The Mariners are red hot. They are the hottest team in baseball. And by a sizeable margin. Last night was a prime example of why. Here are three things we learned in the 8-0 shutout.
The Mariners made it seven in a row last night. That’s a new season-high. It was also the fifth straight quality start the rotation has pitched. Again, that’s a season-high. But, it’s not just the pitching that is lighting it up.
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The M’s bats have pounded out at least six runs in eight of their last nine games. But there’s more to know then just these numbers. Here are three things we learned last night.
Taijuan Walker Is King For A Day
Yesterday’s three-hit shutout was a glimpse of Taijuan Walker at his best. It was mesmerizing. His control. The movement on his pitches. His dominance of the Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, who he held to a combined 1-6. It was all a wonder to watch.
He took a perfect game into the sixth, and no-hitter into the seventh. The three hits that were eventually scattered on him were meaningless, and by no means reflect how dominant he was
Kyle Seager hasn’t joined the Mariner hit party of late. His current 0-13 spell is his second longest this season. His longest drought came back in April when he couldn’t muster a hit in eighteen consecutive at-bats.
It is strange to see Seager struggle like this. He has already set a person-best for home runs hit in a season with twenty-eight so far. His batting average has jumped twenty points higher than any other year. And to top it all off, he is five RBI and doubles shy of setting marks in both categories.
The Mariners don’t seem to need Seager’s help at the plate during this amazing stretch, but no one would be opposed if he got in a groove like many of his teammates.
Smith is Slammin’
Seth Smith had one hit last night. He went 1-4. It just so happens that the one hit, made the biggest impact on the game.
Smith stepped to the plate in the sixth with the bases loaded. On a 1-1 count, he took the next pitch yard. It was a screeching line-drive that barley cleared the high right-field wall. A Mariners fan almost caught the ball too, but it bounced off his glove and back onto the field.
The homer was Smith’s fourteenth of the year and his third in September. One more and he’ll tie his most for any month this year. It was also Smith’s second grand slam this season. His first was back on July 3rd against the Orioles.