Sailors don’t find their usual magic late in the inning as playoff hopes take a big hit
The frustration couldn’t be hidden on their faces. Disappointment could be felt with every bat and spiked helmet thrown in disgust. The belief that they would return had a time limit. And with every missed opportunity, anxiety tripled in the fan-filled stands waiting to explode for one big bang, a defining moment and that memorable and much-needed victory.
This explosion never happened.
Instead, the Mariners, who reveled in playing close games and finding their way to point wins, lost the type of game they’ve won so many times to put them in the position of play for the playoffs the last weekend of the season.
The late-inning comeback that 44,169 fans eagerly awaited in the sold-out crowd never came on Friday night. Instead, they felt the stinging disappointment of the Mariners’ crushing 2-1 loss to the Angels.
“What an environment tonight, just a great setting,” said manager Scott Servais. “T-Mobile was rocking. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough offensive attacks to change our course tonight. We’ve played this game so many times this year it’s amazing. When we’re in this type of game, we’ve just had a knack for finding the big bang, wreaking havoc on the bases, and getting enough action to get through a race. It just didn’t happen tonight.
The Mariners’ playoff dream just got a little harder to achieve on their own.
“We are where we are,” Servais said. “We are at the moment of truth. Tomorrow’s game is obviously important and we’ll need help here. “
The Mariners (89-71) came in on Friday tied with the Red Sox for second wildcard with the straightforward situation – winning every game and they wouldn’t do worse than playing in a No.163 game on Monday in Boston to enter. in the game of jokers.
From the first inning, they knew the Red Sox (90-70) had beaten the Nationals and the Blue Jays (89-71) had beaten the Orioles. They also saw the Yankees lose to the Rays, leaving little hope that they could steal the first wildcard spot and host the game.
But with the loss, they must win their last two games of the season and hope for some help from the Nationals and the Orioles.
The ninth round summed up the evening. Kyle Seager started off with a double in right field from Angels closest, Raisel Iglesias. It was his first hit from the six-game homestand and lifted the crowd as hope and anticipation began to build. But Iglesias struck out the next three hitters to give Seattle just their third loss in 14 games.
For the game, the Mariners went 0-7 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base.
“It’s quiet tonight,” Servais said of the clubhouse. “It must be calm. The guys are disappointed. We have the impression that we have let slip a bit of what we should have had.
In a season where they have been resilient and resistant to radiation, this collection of players has shown their ability to bounce back from crushing losses. Being able to overcome disappointment quickly is a trait they see as the key to their success.
“We have gone too far at this point to change who we are and the character we have at this club,” said Friday starter Marco Gonzales. “These are my brothers, my family here, and I know we’re going to go out with a fire tomorrow for sure.”
In a game they can’t lose, the Mariners will quickly forget the loss that put them in this position.
“I wouldn’t doubt us,” Gonzales said. “This is a group that strongly believes in each other, believes in itself, believes in the work that it does, and that is not changing now.”
The Mariners got a “quality start” from Gonzales, who pitched six innings, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks (one intentional) and five strikeouts.
The two points awarded came out on top of third after his teammates gave him a 1-0 lead over Angels starter Jose Suarez.
With two strikeouts, Abraham Toro picked the middle. Rookie Jarred Kelenic, who passionately asked fans to be part of the series in his post-game interview on Wednesday, turned the house full, sending a hopper from the wall into right field.
With the ball not coming cleanly out of the wall to right fielder Juan Lagares, Mariners third baseman Manny Acta waved Torrens home as second baseman David Fletcher received the blow. net in shallow right field. It was a calculated risk knowing that Fletcher’s arm is not strong and not accurate from a distance. The move turned out to be a good one as Fletcher’s throw came before Toro but was well above the third baseline, making a play at home impossible.
But Gonzales failed to maintain the minimum lead. He gave a first single to Luis Rengifo to start the third, then walked David Fletcher. Both runners scored when Brandon Walsh kicked a left center ball that was just out of range of outfielder Dylan Moore. It left for a double in two points. After an intentional march towards Shohei Ohtani, Gonzales exited the inning, forcing Phil Gosselin to fly to the center and Kurt Suzuki to strike in a 6-4-3 double play late in the inning.
Gonzales allowed just one more runner on an infield single the rest of the way.
But the Mariners haven’t done anything other than that against Suarez in his five innings of work. He allowed just three hits total with two walks and five strikeouts.
Led 2-1 at the start of the seventh set. Luis Torrens hit a high-flying ball into the right corner of reliever Michael Mayers’ pitch. The ball was near the top of the wall and Juan Lagares couldn’t glove it on his jump attempt. Instead, it turned into a starting triple for the not-so-quick Torrens.
Abraham Toro then won a nine-pitch battle to work a march, giving the Seattle runners the first and second spot with no outs. The runners never left their place on base.
As Kelenic arrived on the plate, Angels manager Joe Maddon called on left-hander Jose Quijada to replace Mayers.
Quijada struck out Kelenic on a 3-2 fastball at 95 mph out of the zone, struck out Tom Murphy at bat swinging on a similar fastball at the top of the zone, then froze Dylan Moore with a called third strike. that could have been at the corner of the plate.
THE SCORE OF THE BOX