Is that any way to talk about a team that just beat the Red Sox in 13 innings to win the series with one game to go? Yes, yes it very much is.
What a game, huh? It ended up a lot different than I thought it would when I went to bed after the second inning. Heredia hit his 3-run bomb, Felix was doing okay, seemed like maybe this one would come easy to the Mariners. Then, it looks like the King ran into a bit of a buzzsaw in the sixth inning, but the teeth of the Mariners’ bullpen limited the damage to 4 runs through 12 innings (Mike Zunino hit a home run somewhere in there to tie the game back up and take Felix off the hook).
In the top of the 13th, Zych – in his second inning of work – gave up a leadoff single who eventually advanced (with 2 outs) to second base on a wild pitch, before scoring the go-ahead run on a single to left. He managed to get out of it, but I suppose it was looking pretty grim at that point. One might’ve even felt appreciative for not staying up until all hours of the night.
Besides that, I’m pretty sure there was just one man left in the bullpen by that point, Emilio Pagan, who has been on a tear of late, but has also had to be used quite a bit.
So, 13 innings felt about right. But, then something magical happened. Seager struck out, Haniger walked (at least his plate discipline doesn’t slump), and Gamel hit into a fielder’s choice. Two outs, runner on first, so what, right? A Heredia single to right moved Gamel to third base, who would go on to score on a wild pitch to tie the game. The key to that whole thing was that Heredia advanced two bases on the wild pitch, otherwise who knows? Maybe they’d still be playing right now! Anyway, Zunino walked, and Jean Segura hit a seeing-eye single up the middle of the infield and EASILY beat the throw to first base for the game-winner. Bingo bango bongo!
I don’t know what you say about a game like this. Probably don’t win it without Heredia, but I have to think he would’ve started even if Dyson was healthy, what with Boston starting a lefty. The bullpen, obviously, is the real hero of this one. Six shutout innings from the 7th through the 12th, with everyone getting a taste. When you factor in how awesome Boston’s offense is (or at least, has the potential to be), it’s all the more impressive.
Day game today, with Chris Sale on the mound against Andrew Moore; if the Mariners win THIS one I’ll eat my fucking hat. So, let’s take a quick look at the standings before we all get depressed again.
By virtue of losing three of four to the Yankees, followed by beating Boston twice in a row, we’ve officially brought the Bronx Bombers to within 1 game of the A.L. East (indeed, putting them 1 game ahead in the loss column). Getting back to .500 puts the Mariners back to 2.5 games within the second Wild Card spot (with the Rays in between, 1.5 games ahead of us). The Royals – currently holding that second Wild Card spot – are on a 7-game winning streak, so they’re due to come back down to Earth anytime now. Also, the Rays? Please. GTFO of here.
Okay, I’ve done everything I can to jinx the Mariners. I’m sufficiently prepared for them to lose today. Someone find my bookie! Time to bet Steven Jr.’s college fund again!