Photo credit @mariners
The Seattle Mariner’s home run streak came to an end and their losing streak extended to 6 in a row as the M’s got a healthy chunk of reality as the old adage that pitching and defense wins games. Coming off a series with Houston where they ran into a meat grinder of good pitching, the horror show continued as the visiting Cleveland Indians held the MLB’s #1 offense in check.
Apr 15 vs Cleveland L 6 – 4
Trevor Bauer was a buzz-saw cutting down 8 batters via strikeout. The Indians pitcher allowed just 1 run in 6 2/3rd innings. In the first 5 innings alone, he mowed down 7 and allowed just 2 hits.
“I thought (Trevor) was good. That’s a really good lineup that feels really good about themselves. So they’ve got speed at the top and the bottom, they’ve got a ton of guys swinging the bat good in the middle,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “You’ve got to work for everything. I thought he did a good job.”
Yusei Kikuchi put together another mild outing with 3 runs allowed over 6 innings and the bullpen was – what they are. Zac Rosscup, Connor Sadzek, and Roenis Elias all gave up a run in an exasperating relief effort.
There were signs of life from the offense as Edwin Encarnacion and Omar Narvaez each got a homer in the 8th inning. But it would be too little too late to salvage the series.
— ROOT SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) April 16, 2019
Apr 16 vs Cleveland L 4 – 2
Another one of Cleveland’s fine pitching crew Shane Beiber put together a 6 inning 4 hit outing. He yielded just 1 run in the 2nd inning and struck out 5 showing yet again that good pitching beats good hitting.
The Mariner’s Mike Leake allowed just 2 runs over 6 innings, but his 8 hits allowed showed that the Indians had him scouted out. Luckily, Leake would get several double plays to get him thru the day.
Roenis Elias would suffer another meltdown in the 7th inning allowing 2 runs including an RBI by former Mariner outfielder Leonys Martin who would light him up for an RBI producing double.
“The tack-on runs have hurt here in this home stand,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We’ve been in a lot of these games, (then) go to the bullpen and you need that couple of shut-down innings and hope your offense can come back. And teams have tacked on a run here or there and it’s been a little tougher.”
— ROOT SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) April 17, 2019
Apr 17 vs Cleveland L 1 – 0
The MLB record 20 game home run streak would come to an end on the day that newcomer Erik Swanson would get his 1st start. Swanson would go 6 innings allow just 2 hits and 1 run—off a Jake Bauers solo shot in the 5th. But the Mariners offense yet again was on hiatus.
The Indians Carlos Carrasco went 7 shutout innings sending the M’s into a horrific death spiral. Carassco struck out 12 and reliver Nick Wittgren would strike out two more in a save opportunity to humiliate the hometown 9. The Mariners would go 3-29 on the day and bat a combined .175 and strike out 72 times for the entire 6 game losing streak.
SSU Player of the Series
I suppose we have to award one, so lets give it to newcomer Erik Swanson who had his 1st big league start. The 25 year old from Fargo, North Dakota allowed just 1 run and struck out 5. The righthander was drafted by the Texas Rangers and traded to The New York Yankees and is a part of the legacy of the James Paxton trade.
While Justus Sheffield was the prize pitching prospect in that trade for Big Maple, Swanson struck out 222 batters and walked just 43 in last 2 years of ball. Considered primarily a fastball pitcher (98mph) he is considered a 1 trick pony. But they said that about Nolan Ryan too didn’t they? Maybe he isn’t Nolan Ryan, but we need some semblance of hope to come out of this series right?