Mariners 6, Padres 1

(Seattle, WA) In a new interleague rivalry dubbed the Vedder Cup, the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres met for the final time in 2023 on Wednesday night. With the M’s leading the season series 2-1, Seattle was guaranteed to keep the Vedder Cup in Seattle but they wanted to keep it by winning the season series rather than just tie to keep it. To do so, Seattle would also have to win their 7th straight game with rookie Emerson Hancock making his MLB debut against veteran Yu Darvish. Hancock gave as much as one could ask for and kept the M’s in the game until they could get to the San Diego bullpen to turn it into a comfortable win as Seattle earned the sweep with the 6-1 win.

Emerson Hancock gave up the first run of his career before he gave up his first hit. It would come via a walk as he put Ha-Seong Kim to leadoff the ballgame. Kim would then steal second and third as Hancock didn’t seem to be paying much attention to him on base. Juan Soto would then hit a soft grounder that was fielded by Hancock but the only play was at first as he got Soto while Kim scored to give the Padres a 1-0 lead. Hancock also recorded his first career strikeout in his first inning when he got Fernando Tatis Jr. swinging to settle himself into the big leagues.

Seattle would help out their young pitcher and got him off the hook with a little help from the Padres. Baserunning issues hurt the Mariners in this one but they would catch a break in the bottom of the 3rd. A leadoff single by Cade Marlowe looked normal enough but a wide turn at first for Marlowe drew a throw from Fernando Tatis Jr. in right field. The ball would be kicked by Marlowe as he dove back into the base and went over towards the Mariner’s on deck circle. Marlowe took advantage of the error to reach second with nobody out. Josh Rojas moved Marlowe up to third with a groundout to first for the first out with the top of the order coming up. J.P. Crawford would get the job done as he socked a fly ball to Tatis in right. The throw to the plate was off target which allowed Marlowe to score without a slide to tie the game at 1-1.

A scary incident did occur in the top of the 4th for the Mariners. With a runner on first and nobody out, Xander Bogaerts hit a grounder to the left side of the infield for what would have been a tough double play. Unfortunately, J.P. Crawford and Eugenio Suarez collided as Geno continued to get the out at first as Crawford remained on the ground. Crawford was clearly shaken up but would remain in the game until the 8th inning when he was pulled to be tested for a concussion. It is unknown if the former gold glove winner will miss any time.

Another Mariner rookie impressed on the mound and became the latest young pitcher to look like a key piece to the future of the Mariners. Emerson Hancock really did a good job in a big situation against a very tricky team. While he was only able to go five innings due to a high pitch count, Hancock only allowed the one run and just two hits while walking three and striking out three. Hancock clearly has swing and miss stuff and will be tough to square anything up against. There are a couple things I would like to see improvement on which will likely happen as this was his debut. Hancock needs to do a better job of controlling the zone, which he did extremely well in the minors, and I would like to see him do a better job of holding runners on. Three stolen bases came against Hancock and they were all on phenomenal jumps. Again, the improvements will come in the future starts, but what we have seen from Bryce Miller, Bryan Woo, Easton McGee, and now Emerson Hancock shows that the Mariners are doing an unbelievable job at developing enough starting pitching for themselves as well as developing some potential trade pieces to bring in a couple of bats as well.

Neither offense could breakthrough until the bullpens took over and it would once again be the Mariners bullpen outperforming their counterparts as the M’s really got to the Padres bullpen. The bottom of the 8th would be the longest half inning of the game. Julio Rodriguez walked to begin the inning and Eugenio Suarez followed by striking out for the first out against Steven Wilson. That brought Cal Raleigh to the plate and he had a very strong at-bat. Raleigh fouled off a tough 3-2 sweeper before Wilson made a mistake and hung a sweeper just above the knees in Cal’s wheelhouse. He would not miss it. Raleigh crushed the longest home run of his career 450-feet for his 19th home run of the season. Everyone knew it was gone right off of the bat which meant everyone also knew that the Mariners had taken a 3-1 lead.

They were only getting started in the inning. Teoscar Hernandez would get it right off the brim of his helmet in a scary incident. While the dugout got fired up, Teo told Wilson that they were good as it was clearly unintentional but both teams did receive warnings in an attempt to keep things even-keeled. They would stay calm but the Mariner bats did not. Dominic Canzone had a swinging bunt that moved Teo to second with two outs. Ty France looked like the Ty France we all know and love as he jumped on the first pitch he saw and shot it to the left center gap. Hernandez scored on France’s team-high 27th double of the season to make it 4-1. That brought up Cade Marlowe to face new pitcher Tom Cosgrove and it changed nothing. Marlowe flipped one into center field that dropped for a base hit and allowed France to score to make it 5-1 with still a runner on first. Josh Rojas reached on an E3 to keep the inning alive for Dylan Moore. A night after delivering a big RBI triple, D-Mo smacked a soft line drive into center for another base hit. This one allowed Marlowe to score as Seattle capped off a big five-run bottom of the 8th to open up their first lead of the game to 6-1 heading into the 9th.

Since Seattle opened up a larger lead, Isaiah Campbell came in to pitch the top of the 9th in a non-save situation. He would get Xander Bogaerts to fly out to start the inning before walking Jake Cronenworth. The Mustached Mariner then struck out Garrett Cooper and then gave up a hit to Luis Campusano to put runners on first and second but the M’s were one out away from the two-game sweep. Campbell finished this one off with a slider to get Trent Grisham swinging, ending the game and earning Seattle the sweep. The 6-1 win also gave the Mariners their seventh consecutive win and sixth straight series victory.

All of these wins over playoff contenders have been fun, but now Seattle (62-52) will be tested against a legitimate World Series contender when the Baltimore Orioles (70-44) come to town for a three-game series this weekend. Of course Mariner fans are not happy with the Orioles taking the King Felix name and trying to give it to their closer while us in the PNW know there is only one King Felix. Felix Hernandez will be celebrated coincidentally with the Orioles in town this weekend as Felix is inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame. Game one of the highly anticipated weekend series will be on Friday at 7:10pm. The modern Mariner ace Luis Castillo (7-7, 3.21 ERA) will start game one of the series looking to rebound after a rough outing in Anaheim. The long ball has hurt La Piedra this season so he will have to be very careful against a team that can hit them in bunches. Kyle Gibson (11-6, 4.50 ERA) will be looking for some revenge against the Mariners when he starts for the Birds in game one. Gibson got roughed up when he faced Seattle back in June as he only went three innings and allowed five runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in a 13-1 win for the Mariners.

Notable Performances


  • Luis Campusano- 2-4
  • Ha-Seong Kim- 1-3, R, 3 SB
  • Yu Darvish (ND)- 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO


  • Cal Raleigh- 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Cade Marlowe- 2-3, RBI, 2 R, BB
  • Emerson Hancock (ND)- 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO



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