Mets 2, Mariners 1
(New York, NY) A new road trip with new challenges began on Friday night for the Seattle Mariners as they began a ten-game road trip against tougher teams than they had been playing over the last couple of weeks. First up was a trip to Queens for a three-game series against the New York Mets. This was expected to be a massive series for both teams coming into 2023 but a disastrous season for the Mets saw them sell everyone at the deadline as they look to just get the season over with and move on to a rebuild. That didn’t stop them from engaging the Mariners in a pitching duel as Logan Gilbert and Kodai Senga went toe-to-toe in a low scoring affair. The Mets would end up outlasting the Mariner bullpen as the M’s dropped game one by a final score of 2-1.
There wasn’t much of note early. Ronny Mauricio did hit a 117-mph double in his first MLB at-bat for the Mets in the bottom of the 3rd, but Logan Gilbert would leave him stranded at third. Kodai Senga was making the Mariner lineup look silly with his nasty ghost fork pitch with four strikeouts thru three innings. Then, leading off the 4th J.P. Crawford gave the Mariners some energy. Crawford got a cutter running onto the inner third and made Senga pay for a rare mistake. Crawford sent his 13th home run of the season out to right center to give the M’s a 1-0 lead.
With the score still the same in the top of the 6th, Seattle put some more pressure on the Japanese pitcher. Josh Rojas began the inning with a single to center to put some speed on base and ended up moving to second on a wild pitch. J.P. Crawford then drew a walk to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Then Senga really got his ghost fork working. He would slice right through the meat of the Mariner order, striking out Julio Rodriguez, Eugenio Suarez, and Cal Raleigh to get out of the danger and keep it just a 1-0 game.
Leading off the bottom of the 6th, the Mets finally found their answer. A challenged fastball from Logan Gilbert was right down the middle to Brandon Nimmo and Nimmo did not miss. A missile cleared the wall in right field for Nimmo’s 20th home run of the year to tie the game up at 1-1. Later in the inning, Pete Alonso doubled with two outs to put the go-ahead run in scoring position with former Mariner Daniel Vogelbach coming to the plate. Vogelbach hit a very deep fly ball to center field that just stayed in the ballpark as Julio made the catch at the wall to end the inning and keep the score tied.
Both teams put together threats in the 7th but neither were able to capitalize on the opportunities. Teoscar Hernandez doubled and moved to third with just one out in the top half of the inning. Senga was able to strikeout Ty France and Mike Ford to end his day on a high note. Senga went seven innings of one run ball with five hits and two walks allowed while striking out 12. In the home half of the inning, New York got back-to-back two out singles from Brett Baty and Ronny Mauricio. That ended Gilbert’s day as the M’s bullpen took over with Gabe Speier entering the game. He would get Nimmo to hit a tough grounder to second, but a nice play and glove flip by Josh Rojas cut down Mauricio at second to keep the game tied. Gilbert had completed another strong outing by going 6 2/3 innings while giving up one run on seven hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.
Seattle left Julio Rodriguez stranded at second after a two-out double in the top of the 8th which brought Andrés Muñoz in to try to get the game to the 9th still tied up. A leadoff single by Francisco Lindor derailed those plans. Lindor stole second for his 25th stolen base and moved to third on a wild pitch with one out. With Pete Alonso at the plate, Muñoz came with his best pitches of the day to strikeout Alonso for the second out. Daniel Vogelbach then would be the one to hurt his former team. Vogey shot a liner the other way into left field for a two-out single. Lindor scored on the base hit to make it 2-1 Mets. New York threatened to add on but couldn’t do so which sent the game to the 9th.
Drew Smith was on for the Mets in the save situation and did not get off to a good start. Cal Raleigh drew a leadoff walk to put the tying run on. Jose Caballero would pinch run for Raleigh but it wouldn’t last long. The rookie would get picked off for the first out in a play that felt like the death blow to the M’s. Teoscar Hernandez would then fly out to right for the second out. Dominic Canzone kept hopes alive with a two out single to bring up Ty France. France put up one heck of a battle, but on the eighth pitch of the AB, he struck out on a foul tip to end the ballgame. Many missed opportunities had the M’s looking at the scoreboard while the Mets celebrated their 2-1 victory.
Luckily for the Mariners (76-58) both Houston and Texas also lost on Friday night to keep the AL West standings the same. The M’s and Astros remained tied for the division lead while sitting a game ahead of the Rangers. In a preview of how a playoff rotation for the Mariners could look, ace Luis Castillo (11-7, 3.01 ERA) will follow Gilbert and get the start in game two on Saturday. The M’s have won the last six games started by Castillo and La Piedra has earned the win in five of those games. He is coming off a tremendous against Kansas City when he allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings with one walk and six strikeouts. Castillo has just allowed one run over his last 14 innings pitched. David Peterson (3-7, 5.23) will be the starter for the Mets in game two. Peterson spent about a month pitching out of the bullpen and despite having a high ERA, at Citi Field Peterson’s ERA is just 2.61.
- J.P. Crawford- 1-3, HR, RBI, R, BB
- Julio Rodriguez- 2-4, 2B
- Logan Gilbert (ND)- 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO
- Kodai Senga (ND)- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 SO
- Brandon Nimmo- 1-4, HR, RBI, R
- Daniel Vogelbach- 1-4, RBI