Dodgers 6, Mariners 1
(Seattle, WA) With two weeks to go in the regular season, the Seattle Mariners can see the finish line on what has been an up and down year. Despite plenty of downs, the Mariners are still right in the middle of the race for both the AL West and AL Wild Card. While they were in a fantastic position after a historic month of August, a massive September slide has the Mariners now on the outside looking in. On Sunday, they were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers as they dropped the finale 6-1 and saw their room for error shrink even more.
Both Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman were out of the lineup for the Dodgers on Sunday after clinching the division title the night before. That meant that Logan Gilbert did not have to face the very best Dodger lineup. One guy that was still in the lineup was Jason Heyward and he continued his absolute destruction of Mariner pitching. Heyward was the second batter of the game and crushed his 15th home run of the season on the 12th pitch of the game. It was quickly 1-0 Dodgers and the crowd was already out of it.
J.P. Crawford’s leadoff double was wasted in the bottom of the 1st but LA would not waste their extra base hit in the 2nd. A one out triple by Amed Rosario was his eighth triple of the season and got the Dodgers clicking once again. It would be a former Mariner helping the Dodgers add on and begin a big inning. Kolten Wong laced a single into left field for an RBI single, making it 2-0. That lead would be doubled after the next batter came to the plate. Austin Barnes jumped all over a first pitch fastball that was belt high on the inside corner. The ball landed in Edgar’s Cantina in left field for a two-run shot and Barnes’ second homer of the year. In the blink of an eye, the Dodgers had opened up their lead to 4-0.
Los Angeles opted for a bullpen day for the finale and the second inning brought with it the second pitcher for the Dodgers in Ryan Yarbrough. He retired Jarred Kelenic to start the inning but then the Mariners started to get to him. Seattle loaded the bases after a walk from Eugenio Suarez and singles by Mike Ford and Ty France. With the bags packed and just one out, it was a prime opportunity for the M’s to get right back into the game. Josh Rojas would strikeout to put a damper on a potential big inning as there were all of a sudden two outs. For the second straight inning, J.P. Crawford came through with a base hit for the M’s. A flip shot the other way into left field moved everyone up 90 feet while scoring Suarez to get the M’s on the board. Seattle would settle for just the one run as Julio Rodriguez grounded out to end the inning which kept Seattle behind 4-1.
In the top of the 4th the score remained the same as Logan Gilbert tried to keep the deficit from growing. Amed Rosario’s 25th double of the season began that inning and made Gilbert’s job much more difficult. Rosario moved up to third on a Kolten Wong groundout and an Austin Barnes walk followed. That put runners on the corners with one out but also gave Seattle a chance to get out of the inning with a double play. Gilbert ended up striking out Chris Taylor for the second out and was one out away from getting out of a trouble. He could not pull off the escape act. Jason Heyward tacked on another hit with a single to right to score Rosario. While Gilbert came close to escaping the jam, he and the Mariners were still facing a 5-1 deficit.
Two runners were left on base in both the 6th and 7th innings for the Mariners and the LA dagger followed after that. Leading off the top of the 8th, James Outman sent his 21st home run of the season to center and just barely out of the reach of Julio Rodriguez. That made it 6-1 and that would be the final as the Dodger bullpen retired the final seven Mariner hitters in order as Seattle was swept for just the third time this season.
Houston and Toronto got wins on Sunday while Seattle (81-68) and Texas lost to end the weekend. The Astors now lead the Rangers by 1 1/2 games and the Mariners by 2 1/2 in the AL West. Toronto still owns the second Wild Card just half a game ahead of the Rangers who own the final Wild Card spot. The Mariners now sit one game back of Texas for the final playoff spot in the American League. Seattle will now head on their final road trip of the season as they will play six games this next week with on off day on Thursday. First up, the M’s open up a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics (46-103) in a series they have to win. In the opener on Monday night at 6:40pm, Bryan Woo (3-4, 4.16 ERA) will try to continue his hot stretch of pitching when he gets the start. While Woo did struggle in Cincinnati, the rookie has only allowed eight runs in his last 26 2/3 innings with five of those coming in a five-inning outing against the Reds. JP Sears (5-11, 4.45 ERA) will take the mound for Oakland and he has been dominant this month. In three September starts, Sears has allowed three runs on 13 hits with eight walks and nine strikeouts over 17 innings in wins against the Angels, Blue Jays, and Astros.
Normally I try to stay pretty positive when it comes to the Mariners. I can’t do that right now. What I saw from this team this weekend was pathetic. They played like these games did not matter. There was no spark, no emotion, and none of that Sodo Mojo that carried this team into the ALDS last season. What we saw did not look like a team in the middle of a playoff race. That was unacceptable and embarrassing. Not a single player on this team should be proud of what they did this weekend. Not a single one. There are 13 games left. 13. Every single game matters now. If they play like they did over the weekend, the last series with Texas won’t even matter. This next series is a get right series in Oakland but the M’s can not overlook the A’s right now. They have recently swept the Angels and taken two out of three with the Astros. The good news is that the Mariners are 9-1 against the A’s this season. That better continue because anything less than a series win might just end the playoff push for the 2023 Seattle Mariners. It’s now or never for this squad.
- Jason Heyward- 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, R
- Amed Rosario- 3-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, SB
- Bullpen- 9 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 13 SO
- J.P. Crawford- 2-4, 2B, RBI, BB
- Mike Ford- 2-3
- Logan Gilbert (L, 13-6)- 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO