Finding the Groove
It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the Mariners finally decided to put together a quality performance and win their first series of the year. Taking 3-of-4 from the Angels, Seattle capped the series by using two late home runs, one by Jason Bay and one by Michael Morse, to propel them to a 2-1 victory.
Though he did not record the win in the game (Carter Capps got the ‘w’), Iwakuma gave up just three hits and one run in six innings of work while striking out eight. He stifled the Angels’ batters throughout the game, matching the impressive effort of former Mariner Jason Vargas.
As mentioned earlier, the win in this game gave the Mariners their first series victory of the season. And though it came against a team that is having their own problems early this season, it was very encouraging to see them rebound from their own problems and get back on track.
Here’s what we loved about the series and the good–and bad–things happening with Seattle right now.
The Good Stuff
Iwakuma is Stellar
Iwakuma has been phenomenal throughout the early portion of the season. Against the Angels he once again showed his dominance in all aspects of the pitching game, accumulating the aforementioned statistics to help lead Seattle to victory.
He has been masterful with his off-speed and has been able to locate his fastball well while using it at opportune moments. His steady pace and calm demeanor is an ideal that every young pitcher should emulate as the Mariners look to turn the corner and at least make it challenging for the Rangers and Athletics to dominate the AL West.
Some Fight in the Dogs
There were times this season where the Mariners have looked lost and absent from the games they were playing in. Taking a few of their games against the Astros for example, Seattle has well under-performed in games they should have won.
That all changed when the Angels came to town.
While they didn’t have any problems in the first game of the series, they came back in the final two games to send their fans home happy. Particularly important in these games was the fact that it never felt like the Mariners were ever out of the game.
Let’s hope the boys from Seattle can keep the momentum going in their favor.
The Bad Stuff
Though the Mariners came away with wins in their past two games, they did so by scoring late runs that need to be reinforced by early efforts if they want to be contenders and not fall into losing patterns like they did to start the season.
Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see the M’s put together late rallies to come away with two wins, it’s just I want them to be able to get on the board early and sustain a lead while adding runs throughout the contest.
Other than a problem with the offense (like always), the Mariners really don’t have too many issues that were evident in their series with the Angels. Though the 3-4-5 in their rotation will likely continue to be unreliable, a better offense will help those pitchers find confidence and a better rhythm to progress through the season with.
Seattle flashed some great signs in this series but still have a few issues to work through. However, if they learn from an impressive showing against the Angels and forward their momentum, the Mariners may start to see themselves really hit their stride and claw back into the thick of things in the AL West.