For the second day in a row, the Mariners rallied in the eighth inning to come back and beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2, giving the hometown boys a split for this four-game series.
This series was indeed an interesting one and at the end of it all, the Mariners actually came out of it in better shape than the Red Sox, who are now eight games back in the AL East.
Of course the Mariners are not really in any sort of pennant race, but would like to finish strong and give their fans a reason to come down to Safeco on beautiful afternoons like today.
The fans today got to see Doug Fister pitching a lot more like he did in the early part of the year, as he went five innings while giving up seven hits and two runs before yielding to the suddenly efficient bullpen. Fister got some help from his defense today, including a dramatic diving catch by Jack Wilson in the fourth to help stop a rally.
Jack Wilson has played better in the last couple of weeks than at any time since coming over from the Pirates last season. His .255 batting average is nothing to sneeze at on this year’s club, and he seems to have a knack for getting hits when they count. I’m glad we have him for one more season, as that is one less question mark on a 2011 team that is up in the air in several areas.
And just as we were all ready to write Casey Kotchman off as a lost cause, he goes 3-for-3, and has been producing at the plate pretty well himself for the last three weeks.
Michael Saunders picked up another clutch-hit today, driving in a couple of runs in the big eighth inning rally that featured six hits in a row. Granted a couple of the hits were bunts that managed to sneak by the Sox, but hey, it’s not like we aren’t due for a few lucky breaks in a year where everything possible has gone wrong…and then some.
The Mariners bullpen has a new look as well, with guys like Chris Seddon stepping up and doing their job.
As I mentioned a couple of days ago in my post, sometimes a little dugout scuffle can sort of clear the air for a team. Yes, I know Chone Figgins has said he still may want to say his piece on that wild night, but who really cares? Let’s just move forward and play some good solid ball like the last two games.
I am curious about Mike Sweeney and when and if he comes back, how he will be used. We seem to have a lot of DH’s these days with Branyan, Smoak, Bradley, and Sweeney all sort of qualifying as the DH on this squad on any given day.
Yes, there is still a chance the Mariners may trade Lopez, Kotchman, or even Aardsma before the deadline, but I don’t expect anything too dramatic since this team has been through enough turnover and turmoil this year.
The Mariners now move on to play the White Sox again, with Felix on the mound. Call me crazy, but I have a hunch we may parlay some of the energy from this last series with the BoSox into a little more fun against Ozzie Guillen and his boys….http://jeffsmariners.com