Good times come to a halt as Astros bring Mariners back to earth

Photo credit @russellhartness

The ridiculously hot Seattle Mariners feasted on opponents all season, but GrubHub may not be delivering anymore as the legendary pitching of the Houston Astros all but shut down the hometown 9. The mighty offense of the M’s was averaging almost 9 runs per game, however, last weekend the big bad Astros shut down that offense and earned a sweep over the M’s. The 10-5 Astros are now just a mere game behind the 13-5 Mariners in the AL West.

Apr 12 vs Houston L 10 – 6

In a battle of the “Wade’s,” Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc took on Houston’s (and former Mariner) Wade Miley. Neither starting pitcher did very well as LeBlanc went 4 2/3 innings allowing 8 hits and 2 runs. The Mariners did well in chasing Miley from the game as he went just a mere 4 innings allowing 3 runs.

The story of course would be relief pitching where the M’s bullpen of Shawn Armstrong and Ruben Alaniz melt down and allowed a combined 8 runs on 8 hits in 3 combined innings.

The Mariners catcher Tom Murphy kept the home run streak alive with a 9th inning solo shot and left fielder Domingo Santana had a solid day with 2 hits and 3 RBI. Other than that the M’s offense couldn’t keep up with the likes of George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Yuli Guriel who combined for 7 hits, 2 homers, 5 runs, and 10 RBI.

Apr 13 vs Houston L 3 – 1

The Felix curse lives on. A curse that somehow, someway put on him as to where he gets zero run support found him yet again. The King, who had not been great as of late, was quite serviceable going 6 innings allowing just 3 runs on 6 hits.

“We’ll take that outing all day long — I know he will, too — the rest of the season,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said of King Felix. “If we could put that in a bottle for the rest of the season, he’d be happy with it and so would we.

Unfortunately, the future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander struck out 11 in 6 innings giving up just a lone solo shot by Mitch Haniger. As a whole, the M’s went 4-31 on the game striking out 13 times and earning zero walks.

Apr 14 vs Houston L 3 – 2

Sunday was “Bark in the Park” and boy was this game a dog. The M’s offense disappeared as a good pitching effort by Marco Gonzales went to waste. Mitch Haniger kept the home run streak alive with a 1st inning homer but Gerrit Cole and his relief corp did a number on the power drained M’s. Seattle went just 4-30 and struck out 15 times.

“Our whole bullpen is really good,” Cole said. “They’re not afraid to pitch in leverage or clean up your mess. As starters, we just try to minimize their workload as best we can.”

And no kidding is their bullpen good, as closer Roberto Osuna racked up saves 5, 6, and 7 on the year. And while the Astros are launching to greatness, the M’s have to figure out if they were a fluke and see what if anything they can do to correct course. It wont be easy as the M’s learned Wade LeBlanc is out injured with an oblique strain.

SSU Player of the Series

We thought Felix and Marco did a good job, but we are going to give it to Mitch Haniger this series. Mitch went 5-13 with 2 homers, 2 doubles, 5 runs scored, and 2 RBI. Everyone else was frigid this weekend, but on offense Haniger is heating up.

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News Reporter
Abraham DeWeese is an avid local sports fan and a “Man-About-Town” in the Seattle sports scene. He's a lifelong resident of the Seattle area, living in the beautiful Greenlake neighborhood.