M’s Take 1-of-4
Every Seattle fan essentially knew it would be tough for the Mariners to win games in Detroit. Facing one of the best teams in baseball in 2013, Seattle headed to take on the Tigers for a four-game set that would see them match up against the likes of Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, and Rick Porcello while themselves throwing a mix of veterans and young guns at a dangerous lineup.
The end result? One win in four games.
But was it really all that bad? While the Mariners struggled to find offensive momentum in the first two games but did receive impressive outings from both Joe Saunders and, to a certain extent, Brandon Maurer. The final two games of the series tilted onto the more offensive side of the ball and saw Seattle come away with a big win in game three while just dropping game four in the final few innings.
If you found yourself too preoccupied with watching replays of the Seahawks‘ previous game against the 49ers this week, here’s a brief recap of what went down in Detroit.
September 16, 2013 – 2-4 Loss
The four-game tilt against the Tigers didn’t start on the best of notes for the Mariners, as they wound up losing the first game of the contest by a score of 4-2 after seeing the score remain one apiece for quite some time.
Saunders got the start and was matched up against Porcello, and both pitchers looked dominant at times.
Though he has definitely earned the reputation of pitching much better at Safeco Field, Saunders kept the Tigers on the ground and made his fielders make plays behind him. He came away with the loss, but that was more a consequence of Seattle not being able to manufacture any runs against Porcello.
September 17, 2013 – 2-6 Loss
The lack of any offense was once again evident on Tuesday as the Mariners were matched up against Anibal Sanchez. Failing to put any runs across the plate until a 6th inning solo shot by Raul Ibanez, Seattle actually found themselves tied up in the seventh after Kendrys Morales came up with a clutch RBI double to make the score even at two.
Unfortunately Seattle’s bullpen couldn’t sustain the tie as Yoervis Medina surrendered one in the seventh, Charlie Furbush surrendered two in the eighth, and Carter Capps gave up one in that inning as well.
September 18, 2013 – 8-0 Win
Perhaps the Mariners had a fire lit under them after their two tough losses to open the series, as Seattle’s bats woke up in game three behind the stellar pitching of Hisashi Iwakuma.
Tossing eight innings of scoreless baseball, Iwakuma had more than enough run support behind him as the Mariners tallied eight runs on the night with the help of home runs by Justin Smoak and Franklin Gutierrez. The win was all that more impressive considering the fact that Justin Verlander was the starter for Detroit.
September 19, 2013 – 4-5 Loss
Generating quite a bit of momentum on Wednesday, the Mariners got off to a slow start in game four but came back with a vengeance in the fifth inning, putting three runs on the board to take a 4-3 lead against the Tigers and starter/former Mariners Doug Fister.
Unfortunately Seattle’s relievers couldn’t keep the Tigers at bay to give James Paxton another win, as the Tigers came back with two runs in the seventh to come away with the eventual victory.
It wasn’t the best of series to begin with but the Mariners ended up playing very well against a team that essentially ran away with the AL Central in 2013.
The Mariners will now begin their final nine games of the season in Los Angeles where they will take on the Angels for a three-game set before returning home to face Kansas City and Oakland.
Make sure to catch some games as the season comes to a close to see what young prospects have a shot at making the club in 2014.