First things first, this will be a different style of recap than what is normally done for the Seattle Mariners. High school sports always take precedence over everything else here at ESN and with regional baseball this last weekend and state baseball this next weekend, there will be shorter recaps for those weekend series. So this one will be short and sweet as will next weekend’s.
Braves 6, Mariners 2 (Game 1)
Game one was the first time we saw Bryce Miller not absolutely dominate, but he was still very good against one of the best lineups in all of baseball. The 8th inning hiccup by Justin Topa was a little bit more disappointing but I am not going to worry too much about it. Topa has been outstanding this season and bounced back later in the series. Again, we have to remember that this Atlanta lineup might be the very best in baseball. No team is going to hold them down for an entire series and this just happened to be the game where their bats were alive.
Offensively for the Mariners, Teoscar Hernandez continued his solid road trip and Eugenio Suarez also drove in a run. The bottom of the order had a rough night as Taylor Trammell and Jose Caballero went a combined 0-6. J.P. Crawford recorded two more hits at the top of the order and it looks like he might need to stay there for the rest of the season. This game was the only game in the series where Atlanta had one of their usual starters on the mound as Bryce Elder is one of the few Atlanta pitchers to avoid the injury bug. This game was closer than the score showed but Atlanta’s bullpen just outperformed the Mariners relievers in this one and that was the difference maker.
Mariners 7, Braves 3 (Game 2)
Game two was where the Seattle offense broke out. After a two-run shot by Matt Olson gave Atlanta a very early lead, but Logan Gilbert settled down immediately after that. Atlanta recorded three hits off of Gilbert in the 1st and only one hit in the next five innings by Gilbert. Logan showcased his new splitter more than any other start this season after adding it to his repertoire in the offseason. He would record nine strikeouts and overpowered the powerful Braves lineup. Gilbert has had a habit this season of one rough inning and dominance in the rest of the outing. Luckily this time, the offense gave him enough help to get the job done.
The bottom of the order came through in the second game of the series. Back-to-back run scoring at bats by Taylor Trammell and Jose Caballero tied the game and J.P. Crawford followed with an RBI single to give Seattle the lead in the 4th. Eugenio Suarez added three RBI throughout the rest of the game including a two-run home run for his fifth of the year. Teoscar Hernandez added in an RBI single to keep his hot stretch going. The bullpen trio of Matt Brash, Justin Topa, and Paul Sewald finished off the win allowing one run for a final score of 7-3. Seattle took advantage of the Braves’ bullpen day to even the series headed into the finale.
Braves 3, Mariners 2
Alas, the M’s could not get the big series win but did keep it close with the favorites to win the NL Pennant. George Kirby was really good but the offense only managed three hits. Two of those hits were home runs as Jarred Kelenic hit his ninth of the season and Jose Caballero hit his first career home run. Seattle would threaten a couple of times thanks to three stolen bases by Caballero, but the clutch hit never came. Travis d’Arnaud’s solo home run in the bottom of the 6th would turn out to be the game winner for Atlanta. While it wasn’t the 1-0 loss in Philadelphia, it still felt like the M’s wasted another phenomenal outing by George Kirby.
Seattle (22-24) finishes the road trip with a 4-5 record and now head home for ten games at T-Mobile Park starting with the Oakland Athletics (10-38) in a four-game series. Luis Castillo (2-2, 3.31 ERA) will try to fight through his May struggles in the opener on Monday at 6:40pm. Kyle Muller (1-3, 7.71 ERA) will oppose the Mariner ace on Monday night.