The only thing I love more than sweeps are consecutive sweeps.
This one was as convincing as they come. San Deigo was outscored 14-2. They managed only 1 earned run the whole weekend! We struck them out 35 times! Our starters never failed to go less than 7 innings per!
I could go on and on, but you know what? I just want to savor this feeling. The Mariners haven’t been this good in a LONG time. Granted, it’s probably just another good streak – to be immediately followed by another very bad streak – but you can’t argue that this team hasn’t been MUCH improved since the first couple weeks of the season. If you gave us back those three blown saves – games we really SHOULD have won – we’d be in first place in the AL West right now and have the 4th best record in the AL.
We’re not that far away. It helps that we’re facing some REALLY substandard teams.
I’ll get into the starters a little more in depth tomorrow – obviously they’ve been the crux of this whole run over the last week – but you can’t argue that the offense hasn’t done its job, at least in the San Diego series. In each game, the offense jumped out to a 2nd inning lead, and in each game we played add-on. For pitchers who are currently DEALING, that’s a nice load off the ol’ mind.
Miguel Olivo had 5 hits, 5 runs scored, an RBI, and his first stolen base of the season. Brendan Ryan ALSO managed 5 hits to go along with 3 runs and 4 RBI. And our young left field platoon? Forget about it! Peguero and Mike Wilson combined for 5 hits (including a triple and 2 doubles), 1 run and 5 more RBI.
Plain and simple, this was a series where the bottom of the order carried the load. Not counting the pitchers batting in a National League park, the 6, 7, & 8 hitters dominated:
- Game 1 (Olivo, Peguero, Ryan): 5 for 11 (2 doubles, triple, homer), 3 runs scored, 4 RBI
- Game 2 (Ryan, M. Wilson, J. Wilson): 5 for 9 (double), 3 runs scored, 3 RBI
- Game 3 (Peguero/Guti, Ryan, Saunders): 6 for 14 (2 doubles), 1 run scored, 5 RBI
That amounts to half of our runs scored and 12 of 14 runs batted in! Outstanding!
It seems like I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but there’s a lot to like about this team. Flawless starting pitching, a solid-if-unspectacular bullpen, young guys producing in key situations. We’ve got a Cy Young pitcher readying his run towards a repeat, a potential (and very probable) AL Rookie Of The Year, an up-and-coming middle of the order bat at first base, and some solid slugging out of left field (literally!). It all adds up to the Mariners being 1.5 games out of first place. Not too shabby.