Game 113, Yankees at Mariners: About Last Night

marc w · August 10, 2022 at 1:07 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Robbie Ray vs. Nestor Cortes, 1:10pm

Baseball’s long season has a tendency to de-value individual games. The shape of the season, the relevance of games to the postseason or World Series is something that can only reveal itself over time. The individual games make up the season, but the contribution of any one of them isn’t all that important. This is a blessing and a curse: it’s nice not to worry too much after an awful loss, but the relentless pace means we have to move on after a particularly noteworthy win. Last night’s instant classic was a game we’ll remember for years, a light so bright, it stands out in the fog of dozens and dozens of games, and decades of postseason drought. It was a taut, brilliantly pitched game with great defense and unlikely moments, capped by perhaps the most unlikely of offensive heroes. It’s a reminder that individual games have a power far beyond their contribution to playoff odds.

And the M’s felt it, too. Ryan Divish’s wonderful article on the game has quotes from Scott Servais marveling at the atmosphere and saying it was one of the best games he’s ever seen. While this blog and many fans downplay the impact of morale or momentum in the game, you really get the sense that games like last night’s fuel the team’s belief in themselves and their quest for the playoffs. But now the hard part starts: they have to go back and play the Yankees again hours after walking them off. Last night didn’t feel like just another game to the manager, the players, the fans, and even the beat writers. Still, the impact of the game wanes if they can’t keep winning.

Baltimore’s comeback against the Jays meant that a loss last night would’ve brought the M’s and O’s into a tie for the third wild card position. The walk-off pushed the M’s lead over Baltimore to a game, and they moved a half-game up on Tampa and into the 2nd wild card position. Wild card positions are much more important this year, with the top wild card team hosting the 2nd, while the 3rd wild card team plays a road series against the 3rd-best division winner (whoever wins the AL Central). Getting that top spot would be absolutely massive, as it would ensure Seattle would actually get to host a playoff game. The Jays are only one game ahead of Seattle as we start play today.

1: Frazier, 2B
2: France, 1B
3: Haniger, RF
4: Suarez, 3B
5: Santana, DH
6: Torrens, C
7: Moore, SS
8: Haggerty, LF
9: Kelenic, CF
SP: Ray

The M’s roster crunch was exacerbated by the trade deadline deals and the return of some players from injury. Today, the first series of moves to resolve that crunch came down, with Kyle Lewis and Brennan Bernardino going to Tacoma while Diego Castillo and Dylan Moore have been activated from the IL. Julio Rodriguez is still a few days away, with the plan sounding like he’d be activated on Friday. With Curt Casali still on a rehab assignment, it certainly looks like Luis Torrens could get DFA’d soon, and the M’s would have to make more moves to activate Matthew Boyd. For now, Jarred Kelenic remains, though he figures to make way for Julio soon.

In another move, the M’s have officially moved Chris Flexen to the bullpen. They’re trying to keep the hot George Kirby in the rotation and squeeze as many IP as they can before they need to shut him down, so Flexen’s stay in the pen may be temporary. He was warming up at the end of last night’s game.

It’s legitimately great to see Dylan Moore back. His flexibility can help a roster that had started to look a bit limited with Haniger/Lewis/Santana all needing to DH at least part of the time. Sam Haggerty’s emergence has helped the M’s immensely in Moore’s absence, and it’ll be interesting to see if Haggerty can navigate the incoming roster moves. It’d be tough to send him down at the moment, especially to keep a more limited player like Santana.


3 Responses to “Game 113, Yankees at Mariners: About Last Night”

  1. Stevemotivateir on August 11th, 2022 7:26 pm

    Seattle’s roster has never been stronger this year than it is right now, and they still don’t have Giles or Boyd, which will make for an interesting roster decision in the near future.

  2. Shizane on August 12th, 2022 4:31 pm

    Welp, we can forget giles….he gone!

  3. Stevemotivateir on August 13th, 2022 6:40 am

    It made sense that Giles was the odd man out. He has barely pitched, they don’t know what he’ll give them and when, and they have two capable closers and I would argue 4 set-up men.

    Doing this gives them a chance to save a few bucks, and though that shouldn’t matter, we’ll…

    So, in/by September we should have both Brash & Boyd. If Kirby gets shut down, maybe we’ll see a promotion from Arkansas? Dollard, Hancock, even Berroa (20 Ks in 10.1 innings!), appear to candidates.

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