4.50 ERA) who has gotten a total of six runs of support from the offense in his four starts this season.
This won’t be a long takeaway. With the series win the Mariners had a winning record on the homestand. We can’t be upset about that at all. I will leave you with this stat which the Mariners do need to improve upon. In total, Seattle has allowed 97 runs this season so far. Of those 97 runs, 35 have been allowed with two outs. That is over 1/3 of the total runs this season. the pitching staff and defense need to stop putting too much pressure on themselves with two outs. Execute the pitches and just worry about the batter. That number should be cut in half and the luck of some of these hits allowed with two outs will even out. The luck factor is one thing to keep your eye on because so far, the luck has not been on the Mariners side to go along with some self inflicted issues this team is facing as well.
- Nolan Gorman- 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, R
- Lars Nootbaar- 3-5, HR, RBI, 2 R
- Jack Flaherty (W, 2-2)- 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO
- Ty France, 1-3, 2 RBI
- Jarred Kelenic- 1-4, HR, RBI, R
- Chris Flexen (L, 0-4)- 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO