If you liked parking spaces that wouldn’t run over on a Washington Interstate, this was the game for you. Between Nick Margevicius and Zack Greinke, 16 curveballs were thrown over the plate at a speed of less than 100 km / h in the last game in T-Mobile Park 2020 today. Eight balls, four so-called strikes, a foul ball, a swinging strike and a pair were badly hit. Like so many things about the conclusion of baseball in SoDo that afternoon for the season, it was a confusing representation from start to finish.
The Mariners jumped ahead early, stacking the base runners in a way they had often failed this year with singles from both Kyles before a Ty France double crossed the left field line for an RBI. Seattle would reload bases after expanding to two outs, but Evan White̵
Meanwhile, Margevicius was making minced meat out of a below-average but solid Astros lineup. In the third, he was most severely threatened when the top of the order reached first and second place with an out with a George Springer run. José Altuve’s nightmare apology tour prevailed against JP Crawford, who doubled up Aledmys Díaz in second place to end the threat. He would see first and second place again when he was able to avoid trouble again in fifth with a three-step dismissal of George Springer and a renewed flight from Altuve. If tonight is the last time we see Margevicius, and it probably is, 41.1 innings as a Leaague average starter is far from conclusive by most metrics, but wholeheartedly encouraging to the Mariners. Turning 24 year old waivers into average starter mugs is a great recipe for giving your business flexibility to make aggressive moves elsewhere or invest heavily in a riskier ace when you know you have more reliable depth. Margevicius didn’t make himself someone the Mariners should definitely take care of, but he did deserve his own attention as part of the puzzle.
Seattle played add-on in the 5th. Kyle Seager drove from JP Crawford from the first with a double to the gap that Crawford’s speed turned into an RBI.
Did JP cost the win? I let you be the judge.
Ty France brought the M’s one step closer to victory with a tied ball in the left corner and scored Seager. It wasn’t Seattle’s loudest night on the plate, but they lost in far less than nine hits and three runs and with the quality their pitching staff put together knowing there was a day off tomorrow, it was enough. Kendall Graveman and Anthony Misiewicz worked two innings before handing it over for Yoshihisa Hirano for the ninth time.
Seattle’s confidence in the veterans as closer is understandable, given the inexperience for the rest of their bullpen. However, his top fastball at 92 and a split change who only has strong command occasionally can get things into trouble. Today was one of those times when Hirano returned two runs and put Altuve on the plate with two runners before he finally did at last Beat Altuve to ensure victory. It’s always gratifying to see Houston win, even in a game that likely means little to either team unless both clubs have a sweep over the weekend. But a calming, simple taste, like a lovely salt cracker, is what these Mariners can enjoy when they head to Oakland for the end of the season. It’s not a steak, nor perfectly crispy potatoes and peppers, or a victorious champagne celebration. But it’s better than dirt. It’s better than dirt.