The Minnesota Twins won 3 of 4 games by a combined score of 40-19. Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli has put this team of cast offs–lets face it not household names— into fighting shape. The Twinkies currently sit on the Iron Throne in the Central Division and showed the Mariners how to rebuild a team.
Since April 27, #Mariners have been outscored by an astonishing 141-65 margin. They are 4-14 during that span, plus the certain loss tonight.
— Larry Stone (@StoneLarry) May 19, 2019
Many Mariner fans were excited to see the return of Nelson Cruz, but he is out with a wrist injury. Instead the hometown fans were treated to some newer names like SS Jorge Polanco, LF Eddie Rosario, and 2b Jonathan Schoop hitting homers off a leaky Mariners bullpen.
The M’s death spiral continues as they now stare the Oakland Athletics as a co-occupant of the cellar. With 9 games back from the Astros, and no sign of turning things around, the M’s season looks grim.
May 16 vs Minnesota L 11 – 6
Erik Swanson had the worst game of his rookie campaign as he surrendered 4 home runs in the 3rd inning. With 8 runs allowed on 9 hits, Swanson found himself hitting the showers early and putting the M’s in a tremendous hole. Minnesota would score 11 runs off 16 hits in the game and take advantage of the MLB’s worst defense as the M’s would accrue 2 more errors.
Former Mariner pitcher Michael Pineda made his return to Seattle. The righty was traded for Jesus Montero and has made his way back to haunt his former team. He struck out six with no walks and scattered five hits over seven innings, his longest outing of the season.
May 17 vs Minnesota L 7 – 1
Minnesota’s Martin Perez dominated the Mariners. The left hander earned his 7th win of the season. Perez held the mariners to 5-31 batting on the night striking out 7 of those batters. An uncharacteristically off Marco Gonzalez couldn’t keep pace allowing 5 runs on 8 hits.
Perez couldn’t figure out Mitch Haniger walking him 3 times, and Edwin Encarnacion and Dee Gordon did get multiple hits; however, the M’s left 8 men on base and 5 runners in scoring position.
May 18 vs Minnesota L 18 – 4
The best pitcher for the Mariners on Saturday was the catcher. Backup backstop Tom Murphy was the only pitcher to hold the Twins without a run. This was Murphy’s second appearance as he made an appearance against the Cubs on May 1. He did get his 1st and 2nd career strikeouts though. Murphy struck out Miguel Sano with an 89 mph fastball and Juan Castro with an 82 “slurve” (slider + curve).
“That’s just an old thing I used to throw in high school, but it seemed to work,” Murphy said of his breaking ball.
Murphy got a chance to pull a Jose Oquendo as he found himself in left field in the 8th inning. This would be his first MLB position other than catcher.
“It kind of puts things in a little different perspective when you’re out there and not just grinding away behind the plate. So that was cool,” Murphy told reporters, per MLB.com.
In other news regarding Saturday’s game, Matt Festa was optioned to Triple A Tacoma as Wade LeBlanc would make his return from injury. LeBlanc would get shelled for 7 runs in 2 1/3rd innings as would every bullpen pitcher who followed him (with the exception of Murphy).
This is the best pitch thrown by a mariner tonight pic.twitter.com/Tcy1bgoNNt
— connor adams (@connorjadams_) May 19, 2019
May 19 vs Minnesota W 7 – 4
The M’s did end the weekend on a high note as Mitch Haniger and Daniel Vogelbach hit back to back homers to end a 3 game losing streak. Edwin Encarnacion showed some ability defensively at 1st base and launched a 3 run homer in the 7th to contribute to the win.
Pitcher Yusei Kikuchi had a very nice 6 inning 1 run performance. He has now won his 3rd game of the season. The 27 year old added 6 more strikeouts, giving him 49 on the season. Yusei now has a 3.43 ERA and showing himself to be every bit the equal of Marco Gonzales. These 2 pitchers are the backbone of the pitching staff to be built around.