Bryan Woo records his first career Major League win, as the Mariners avoid a sweep in New York on a night when the offense lights it up.
Bryan Woo‘s Major League career couldn’t have gotten off to a worse beginning with the Mariners. He allowed seven hits and six earned runs in his first start, which lasted all of two innings.
Since then however, rather than fall apart, Woo has gradually built himself up. This culminated in his best outing yet on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium of all places, in front of 42,400 hostile fans.
The 23-year-old went 5.1 innings and allowed a career-low two hits, while striking out five. The only issue was a career-high three walks, but most importantly he gave up no runs and earned his first win in the Majors.
Woo didn’t actually allow his first hit until there was one out in the sixth. Understandably disappointed about giving up the no-hitter, he said:
“The hit that I gave up, it was unfortunate. It wasn’t a barrel. I made a good pitch, and he put a good swing on it. It is what it is.”
Mariners manager Scott Servais was impressed by how the Oakland, California native performed in what can be an intimidating atmosphere. He said:
“It’s his first time, obviously, pitching in this stadium, and his fourth career start. They took a lot of pitches, they made him work — as I figured they would — but another excellent outing by him.”
Hernandez leads the way for Mariners offense
Helping Woo get his first Major League win, was a fast start by the Mariners bats. In fact, he had a 4-0 lead before even coming out to the mound to throw a pitch.
Teoscar Hernandez got things going for the maligned (and rightfully so) offense, with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. He would go on to have a game-high three hits, along with another RBI.
The struggling Eugenio Suarez followed this up with a much-needed hit of his own, with his RBI double increasing the lead to 3-0. Mike Ford followed this up with a sacrifice fly, to put Seattle in control.
The Mariners wouldn’t let up, hitting two runs in each of the next three innings to take an insurmountable 10-0 lead. It also represented the worst start of the season for Domingo German, giving up eight hits and 10 runs (eight earned) in just 3.1 innings.
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On the night, Seattle hit four homers for the third time this year. The blasts came courtesy of Hernandez, Ty France, Cal Raleigh and the heavily-criticized Kolten Wong – his first in a Mariners uniform.
Speaking to the media after the game, Wong was happy but preferred to focus on the overall team success. He said:
“We just kind of came in with a different attitude today. Guys were aggressive, guys were excited to go out there and compete. That was the kind of game that we really needed to kind of jump-start us back to winning ways.”
After Woo left the game, Ty Adcock continued his excellent start to his Major League career. He allowed nothing in 1.2 innings of action, to maintain his 0.00 ERA through six appearances.
Chris Flexen came in to pitch the last two innings. He continued his personal struggles by allowing two runs, but this was nothing more than a consolation for the Yankees.
A complete performance
Overall, Servais was relieved the Mariners were able to avoid the sweep, with one of their most complete performances of the year. He said:
“We came out very focused and ready to compete right from the first pitch tonight, offensively. … We got on the attack mode early on, and it certainly paid off. It was a nice win and we needed it. We hadn’t done anything nice here offensively the first few days.”
With the win, the Mariners move back to within one game of .500, at 36-37. They are also within 4.0 games of a wild card spot, somewhat of a surprise given their inconsistent play up to this point.
At some time sooner than later, Seattle needs to start winning with more consistency. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you don’t put in the work and get the results on a regular basis.
Servais is well aware of this. He said:
“You can have the greatest plan in the world, but you’ve got to go out and execute it. … I didn’t think we did that (on Wednesday night). We talked about it after the game. We responded accordingly. It’s in there. We have the ability to do that, but we have to show up and compete every night.”
The Mariners say the right things, but at some point talk becomes cheap. You need to also be able to walk the walk.
Next up for the Mariners is a challenging three-game series in Baltimore, versus a surprising Orioles team. Logan Gilbert will take the mound, as the team hopes to return to .500 on the season.
What are your early impressions of Woo through four starts? Do you see as a long-term mainstay in the Mariners rotation? Let us know in the comments section below.