Well that was a fun one for the Mariners, wasn’t it?
Here’s my game story with the nuts and bolts.
Below is some video of manager Lloyd McClendon and Michael Saunders discussing the game, and specifically the key hit that Saunders beat out to win it for the Mariners 3-1 tonight over the Astros.
That Saunders beat the hit out made moot a decision by McClendon in the seventh that might have been hotly debated otherwise. And that was deciding to pinch-hit for James Jones with Cole Gillespie with one out and the bases loaded.
McClendon said later the move was made for the obvious reasons — to get the right-handed hitting Gillespie up against left-hander Tony Sipp rather than having Jones go lefty on lefty.
Gillespie popped up on a 3-1 pitch.
“It’s a tough matchup for Jones in that situation,” McClendon said. “I will say this — in most instances we want him to hit there. We think he is going to be an everyday player, he needs to face those. It was such a big point in the game we felt we had to get the matchup we wanted. And listen, Gillespie got the pitch he wanted, he just popped it up.”
As for the key play at first, here’s what Houston manager Bo Porter had to say about it:
On the issue around the confirmed call at first base: “Yeah, it is tough to lose that way. [Sipp] made the pitches to get out of it, but at the same time if we break right to the bag I think we get them.”
If there was initial hesitation on the play between first baseman Jesus Guzman and Sipp: “You know they got busted down the line. He fielded the ball cleanly, the pitcher was there in plenty of time and he should have given him the ball. It’s two runs that come off the board and you come in and hit and it’s ‘bang bang.’ It’s a call in my opinion that you have to challenge.”
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And here’s Saunders:
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And here are a bunch of Mariner notes:
- Seattle has won 3 straight against Houston and 4 of the last 5 games after opening the season with 2 losses.
- James Jones extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games (longest active hit streak in the Majors); during the streak he is hitting .302 (13×43) with 10 runs, 4 doubles, 2 triples, 1 RBI and 6 walks.
- Michael Saunders extended his hitting streak to 6 games; during streak is hitting .435 (10×23) with 5 runs, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 home run and 8 RBI since May 16…his 6-game streak is tied for 6th longest of his career (career-high 10-game streak July 8-21, 2013).
- The Mariners bullpen struck out 5 Astros in 3.2 innings.