On a night where little went right for the Seattle Mariners during a 5-0 loss to the Rockies, Nick Margevicius provided some optimism.
Nothing seemed to go right for the Seattle Mariners against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night, at T-Mobile Park. They only managed one hit all game, courtesy of J.P. Crawford, and lost 5-0 to record their first shutout of the 2020 season.
However, there was at least one bright spot on the night, in the form of Nick Margevicius. The pitcher was given his first start in a Mariners uniform after Kendall Graveman went on the injury list with a neck issue, and he successfully stepped up the challenge.
There was some understandable concern about how Mergevicius would perform considering how disastrous his last start was in the Majors, which ironically also came against the Rockies. In that outing for the San Diego Padres last season, he allowed 11 hits and nine runs in just 1.3 innings of action.
Any worries were quickly dispelled however, as the 24-year-old provided some optimism that he can be a solid replacement for Graveman. He allowed just three hits, one walk and — most importantly –no runs in 3.1 innings.
Mergevicius displayed a nice combination of his curve and fastball, as 41 of his 61 pitches went for strikes.. He recorded three strikeouts against the Rockies, as he exercised some of his demons from when he last faced them, in Colorado.
The North Royalton, Ohio native’s night ended in the fourth, although this was as much by design as anything else. Manager Scott Servais confirmed the youngster was on a strict count, having not thrown more than 40 pitches this year prior to his start.
There may well have been some temptation to keep Mergevicius on the mound, after the way he pitched during the first three innings. However, the original decision to have a strict pitch count was proved correct, when he allowed two of his three hits in the top of the fourth.
Overall, the Mariners were pleased with the outing, as the 2017 seventh round draft pick displayed a confidence and aggression which should help the Mariners’ rotation. Certainly, he’s ready to step up to the challenge, as reported by Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times:
“Physically, I felt fine,” Mergevicius said. “I just wanted to go as deep as I could in the game. I think I’m ready to keep increasing that volume.”
All indications are that Mergevicius will get another chance to start on Friday, albeit a tough assignment against the Houston Astros. Following Saturday night’s performance, he has now pitched 8.1 innings this season, striking out eight and allowing just two walks, while recording a 3.24 ERA and 1.080 WHIP.
The Mariners now stand at 5-11 entering Sunday’s final game of the series against the Rockies. However, as much as this has been a tough season so far for fans, the likes of Mergevicius and Justus Sheffield at least provide some optimism for the future.
What is your take on Mergevicius’ start on Saturday night? What kind of impact do you predict he will have in the Seattle Mariners’ rotation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.