Gonzales delivered another brilliant outing on Wednesday night, pitching seven shutout innings to improve to 10-5 on the season. The Mariners won, 3-0.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The pitcher’s win stat has been proven to be somewhat of a useless measure in this modern era of baseball.
But the win-loss record still goes next a pitcher’s name and it’s something he carries with him, no matter if he understands the measure. Almost every pitcher knows their exact win-loss record for their career and that season. Well, except for maybe Marco Gonzales.
But he’ll probably remember it after Wednesday night since he now has more wins next to his name than any other pitcher on the Mariners’ pitching staff after Seattle’s 3-0 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium.
Mariners @ L.A. Angels, 7:07 p.m., ROOT Sports
Gonzales delivered another brilliant outing, pitching seven shutout innings and allowing just two hits with no walks and four strikeouts to improve to 10-5 on the season.
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“Heck of a job by Marco Gonzales,” manager Scott Servais said. “It was exactly what we needed tonight. Awesome, awesome job.”
Gonzales is the 10th pitcher in Mariners team history to notch 10 wins before the All-Star break.
So what do those wins mean to him?
“I didn’t even know, honestly,” he said with a surprised look on his face. “That’s great though. A lot of credit has to go to the team. They’ve scored runs at the right time and tonight they played unbelievable defense.”
Even the biggest baseball optimist probably wasn’t expecting this from the young lefty coming into the 2018 season. And it’s a major reason why the Mariners are tracking toward their first postseason berth since 2001.
“He’s been huge,” Servais said. “Coming into spring training, he made some adjustments and he’s just been healthy and feeling like he’s ready to go from the get-go. He has not backed off. His work in between starts is impeccable. He’s really disciplined. A lot of times, young players they’ll get on a roll and say, ‘OK, I have this figured out.’ Marco has not done that. He’s not backed off the pedal at all. That’s why he’s going to have a lot left in the tank in the second half.”
Over his past three starts, Gonzales is 3-0, throwing a total of 22 innings and allowing just two runs on 14 hits with two walks and 18 strikeouts. It included beating the Angels in back-to-back outings, allowing one run on seven hits in a combined 14 innings.
“The last one was a good learning experience,” he said of the first outing vs. the Angels. “I didn’t have very sharp command and I wasn’t throwing my best pitches for strikes. Tonight, I was just trying to focus on getting ahead and staying aggressive. We play these guys so much, there really are no secrets. With this lineup, you have to get ahead of them, they are so dangerous.”
Gonzales retired the first 10 batters he faced before allowing his first base runner, which came on a hard ground ball off the bat of Andrelton Simmons that smacked him in the back of the left calf.
“It was pretty painful at first,” he said. “Luckily I’ve got a lot of meat right there.”
He remained in the game and gave up a single to Mike Trout. They were the only Angels base runners against him on the night. They didn’t stay on base long. Gonzales froze Justin Upton with a changeup for a called strike three and got Albert Pujols to ground out weakly for the final out of the inning. Because the Mariners didn’t want his calf to tighten up, Gonzales spent the top half of the next three innings standing, stretching or jogging in the indoor batting cages to keep it loose.
The calf wasn’t an issue. Gonzales worked the next three innings perfectly.
Alex Colome worked a scoreless eighth inning. Edwin Diaz notched save No. 36 with a 1-2-3 ninth.
With two outs in the third inning, David Freitas jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Angels starter Jaime Barria, sending a towering drive to deep right-center.
“I got a little nervous there,” Freitas said of Trout. “I’ve seen a lot of highlights of him robbing home runs. I wasn’t sure if that was going to be another one.”
Every first homer in the big leagues is special, but for Freitas it was validation.
“You look at my career,” he said. “I was in the minor leagues for seven years before my first call up. I’ve come a long way since 2010. It’s a proud moment for me and it was special because I got to have my mom, my wife and my son all here. They got to share it.”
|AL West standings|
|The Mariners are in a duel with Houston at the top of the division.|