Seattle Mariners: The Top 5 Ways the Team Will Win Games Down the Stretch
Putrid is one of those words that you use to almost insult more than simply describe.
Last season, the Mariners offense was putrid in a historically putrid manner. This season, things have obviously changed.
No longer will pitchers on this team put in solid efforts only to notch another mark on the cold cement wall of their Seattle Mariners prison cell. They will either be winners or at least see their efforts contribute towards a win.
Last night, Doug Fister took matters into his own hands by smacking a double and then scoring a few pitches later when a hitter was like "Hey, this guy deserves better. I'll drive him in!" Fister didn't get the win, but his double was a big reason the team did.
Who else chipped in? Who else but Carlos Peguero.
On top of his sun ball and grounder that ricocheted off a base, Peguero has now been at the plate when the winning run was scored via a wild pitch on what was intended to be the third ball of an intentional walk.
He's one guy that gets the job done.
Hitting a baseball is no challenge for this club, so they are getting creative. How else will they win games? Let's examine some highly possibly possibilities.
5: HBP, Passed Balls, Shaky Defense, Oh My!
In tonight's tilt against the Atlanta Braves, the Mariners get to use a DH again as they'll actually be the home team, not just the sort-of home team.
The opposing pitcher Brandon Beachy is right handed, so I predict Mike Carp will get some DH hacks in. Beachy will be long gone though, having pulled a Ken Griffey, Jr. and falling asleep in the clubhouse because the offense will be so boring. Not having to hit himself in an AL park will be the final straw.
With a 0-0 game on the line in the ninth inning, Carp, who will be hitting seventh in the order, will get hit by a pitch by some reliever who is awake.
Eric Wedge will have Chone Figgins pinch-run for Carp.
Said reliever will then put a ball in the dirt that Brian McCann can't handle on a swinging third strike by Franklin Gutierrez. Figgins advances to second base. Gutierrez reaches first safely.
With a double steal on, Figgins misses the sign and gets a late start. Luckily, McCann sails the ball into right. We're still pissed at Figgins, though, because he could have scored had he went when he was supposed to. Figgins to third, Gutierrez to second.
With Brendan Ryan batting ninth (sorry, wishful thinking on my part), he'll lay down the suicide squeeze and Figgins will actually score.
4: It Only Takes One
This weekend, the Padres come to town. The Padres have scored four more runs than the Mariners this season!
What happens when the movable object and resistible force meet?
In the sixth inning on Friday, with their Turn Back the Clock Night jerseys on all snug, Dustin Ackley will be working a 3-2 count when some Padres pitcher will stand around for too long shaking off signs, and the umpire will award Ackley the rare call of a ball because the pitcher lallygagged.
While on first base, the pitcher will still be mad at Ackley. He'll pick him off. But wait! Yep, that was a balk. Ackley to second.
The next batter, let's call him Miguel Olivo will send a ball deep in the outfield. Even though it was a really bad pitch to swing at and Miggy was no doubt thinking homer, he's a hero because he "got the job done." Ackley advances to third after tagging up.
Hey, look! It's Carlos Peguero! He sends up a fairly routine pop up that the catcher can handle about 10 feet from home plate on the first base side.
What the catcher doesn't know is that one of the pieces of Peguero's 134th exploded bat of the season is right in his path. He slips, falls and misses the ball. Ackley scores.
Both offenses hibernate the rest of the game and the Mariners win 1-0.
3: Padres Attempt Revenge
Having lost the first two games of the series, our hated natural rivals from the other border are looking for blood.
It's bad enough that we might sweep them, but we're totally stealing their idea by being a bad offense that uses good pitching and defense in a big park to hang around in the race.
Things have got further out of hand thanks to Brendan Ryan's screaming curse words were taken out of context by the Padres when he struck out looking Saturday night. They decide to plunk him in the first inning on Sunday.
Jason Vargas will have none of that noise and decides the top of the second is a good time to retaliate. He nails Chase Headley. Both sides are warned, so that will be all of the hitting of batters we'll see.
Or will it?
In the fourth inning, Brendan Ryan is seen in the on-deck circle stroking his moustache while staring down the pitcher. This is some unacceptable taunting that can't go unpunished. He gets pegged again and the benches clear. After the smoke clears, the pitcher is tossed and Brendan is on first base, moustache attached.
Speaking of smoke—or rather Smoak—Justin Smoak comes to the plate and smokes a triple. Brandan Ryan Scores.
The Mariners sweep the series with three straight 1-0 barn burners.
2: Jeff Gray, Savior
Jeff Gray plays for the Seattle Mariners.
Perhaps you hadn't heard, or maybe you're surprised to learn he's still around. In either case, this is a true statement and at some point you figure he'll find his way into a game that doesn't show a lopsided score.
In Oakland on Tuesday, the Mariners will be coming off a devastating 15 inning loss where they exhausted most of their bullpen. Here we go again, we're in the bottom of the 10th inning with a 2-1 lead and Eric Wedge needs a fresh arm.
After considering Chone Figgins, because pitching is the only thing he hasn't sucked at this season, Wedge makes the reluctant call for Gray to come in to the game during a high-leverage situation.
Gray strikes out the side in nine pitches and will soon be thrust into this situation again because when the sun decides to shine on a dog's ass in Eric Wedge's world, it earns that dog way too much future time in a prominent role.
1: Chone Figgins Delivers. No, Really.
Get this. Chone Figgins will go 3-4 next Thursday in his Anaheim. Comfortable in an old setting, he'll have a three-run homer, a walk, a double, two steals and four runs scored. His defense will be impeccable.
It's totally possible, right?