Oh so close to a series sweep. Oh so close to first place in the A.L. West.
Just like they drew it up, right? Blow the game where Paxton has the best game of his career, come back with a spot starter and beat the other team’s ace! This is baseball, everyone. It’s dumb as fuck.
We squeezed 4 shutout innings out of Wade LeBlanc last night, as we stretched him out to 70 pitches. Assuming he stays in the rotation, I’d think the goal next time out is 85 or 90 pitches, and then full go by his third start. But, that’s getting ahead of ourselves. For now, it’s just nice to get this one win. LeBlanc has truly been a godsend this season, coming in super late, locking down the long relief role in the bullpen, and now entering the rotation following an injury to Erasmo Ramirez. I don’t know if we can expect this type of dominance going forward, but I’ll take whatever I can get when I can get it.
Chasen Bradford is another guy who just came out of nowhere. I guess he was a reliever for the Mets in the second half of last year, but other than that, this is his first real opportunity to earn a bullpen role on a Major League ballclub. I mean, I dunno, he had pretty decent numbers last year, all things considered, and they just cut him out of nowhere before Spring Training this year! Is their bullpen really so great? Is he out of options? These are the questions I don’t have answers to, because I don’t give a shit, but their loss is our gain. Bradford has done nothing but his fucking JOB this year, and he’s been wonderful! Back-end of the bullpen guy, there to eat up innings. That’s it, but he does it like a champ! Last night, to wit: 2.1 innings, 1 run, to bridge the gap between LeBlanc and the late inning guys (and get his THIRD win of the season, no less!).
After Pazos closed out the 7th, it was hang-on time, and Scott Servais did the prudent thing: he went right back to Nicasio & Diaz, hot off their blown save/loss combo the night prior. Nicasio burned through the A’s for 3 strikeouts in the 8th, and Diaz had a ho-hum 1 strikeout in the 9th to get his 13th save of the year.
Dee Gordon continues his absolute mastery of the leadoff position, going 3 for 4 with 2 runs and 2 more stolen bases. Robbie Cano had a 2-hit, 2-RBI night. And Nellie Cruz had a 2-run bomb to put the game away. The night wasn’t anything extra special; it was a very workmanlike 4-1 victory where the top of the lineup carried the bulk of the mail.
That’s another series win! 7-1-2, with a 3-game set against the Angels coming up, starting tonight. The Mariners are now 18-12, 0.5 games out of first place (behind the 20-13 Astros and the 19-12 Angels). So, yeah, you could say this series is pretty huge, as far as early-May series go.
I’m going to the game tonight (Han Seago Bobblehead WHAT?!) and I’m going to the game tomorrow (James Paxton Fanny Packs WHAT?!?!?!). The last time I went to multiple games in the same series against the Angels, we were swept, so let’s not let that happen again, huh?