The formula proved successful in the post-season, and these sailors made their own version of it.
Their debut, as Robbie Ray showed again on Sunday afternoon, could match anyone. Their bulls are fierce. Their defense, overall, was excellent for five months. And even though their attack was a source of panic, they had a knack for hitting just in time.
These are the ingredients that can be successful at any time and at any age.
In a four-game series containing all the post-season trappings — and perhaps a preview of things to come — the Mariners won three of four against AL Central’s leading Cleveland Guardians, riding seven rounds of Ray on Sunday to seal it in. After winning 4-0.
The Mariners wrapped up the season’s most eventful home – their most eventful home in a decade, perhaps between a massive Julio Rodriguez contract extension and instigating Ichiro’s Hall of Fame – with another high-intensity, well-performing game before it sold out – from the 45,190 crowd on a clear summer day in T-Mobile Park.
At 70-58, the Mariners advanced ahead of Toronto (68-58) to the second place for the wild card, after only half a game behind Tampa Bay (70-57).
“An enjoyable series,” said Scott Service, director of M. “That’s what baseball should be. A great day out there. Huge group of people. And the home team comes in. …things haven’t gotten any better.”
Late JP Crawford’s Dylan Moore delivered the timely hit on Sunday — a towering three-stroke run to left field — to break the opening game for a goalless game in the fifth inning.
Ray was the story, and he went on to run an impressive run for the Mariners shooters.
The AL Cy Young winner scored seven times and only allowed three hits, no walks, in 103 shots. During a six-game Homestand game, starters M averaged 1.38 wins, with 39 strikes and only four walks in 39 runs.
“That’s about as good as you can deliver,” Service said.
Ray relied more on his usual four-stroke fastball, touching 95 mph and getting six of his seven hits.
“Going into that we wanted to lean a little bit on the four stitches, but it seemed to really work and I was able to use it on the top of the area and get some freeze in the bottom area,” Ray said.
Eric Swanson and Paul Swald made the final two strokes to complete the Mariners 11The tenth Season closing.
While the Mariners struggled in the first four rounds to generate much of anything against Cleveland starter Aaron Ceval, it was fair to wonder if another stellar throwing performance would be missed.
Ty France knocked out a 0-21 defeat with one strong song to lead the fifth inning. Adam Frazier later walked in the inning, bringing in Moore, the No. 9 hitter.
On field 2-2, Moore popped a foul ball near the base of the first bunker. Cleveland first baseman Owen Miller fell into the net trying to catch; Miller held the ball, but first base referee Ramon DeJesus ruled that the ball touched the net before Miller could complete the capture.
That gave Moore another chance, and on the next court he hit a curve ball hanging against the wall into left field in his sixth home game of the season – and the first since July 7 – to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead.
“I’m waiting for a fastball and trying to fix that,” Moore said. “(The curve ball) popped really high and was able to stay behind and get my hands through it.”
France added Homer’s solo to leave Ceval at seven, his 15The tenth Season – and the first since August 6.
The Guardians (67-59) threatened in the sixth inning, putting the runners in first and third unchecked. But Ray survived by having Miles Straw fly to Mitch Hanniger on the right field, Stephen Cowan to take out and Rosario to hit a high speed ball (Keep Jose Ramirez stuck in a circle on the deck).
After a day off on Monday, the Mariners began a six-game road swing on Tuesday in Detroit, concluding the trip with three games in Cleveland. This may be another preview of what’s to come in October.
“These teams are very similar,” Service said. “…they do very well. They have a very deep base and play very well in defense. I think we play very well against them, and they compete well against us. I mean, all of these games have been pretty close. There’s a big swing here or a big play there.” And it goes the other way…
“We go to Cleveland next week and there will be a struggle there as well. They are a really good team, and I think we have earned their respect too.”