The One Thing The 2023 Mariners Are Good At: Sweeping The A’s

When people start talking about the ________ of all time, I tend to tune out. The phrase Greatest Of All Time – and particularly its acronym – is so over-used, even my enjoyment of the actual farm animal is in jeopardy. Recency Bias is a fucking scourge of American life, and in no way is it worse than in sports.

That being said, we might literally be watching the most inept team in baseball history in the Oakland Athletics. Or, at the very least, in the “modern era”, whatever that means to you and your god.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t tend to pay great attention to the baseball teams outside of Seattle. But, I can’t for the life of me ever remember a team starting 10-42. That’s an insane, unreal set of numbers to me. What was the old Ron Fairly line? Everyone wins 60 games and loses 60 games, and it’s what you do with the other 42 that determines your season? Forget 60, are the A’s even going to get to 42 victories? We’re at a point in the season where you can legitimately make the argument that this A’s squad is going to lose more games than anyone ever.

Talk about playing the right team at the right time!

The Mariners needed this. I don’t want to say anything comes easy in professional sports, but the Mariners needed an easy 4-game sweep of a crap team in front of our home fans. And, we more or less got it (it’s debatable how “easy” two of those games were), while adding a couple wins to our 1-run game ledger to boot.

Monday’s game featured an offensive explosion, a quality rebound from Luis Castillo, and some much-needed work for the guys in the back of our bullpen. All told, it added up to an 11-2 victory. France, Julio, Kelenic, and Suarez all had multi-hit games; these are EXACTLY the four guys you’d want to have multi-hit games. These are the studs we need to rely on if we’re going to turn this season around.

Tuesday’s game was an incredibly interesting 3-2 victory. Marco gave up two runs in the first inning – one start after giving up 8 runs and not getting out of the second frame – and we all expected it was another Shitty Marco performance. But, he buckled down and left after six innings, still having given up just the two runs. Meanwhile, the M’s scored all three of their runs on back-to-back homers in the fifth by J.P. and Ty. The bullpen successfully made it the final three innings for the save (sans Brash, by the way, who has fallen out of favor for those high leverage spots).

Wednesday’s game was another blowout affair, with the M’s winning 6-1. We scored five of those runs in an extended rally in the 4th, before Teoscar hit a solo homer late for a little insurance. In this one, J.P., Julio, Cal, and Pollock all had multi-hit games. Meanwhile, Bryce Miller had another phenomenal start: 6 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, all on 90 pitches. He lowered his ERA to 1.15, while lowering his WHIP to 0.51! The lone run was allowed … by Brash, who got knocked around for 3 more hits in his one inning of work.

The Mariners finished off the sweep with another come-from-behind 3-2 victory. Logan Gilbert gave up a 2-run homer in the first, before settling down, finishing 8 very strong innings, giving up 3 hits, 0 walks, and striking out 6, all on only 77 pitches. Paul Sewald got the save, his 11th on the season so far. This one was the Ty France Show. Two days after getting hit on the hand, and one day after having to sit out because of that hand, he was back and hitting bombs. Solo homer in the first, solo homer in the sixth, and scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth off of a bases loaded Suarez walk. It wasn’t the most impressive offensive performance I’ve ever seen, but Julio had a couple of hits to start to work out of his funk.

This brings the Mariners to 26-24, with the Pittsburgh Pirates coming to town this weekend. Let’s see if we can keep this going, or if we need to restructure the schedule to only play the Athletics from here on out.

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