When the Houston Astros put up a six-run frame in the first inning, things were not looking good for the Seattle Mariners. A pivotal division series matchup was going array before it had even started. Fans in T-Mobile Park, excited a mere hour earlier, were now disappointed in what was looking to be a guaranteed loss. But these magical Mariners did it again and came up with a massive comeback win, stunning the division-leading Astros.
The Rookie Gets the Start for the Mariners
Darren McCaughan looked more than shaky. In only his second official time pitching in his MLB career, he did not give the Mariners the start to the ball game that they wanted. What began promisingly with a Jose Altuve strikeout quickly turned for the worst. McCaughan gave up five hits, including two home runs. This was the opposite of McCaughan’s first outing a few days ago in which he had one earned run and zero hits over five innings of work.
McCaughan struggled against MLB caliber hitting. He did not have the control or the pitch placement to fool any Houston batters. He threw 86 pitches through four innings of work. That was all the Mariners had wanted, manager Scott Servais said in a postgame interview, “he had to go four innings for us in this game to have any chance.” The Mariner’s luck was going to change, however, and they were about to mount a comeback and stun the Astros. They backed up their rookie pitcher’s disappointing start with one of their best games this season.
The Bullpen Keeps the Mariners In It
As the recent statistics suggest, the Mariners’ bullpen has been fantastic. They were once again on Monday night. Combined they allowed only one run over five innings. While the Mariners were slowly clawing back into the game, the bullpen did their job and kept Houston within reach. The Mariners have shown plenty of fight lately. Being their fourth win in a row in an important series, the bullpen has kept it close every time. The first three games of the winning streak saw the Mariners win by only one run each.
The Mariners used who they could rely on the most in this pivotal game. Notably, the hot Erik Swanson came in during the crucial mid-innings to hold the score. He was followed by the torrid Kendall Graveman. Both Swanson and Graveman in their last seven games have combined for a 0.00 ERA. This is where the Mariners have shined against opponents. Comparatively, the Astros middle relievers, Ryne Stanek and Brooks Raley have a combined 11.97 ERA in their last seven games. The difference in the ball game was the pitching. The middle relievers kept the game close for the Mariners, and the Astros relievers blew a sizeable lead.
Dylan Moore’s Big Slam Caps Mariners Comeback Win
Dylan Moore stunned the Astros when a scorching ball off his bat went into the upper deck of left field. Moore threw his hands up in excitement. He knew he had just completed a massive comeback for the Mariners in an important game against the Astros. The seven-run deficit is the most the Mariners have come back from this season. Moore described the moment as “the best baseball moment of my career so far.” An unlikely player to hit a grand slam, Moore is batting only .185 for the year and has a WAR of 0.7. Moore’s pinch-hit grand slam sent Mariners’ fans home happy. It was a night of ups and downs, but the Mariners got the job done and won the ball game.
After all the great baseball being played the past few games, the Mariners are looking to continue their success on July 27th against the Astros. The pitching matchup is intriguing, with Lance McCullers for Houston and Chris Flexen for Seattle. The game is sure to show some better starting pitching from both teams compared to the first game of the series. The first pitch is at 7:10 p.m. at T-Mobile Park. The Mariners look to keep the good times coming and win five in a row. This would tie their longest winning streak of the season.
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