Here are three thoughts from the Mariners’ 3-2 win Saturday against the Mets.
1. This was a needed bounce-back win.
The Mariners’ loss on Friday night was the kind of game a team trying to make the playoffs can’t afford to lose. At least not many like that, anyway.
The Mariners bounced back against the Mets’ hard-throwing starter Jacob deGrom — no easy task.
The Mariners still have a chance to win the series against the Mets and finish this 10-game homestand .500. That’s certainly not ideal, especially for a team that plays so many games on the road in August, but it’s salvageable.
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2. The Mariners capitalized on enough of their chances.
The Mariners didn’t have a ton of chances, against deGrom or the Mets’ bullpen, but they took advantage of the few chances they had.
In the second inning, Nelson Cruz led off with a single and Kyle Seager followed with a double. Then things got scary.
After Danny Valencia struck out, Mitch Haniger was hit in the face by a 95-mph fastball from deGrom. Haniger left the field with his hands over his face and went straight up the tunnel with trainers.
Jarrod Dyson, the very next batter after Haniger’s scare, delivered a two-run single to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
The Mariners tacked on another run in the third inning, this one more unorthodox.
Ben Gamel led off with a single. Robinson Cano hit into what could have been a double play, but Mets second baseman Neil Walker sailed the throw, allowing Gamel to end up at third and Cano to reach second.
Gamel scored on a Nelson Cruz sacrifice fly one batter later to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead.
3. Yovani Gallardo (mostly) avoided the big inning.
When Gallardo has gotten into trouble this year, it’s usually been because he couldn’t avoid the big inning, the one that got away from him. But he navigated around trouble on Saturday.
Gallardo looked headed for a damaging inning in the fifth, when the first two batters in the inning reached. But Gallardo escaped by getting the next three hitters in order.
In the sixth inning, two more base runners reached with two outs. At that point, Mariners manager Scott Servais pulled Gallardo in favor of reliever Tony Zych.
Eight of Zych’s first nine pitches were balls, and he walked in a run before finally ending the inning, the Mariners still clinging to a 3-1 lead.
In just his second start back in the rotation after being demoted to the bullpen, Gallardo avoided the problems that had hampered him earlier in the season.