Detroit – The Mariners came to Comerica Park with momentum this week. They saw an opportunity to take advantage against the bottom team. And they swept the Tigers with his 7-0 victory on Thursday afternoon, paving the way for a three-game sweep.
No team in baseball will cut opposition, but this series (the ninth sweep of the year) is particularly noteworthy as the calendar flips to September and the 20-year playoff drought is inches closer.
Seattle surged to a staggering 15 games over .500, and with Tampa Bay idled, the club tied for the top spot in the AL Wild Card. Wildcard series.
With just 31 games left, the AL West is firmly in Houston’s hands, so the obvious goal of these last few weeks is to lock up a home playoff game for the baseball-hungry fan base in October. That’s it. And the Mariners believe they are on the right track to do so.
“I think we’re getting better. I think that’s the best way to put it,” Mariners manager Scott Serves said. “When I say, ‘I don’t care. It’ll get better.’ It’s improving at the right time. I’m excited to come to the ballpark every day – and it’s really expensive.”
The Mariners’ methodology in Detroit this week was an extension of their late August success.
Julio Rodriguez and Thailand France broke back-to-back solo home runs in the third inning to close out the club’s seven-run series. This follows his August, when Seattle ranked second in the AL for his 39 home runs, and his first since June 2019, when he was an all-or-nothing offense in the first year of rebuilding. is the highest in a month. Seattle has won 11 of their last 15 games, and he has beaten them 25-6 over the span.
The Tigers aren’t even close to the kind of team the Mariners will see in the postseason, but Seattle’s lineup nonetheless shows a return to what the front office has long envisioned, and it’s coming at the right time. are gathering.
“Thailand and France are better now than they were a few weeks ago,” Servais said. “We have a lot of people who are trending. I use Julio’s line: ‘Trend in the right direction.'” And that’s a really good sign. ”
Critical to Thursday’s win was Logan Gilbert’s dominant start and turnaround. He threw a fastball past the Tigers for most of the afternoon and tied for his career-high nine.
Gilbert, who had a 5.26 ERA and allowed a .858 OPS in nine starts since his last win on July 5, gave up two hits (both singles) and one walk. With the Mariners building such a lead, only 84 pitches allowed Servais to pull him off after six shutout innings. Gilbert is in uncharted territory, scoring his career-high 155 2/3 innings, and Thursday was a proverbial breather compared to a more stressful outing.
“August wasn’t the best, but I felt pretty good,” Gilbert said. “I didn’t feel far off if that makes sense. Hopefully this is a good sign to keep rolling from here.”
Next up is Cleveland, home to the AL Central-leading Guardians, and the Mariners won 2 of 3 this past weekend in Seattle.