8 innings of 2-hit, 1-walk shutout ball to throw on the pile. 21 innings of 8-hit, 4-walk shutout ball to start the season. 9 more strikeouts to give him 22 on the season.
As Childish Gambino said, “Don’t be mad because I’m doing me better than you’re doing you.”
This was quite the enjoyable game. Paxton was dealing, but really there was good pitching on both sides, outside of one half inning, where the Mariners scored all five of their runs in winning this thing 5-0.
One out into the bottom of the sixth, Mitch Haniger got it going with a single to left. He’s got that batting average WAY up, check the slash line: .292/.393/.542. Cano got on via an error by the short stop, and Cruz walked to load ’em up. That brought up Seager, whose power numbers are still lacking, but everything else is starting to climb up to respectability. He mashed a single into right to score two runs, which knocked out the Rangers’ starter. Taylor Motter stepped to the plate, flowing mane of hair rustling ever so gently under his batting helmet. Earlier this week, he had that 3-double game against the Astros and followed it up the very next night with another double and a homer. Well, he wasn’t able to get any extra-base hits off of Texas on Friday (just a run of the mill single, frowny-face), but I’ll be damned if he didn’t get right back on the horse with a 3-run homer to put the nail in the coffin!
Taylor Motter is hitting .333. He’s getting on base at a near-.400 clip. But, his slugging is – get this – .810! I didn’t realize, when we acquired this utility infielder from the Rays, that we’d be getting the second coming of Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds, but when you’re talking about an .810 slugging percentage, those are the two guys who have ever done that over a full season! Now listen, obviously I have no delusions of this guy slugging .810 for us all year, that would be clinically insane. But, what this blog post presupposes is … maybe he will?
The rest of the Mariners didn’t do much of anything else last night, but I don’t care about that. All I want is all of Haniger’s and Motter’s at bats run on a loop, forever and ever.
I will say that we got a good 9th inning out of Nick Vincent. Credit where it’s due, he shut the Rangers down before they could even THINK of mounting a comeback.
On the flipside, the M’s went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position. I’m starting to keep a log of everyone’s totals in this category because this team is driving me fucking crazy, and I’ve got some hard data for you. The Mariners as a team are hitting .157 on the year with RISP. If you figure league average is somewhere around .250, obviously the Mariners have a ways to go just to get back up to average. Given the track record of the players we know about, and given how special guys like Haniger and Motter have been in the early going, you’d expect our average with RISP will go up in a hurry, and good times will be right around the corner.
Well, we’ll see. It’s interesting that the M’s are struggling with RISP even in their wins. In the 4 wins, the Mariners are hitting 9 for 44 with RISP (.205), which means in the losses, you can really point to a lack of clutch hitting, as their average with RISP falls to .125, with the majority of our losses coming to the Astros, ergo the Astros are skewing our numbers in a big way.
You won’t be surprised at who is sucking our collective wills to live the most in this category. Valencia is 1 for 10, Martin is 0 for 11, and Zunino is a whopping 1 for 15! It might shock you that Cruz is also up there, at 2 for 13, which is unacceptable for a cleanup hitter. But, truth be told, no one is great. Cano has had the most opportunities and he’s only hitting .250, so pretty much everyone can get a lot more clutch for this team, if it expects to go to the playoffs.
Winning a series is nice. First series win of the season is under our belt, just 12 games into the season. But, this feels like it needs to be a sweep, so go out there this afternoon and get the job done!