Mariners pitching holds Marlins to one hit in 8-1 win

Bryce Miller leads the way in a bounce-back start, while the Seattle Mariners bats also contribute with 10 hits in a convincing win.

Following a strong start to Bryce Miller‘s Major League career, Mariners manager Scott Servais had declared him ‘Miller Time’. You could understand this, given the young pitcher had been historically good through his first five outings.

Then reality hit when Miller struggled mightily in his next two appearances, allowing a combined 19 hits and 15 earned runs. This included the shortest start of his Major League career to date, last time out versus the Texas Rangers.

As such, fans wondered how the 24-year-old would respond on Monday night, especially after seven days off. Fortunately for everyone concerned his response was a positive one, which helped propel the Mariners to a much-needed 8-1 win over the Marlins.

Miller was strong on the night, taking a no-hitter into the fifth and allowing just one hit overall in six innings. He generated 12 swings and misses — all on his fastball — on the way to six strikeouts.

This doesn’t mean the righty didn’t have his challenges, with his no-hitter being broken up by a solo home blast. He also gave up a season-high three walks, including two to start off the top of the second.

Ultimately though, Miller came through and gave the Mariners exactly what they needed. The starters have struggled as a collective of late, but the talent is too good for this to continue long-term.

No loss of confidence or belief

The 2021 fourth round draft pick was eager to get out on the mound on Monday night. Speaking afterwards to the media, he said:

“I had eight days to think about the last one in Texas, so I felt like I haven’t thrown in a month. But yeah, it was good getting back out there, getting back on track and feeling good.”

One of the keys to Miller’s performance, was making adjustments to throw his cutter at a higher velocity. He said:

“That was kind of what I worked on this week. I had two bullpens and I felt really good with it going into the game, and all game it felt really good.”

As much as the Texas A&M alumni had struggled in his two previous outings, he maintained belief in his abilities. He said:

“I’m always confident in my stuff. Going into this week, I had plenty of time to prepare. To get back to flushing the last two and get back to doing what I know I’m supposed to do, trusting in my stuff and trusting that the results will come.”

France leads the way on offense

Helping Miller was a fast start from the Mariners offense, with six runs in the first two innings. Ty France broke open the game in the bottom of the second, with his three-run homer doubling a 3-0 advantage.

Teosco Hernandez, Eugenio Suarez and Tom Murphy all added two hits and an RBI verus Miami. Julio Rodriguez also contributed an RBI on a night when the Mariners totaled 10 hits, with the other score coming courtesy of a fielding error.

Servais was certainly grateful for the run support. He said:

“Getting the runs early certainly helps. I’d love to see it here on a consistent basis. We’re capable of doing it. We’ve seen us do it before, but it takes a really disciplined approach every night.”

Miller remembered back to his college days to help keep up his end of the bargain. He said:

“One thing that my college coach always pushed on us was to have a shutdown inning after you know the offense gives you some runs. If the offense is productive, the last thing that I want to do is go out and have a long inning and have them stand out there and not be productive on my end.”

Mariners pitching excels in general

Following Miller’s departure, the bullpen kept things going, specifically Tyler Adcock and Gabe Speier. Adcock was particularly impressive, with two clean innings in his Major League debut.

Overall, the one hit for the Marlins was a season-low. Interestingly, it was also just the second time in franchise history their only hit was a home run.

Another impressive aspect of the Mariners’ overall pitching, was Miami’s Luis Arraez going 0-for-4 at the plate. It was just the second time in 17 games the MLB batting average leader was held hitless.

Monday night’s win was easily one of the most complete performances this year for Seattle, but Servais knows they have to make it a more regular occurence. He said:

“Tomorrow is a new day — you’ve got to keep it moving. We’ve had decent games and then we take a step back, so I’m anxious. I wish we could play tomorrow’s game right now, I really do. But (let’s) see who shows up tomorrow. I do really like the way we’re moving offensively.”

With the victory, the Mariners move to 32-33 and sit 4.5 games back of a wild card spot in the AL. George Kirby will take the ball on Tuesday night, as they attempt to win the series with a game to spare.

Do you have faith the Mariners offense is now finally getting going in 2023? Or do you need more convincing from the bats, in order to believe they will be more consistent during the remainder of this season? Let us know in the comments section below.

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