Phillies 1, Mariners 0

(Philadelphia, PA) Between the pitch clock and the lack of offense, Thursday’s rubber game between the Seattle Mariners and Philadelphia Phillies flew by. While Philadelphia starter Matt Strahm had to leave the game in the 6th, George Kirby went the distance for the Mariners tossing a complete game while only allowing one run. The problem? That one run was enough as the M’s offense was lifeless for all nine innings as they dropped the series finale 1-0.

This will be a quick recap as the only run came in the bottom of the 2nd. Nick Castellanos singled to begin the inning but George Kirby followed that up with a flyout and a strikeout for two quick outs. The son of legend Roger Clemens was the unlikely source of the offense. Kody Clemens lined a base hit to right center field. Julio Rodriguez was able to cut it off, but with two outs Castellanos was going on contact. He was going to score but Julio’s throw in went over the head of the cutoff man. Ty France then cut it off and flipped the ball to second to try to get Clemens before the run scored but the ball would instead trickle into center field to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

George Kirby really was outstanding for Seattle in the finale. The young right-hander only allowed four hits as he threw all eight innings for the Mariners on only 89 pitches. Kirby allowed just four hits and of course only one walk with seven strikeouts. It was one of the best starts of his young career and yet he left Philadelphia with a loss. (Read my takeaways for more on that)

The offense was on the complete other end of the spectrum. Seattle mustered just three hits with two of them by Tom Murphy and the other by Tommy La Stella in a pinch hitting situation late in the game. No hits were strung together and the Mariners couldn’t capitalize on the few walks that they had going 0-5 with RISP. A quiet 9th made it 16 straight innings without the M’s scoring a run as they dropped the series thanks to the 1-0 loss.

Things don’t get any easier for Seattle (11-14) as they head to Toronto (16-9) for an emotional Wild Card Series rematch in what will be a raucous crowd. It will be a rematch of the pitching matchup from game one of that series in the opener of this series. Luis Castillo (2-0, 1.52 ERA) will try to repeat his performance from last October when he dominated the Blue Jays through 7.1 innings. Alek Manoah (1-1, 5.13 ERA) will try to get his season turned around for Toronto as he has struggled in the first month of the 2023 season. First pitch is scheduled for 4:07pm on Friday.

Matt’s Takeaways

Sure, I could talk about how horrendous the offense was for the final 16 innings of the series. But that is too easy and I feel like I will have the chance to talk about the offense plenty in the coming weeks. I want to talk about something related to George Kirby. This game is exhibit A on why pitchers win-loss records are pointless. More goes into that than what the pitchers do. The pitchers have no say or control over what their offense does. While they can be interesting to look at, those stats are completely pointless when judging a pitcher. That is the least important stat in the game of baseball. People will see this loss on Kirby’s record and have no clue that he was actually dominant and it was one of his best outings of his career. So let’s all make a pact. We will no longer put much weight into the win-loss records of pitchers. Who’s in?

Notable Performances


  • George Kirby (L, 2-2)- 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
  • Tom Murphy – 2-3, 2B


  • Matt Strahm (W, 2-2)- 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO
  • Kody Clemens- 1-3, RBI




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