Mariners prove their mettle in 8-6 win over Yankees

The Mariners once again show their ability to overcome adversity, as they beat the potent Yankees and even the series in New York.

At the weekend, we wrote about how the Mariners’ 5-4 win over the Astros was probably their strangest game of the year to date. Tuesday night’s game in New York wasn’t as strange, but it did once again display Seattle’s indomitable spirit.

The Mariners were still without some of their key bats, including Julio Rodriguez and Ty France. There were ongoing concerns about the recently overworked bullpen, subsequently not helped by Logan Gilbert going on to have his poorest start of the year.

This was not an ideal set of circumstances considering the strength of the opponent (and that’s an understatement). Yet when it was all said and done, the Mariners had somehow willed themselves to a clutch 8-6 win over the Yankees.

In truth, Seattle’s mental fortitude should not be in question anymore. After all, we’re talking about a team with the most one-run wins last year and once again leading the Majors in this category in 2022.

However, the Mariners continue to find ways to surprise people and discover different ways to win games. If they can ever get somewhere relatively close to being healthy, they should prove to be even tougher to beat.

Despite the absence of Rodrigeuz and France (as well as Mitch Haniger), the Mariners came out firing on Tuesday night and had a 4-0 lead after three innings. The scoring came courtesy of a Eugenio Suarez two-run homer, a solo blast by the ever improving Cal Raleigh and a sacrifice fly from Carlos Santana.

Seattle looked in control, but then something unusual happened. The usually reliable Gilbert, a pitcher who thrives in pressure situations and against the top teams, wilted under the glare of the bright lights at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth, via a Jeff Donaldson RBI and Jose Trevino homer, to pull to within one run. And even though Carlos Santana hit a two-run double in the next inning, it wasn’t enough.

Gilbert just couldn’t get back on track, as he allowed another three runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 6-6 with just one out. This prompted manager Scott Servais to remove him from the game.

The 25-year-old’s final stat line saw him pitch 5.1 innings, while allowing seven hits and four walks. His six earned runs were a season-high and the second-most of his two-year career in the Majors.

Gilbert admitted him command wasn’t there on the night. Speaking to the media, he said:

“I felt a little off, I think that was clear to tell. It was just my direction and my tempo. I went back and looked at some video a little bit afterwards and (it’s) just a couple of small things. It’s late, but I’ll try to clean it up in the next pen (session).”

With Gilbert out, it was up to a tired bullpen to stem the flow of runs. In the end, they showed why they are one of the best units in the Majors.

The Yankees would not score again, thanks to the efforts of Penn Murfee, Paul Sewald, Erik Swanson, Matt Brash and Andres Munoz. They combined to allow just three hits and seven strikeouts in 3.2 innings, although it wasn’t always straightforward. (More on this shortly.)

Offensively, Sam Haggerty came in to pinch hit for Jarred Kelenic in the top of the seventh. (On the subject of Kelenic, he has yet to record a single hit in three games and nine at-bats since being recalled from Triple-A.)

Haggerty had missed the two previous games with a gash, as a result of spiking his helmet in frustration and having it bounce back and hit him in the face. Fortunately for him and the Mariners, the only thing that was hit on Tuesday night was the ball.

The 28-year-old’s solo shot regained the lead for the Mariners, 7-6. It was his third home run of the season.

Haggerty was extremely humble when discussing his homer, possibly even a little bit (too) self-deprecating. As per Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times, he said:

“I don’t look at the fence too much, because I don’t hit too many home runs. I guess I was just fortunate enough to hit it at the right angle and put a good swing on it … If only it were that easy to do.”

The Mariners added some degree of insurance in the top of the ninth with another run, to make it 8-6. Haggerty was again involved, as he got on base with a single and was then brought home after a hit from Adam Frazier.

Then it was over to the aforementioned bullpen to close the deal, but because it’s the Mariners, there had to be one more twist. Munoz came in and loaded the bases, after allowing a single and recording two walks.

Munoz was clearly taking a while to rediscover his rhythm, after resting for four days due to soreness. However, as with the rest of his team, he overcame the adversity — albeit of his own making — to strike out Gleyber Torres and clinch the win for the Mariners.

Servais knew how much the win meant, against an opponent like the Yankees, and was understandably complimentary of his players. He said:

“That, I think, is probably the epitome of a team win if we’ve had one all year long, (with) everybody chipping in … It was really up and down the lineup, everybody kind of did their part tonight. We needed it and none bigger than Munzo’s out there at the end.”

There will be a lot of anticipation for Wednesday’s series finale, with Luis Castillo set to make his debut for the Mariners. Right away, Castillo will get the opportunity to justify how much the Mariners gave up for him, against the team with the best record in the American League.

What are you expecting from Castillo’s debut on Wednesday afternoon? Will the Mariners beat the Yankees and clinch the three-game series? Let us know in the comments section below.

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