J.P. Crawford leaves with right shoulder injury and Mariners bats only manage four hits, to waste fine effort from George Kirby in 3-1 loss.
The Mariners are dead last in the Majors in hits, and second-worst in batting average. So in reality, only managing four hits against the Yankees on Tuesday night shouldn’t be a surprise.
In addition, Seattle was facing New York ace Gerrit Cole, who has a 2.75 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. And yet, there was still frustration surrounding the offensive efforts of the M’s at Yankee Stadium.
There is no excuse for the Mariners lineup to be this inept. Not when it includes the likes of Julio Rodriguez, Ty France, Jarred Kelenic, Teoscar Hernandez and Eugenio Suarez.
Additionally, there is concern for a team with playoff aspirations that is still floundering offensively, as we approach the halfway-point of the 2023 campaign. At what stage do the bats become more consistent, or is this what can be expected for the remainder of the regular season?
If the latter is true, then Seattle fans can forget about postseason baseball in October. No matter how good the pitching is.
Kirby does just fine versus his childhood team
In this respect, George Kirby had a fine outing on Tuesday night in front of family and friends. The problem is, fine is not good enough when your run support is coming from this particular Mariners offense.
Kirby allowed eight hits and three runs in seven solid innings versus the Yankees. He saw 67 of his 95 pitches go for strikes, including four strikeouts, while he also had no walks.
The 2019 20th overall draft pick also overcame some adversity, giving up his three runs in the first two innings to put Seattle in an early hole. He was able to shut the Bronx Bombers down after this, albeit ultimately to no avail.
Kirby was understandably disappointed, especially with pitching in the ballpark of the team he followed as a youngster. As he said to the media after the game:
“I was fired up. I wish I could’ve done a little bit better.”
As much as it’s true Kirby has had better games this season, it’s still tough to criticize or blame him for this loss. Especially when you only get run support totaling just one score.
The righty also discussed his ability to overcome the tough beginning to his outing. He said:
“I wish I could’ve gotten through those first two innings a little better. But I’m going to compete my ass off every time I’m out there. I did my best to go as long as I could and I did that tonight, but came up short.”
Mariners offense fails to step up
Coming up short is an understatement, when it comes to the Mariners bats. On two occasions they failed to take advantage of having two men on base, leaving runners stranded in both the second and fifth innings.
Ultimately though, Seattle just couldn’t get the bats going, save for Kelenic’s RBI double in the top of the sixth. This pulled the Mariners to within 3-1, but that would be as close as they got.
As poor as the offense was, it would be remiss if we didn’t give Cole at least some credit. He allowed just the four hits and the aforementioned run in 7.1 innings, while striking out eight and only walking one.
Mariners manager Scott Servais acknowledge the quality of the five-time All-Star after the game. He said:
“Gerrit Cole was on top of his game. He’s been a good pitcher in this league for a long time. You’ve got your best shot if you get on him early. And then as the game got going, he got in a pretty good groove there and it was tough to get anything.”
Uncertainty surrounds Crawford
Adding injury to insult, J.P. Crawford had to leave the game during the third inning with a right shoulder contusion. X-rays came back negative, but he will have an MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the damage.
Crawford was having trouble lifting his arm following the game, so time on the injured list can’t be ruled out at this stage. Suffice it say, any missed time by him will be a blow to Seattle.
The 2013 16th overall draft pick provides strong play at shortstop. Offensively, he leads all Mariners players in OBP, walks and WAR.
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One positive to mention was the outing from Tyler Adcock, who pitched a clean inning which included two strikeouts. He maintains a 0.00 ERA to begin his Major League career, having pitched a combined 4.1 innings in four appearances.
With the loss, the Mariners once more drop to below .500, this time at 35-36. They also fell to 4.0 games out of a wild card spot.
Seattle will send Luis Castillo to the mound on Wednesday night, as they attempt to even the series in New York. As much as this is theoretically good, Castillo is currently on a streak of three consecutive losses for the first time since his trade to Seattle.
What’s your prediction for the remainder of this three-game set? Will the Mariners win at least once, or get swept by the Yankees? Let us know in the comments section below.