Mariners 8, Angels 0
(Seattle, WA) “Stopper” is not exactly a common term in baseball. What it refers to is a starting pitcher that can help his team snap a losing streak with a very good outing to take the pressure off of the offense. Normally, this would be a team’s ace or possibly a number two guy in the rotation. Not too often is it a rookie stepping into this role but on Tuesday night for the Seattle Mariners, an exception was made. Bryan Woo was skipped in his last start to try to manage his workload and the move paid off in game two with the Los Angeles Angels. Woo dominated his entire outing with the best start of his career. The offense would also give him more than enough run support as Seattle turned it into a blowout with a dominant 8-0 win to secure the season series over the Angels.
After beginning the game with an easy 1-2-3 inning from Bryan Woo, the Mariner bats caught a break in the bottom of the 1st and more importantly capitalized on the opportunity. Julio Rodriguez hit what looked like a routine grounder to third baseman Mike Moustakas, but it would get under his glove for an error and gave the Mariners a one out baserunner. Teoscar Hernandez extended his on-base streak to 27 games with an infield single to put runners on first and second. Cal Raleigh would follow with a strikeout for the second out, but Seattle’s two out hitting was exceptional on this night. Eugenio Suarez slapped one the other way into right field for a two-out RBI single as Julio scored to get the M’s on the board at 1-0 while Teo advanced to third. Ty France followed with a base hit of his own into left field to score Hernandez and make it 2-0. Dylan Moore followed France’s example with a line drive down the left field line for extra bases. While Moore did drive in Geno and recorded his seventh double of the season, a picture perfect relay by Randal Grichuk, Zach Neto, and Logan O’Hoppe cut down France trying to score for the final out of the inning. While Seattle did have another out at home plate, the inning was not a loss as they had a 3-0 lead after the 1st for the second consecutive game.
Unlike in the opener, the Angels had no immediate response and after Woo left runners stranded on the corners in the top of the 3rd, the M’s would break this one open in the 4th. Ty France and Dylan Moore both recorded their second hits of the game with singles and Sam Haggerty loaded the bases with a one-out single of his own. Mariner fans began to have flashbacks of the wasted bases loaded opportunity from the night before after Jose Caballero struck out for the second out. That is where J.P. Crawford came into the equation. After getting ahead 2-1, Crawford got a slider down and in and dropped the barrel to it. The ball was sent out to right center where Brett Phillips couldn’t quite run it down. Everyone scored easily after going on contact with two outs and Crawford celebrated his 30th double of the season with three more RBIs to his stat sheet with the Mariners leading 6-0. J.P. was then able to celebrate with the team in the dugout as he scored on a Julio RBI single to make it 7-0 Seattle.
One thing was still missing from this “get right” game for the Mariners and that was a home run. Nothing gets a crowd into a game quite like a home run so Eugenio Suarez knew what his task was. In the bottom of the 5th, Geno continued to hit the ball the other way, this time with a little extra pop as he caught up to a fastball at the top of the zone. Geno’s 20th home run of the season sailed just over the glove of Jordyn Adams as Seattle’s lead was up to 8-0.
Not to be lost in the shuffle of the offensive explosion was a career outing for Bryan Woo. After seeing his velocity drop in his last start, Woo was right back around 95-mph and he was feeling very confident with his heater. Woo recorded a career high 20 swings and misses through his 5 2/3 innings and only allowed two Angels to reach scoring position. It looked like Scott Servais might let Woo finish the 6th, but after a conversation on the mound, Servais went to his bullpen. Woo’s final line read 5 2/3 innings of four hit, shutout ball, with no walks allowed and eight strikeouts. This is the Woo that the M’s need down the stretch and the Mariner faithful showed their appreciation with “Wooooo” chants echoing throughout T-Mobile Park as the rookie showed his appreciation right back to the fans.
Seattle’s offense did not add on any more offense in this one but the bullpen was absolutely sensational. Only using two relievers, the Mariners coasted through the final few innings. Eduard Bazardo faced seven batters in the 6th-8th innings and retired all seven with a couple of strikeouts. Bazardo then gave way to Dominic Leone for the top of the 9th. He picked up where Bazardo left off and only needed eight pitches for the final frame. A Zach Neto fly out, Kyren Paris strikeout and Chad Wallach groundout ended the ball game with Seattle retiring the final 12 Angel hitters in order. The losing streak was over at four as the Mariners forced a rubber game with the 8-0 win.
Tuesday night was a good night for the Mariners (80-65) across the board. Texas beat Toronto once again so Seattle and Toronto are now tied record wise for the final AL Wild Card spot but the Mariners own the tiebreaker over the Blue Jays. Both sit just half of a game behind Texas for the second Wild Card spot and Houston also lost to Oakland once again to put the Mariners just 1 1/2 games behind the Astros in the AL West. It will be a day game for the Mariners and Angels (68-78) for the rubber game of the three-game series on Wednesday at 1:10pm. Luis Castillo (12-7, 3.08 ERA) has been on an absolute tear as the M’s have won La Piedra’s last eight starts dating back to August. Castillo has struggled against the Angels this season with a 5.09 ERA in 17 2/3 innings against the Halos this season. While Castillo has allowed 12 runs on 18 hits, he has also struck out 22 Angels this season. An infamous name will open the game for the Angels as Andrew Wantz (1-0, 4.13 ERA) will begin the bullpen day for the Halos. Wantz was the pitcher that was turned into an opener late notice last season and threw at Julio Rodriguez and Jesse Winker igniting the big brawl. Hopefully, this doesn’t turn into a repeat of that fiasco.
- Nolan Schanuel- 2-4
- Randal Grichuk- 1-3, 2B
- Patrick Sandoval (L, 7-13)- 5 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
- J.P. Crawford- 1-5, 2B, 3 RBI, R
- Eugenio Suarez- 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB
- Bryan Woo (W, 3-4)- 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO