Today’s game score doesn’t really reflect the total domination the Mariners wielded over the Angels at every stage of the game. The Mariners won the Angels in every facet of today’s game in an all-team performance, which felt especially satisfying after a few games where they took one-point wins, in a month where they relied heavily on their pitching when the offense failed. It felt extra special to capture this win against the despicable Angels in their home park to ensure a series sweep that would further raise the Mariners in the Wild Card leaderboard as they merrily send the Angels deeper into the AL West basement. would bury. It was a really fun time, and at this point I have to say, despite all my nagging about the YouTube game, the actual broadcast team was solid: Yonder Alonso in particular injected some good insight, the stats presented were mostly helpful and useful, and of course the microphone segments were excellent, with Adam Frazier and Logan Gilbert – not necessarily the first two guys I’d come up with in this role – both performing well on a national stage. Maybe having the Alt-Cast of celebrities and influencers, where I spent about thirty seconds before clicking away so quickly that I left a smoking Kate-sized hole behind, will help some of YouTube’s push to baseball Cool For The Kids and let the rest of us enjoy baseball in peace. Or as much peace as you can have as a live chat scrolls by with all the hottest baseball takes on the internet. Look, it was good for a YouTube gameOkay.
Anyway, back to the game. Let’s talk about all these phases of domination because they are fun to count down.
1) Start pitching
The Mariners started George Kirby, who continues to show signs of improvement and growth throughout his young career. The Angels obviously saw a movie of Kirby vs. the Orioles ambushing his fastball early in the count, but Kirby’s fastball location was excellent today, so he was able to provoke lots of foul balls and weak contact, along with some pretty quick innings from the swing-happy Angels. He didn’t collect the gizmos like he may have in the past – he didn’t get gizmos on the 19 sinker/two seamers he threw, and only one on the slide – but he was able to hit his curveball with great success today. , got the highest CSW% on that pitch (other than his substitution, but he only threw four today), and was able to lead from that pitch.
He also had this absolute gem of an at bat with Ohtani in the third inning, when the Angels had climbed onto the board for the first time on some nasty hits by Andrew Velazquez and David Fletcher, bringing Ohtani to the Mariners. protecting just a three point lead. Kirby put Ohtani away on three throws, starting by challenging him with a fastball, then running a curveball on his hands for a foul, then executing this absolutely perfect throw:
Ohtani would get Kirby back in the fifth with an RBI single followed by a double from certified Mariner killer Luis Rengifo to give the Angels their second and third run of the day, but that wouldn’t be the thing that frustrated Kirby the most on the day: that would be in the sixth inning, when he walked Steven Duggar after two quick outs, causing Scott Servais to call Penn Murfee out of the pen to finish the sixth. It was a bit of a disappointing end to a strong start for Kirby – in a game that was so satisfying on so many levels, that’s the only missing piece in this game – but it’s good to have a target to shoot for the next outing, right?
Touki Toussaint was right at the start for the Angels, which I think is a shame because I hate rooting for Touki, who became good friends with several Mariners players while playing with the Peoria Javelinas in the AFL, and also because I really believe in Touki as a pitching talent but he is currently in perhaps the worst possible organization to help him become the best pitcher he can be. Free Touki. Like Kirby, Touki also leaned heavily on his curveball, which elicited some nasty tricks from Mariners batters, but he also struggled with his command, striking out three but walking (and hitting a batter) and giving up four runs in only 2.2 innings. Which quickly leads us to…
2) The offense
A score of 11-7 might not suggest that the Mariners played off the Angels offensively so dexterously, especially considering that the Mariners are at full strength and the Angels are Shohei Ohtani and the Sholite Vocal Band, but this felt like a pretty Mariners’ decisive offensive victory. As mentioned above, they jumped Toussaint for four runs in the third inning, starting, as most good things do these days, when Sam Haggerty took first base on a hit by pitch and stole second base just as quickly. Two more walks loaded the bases for Mitch Haniger, who doesn’t care much for tigers, especially NOBLETIGERS:
The real offensive trade deadline was always with us, it turns out. Haniger has absolutely scalded the ball today; this was the hardest hit ball of the game, at 108.7 MPH, but Haniger had three of the ten hardest hit balls of the game today:
That would bring in one run, then a basesloaded walk to JP Crawford would bring in another run, before Carlos Santana did what he did best and added another double to give the Mariners a 4-0 lead.
But the Mariners offense was going to score so many more points! So much more. Mike Mayers, who looks like metaverse Andrew Scott, would be saddled with lengthy emergency services after Toussaint was lifted, and Eugenio Suárez greeted him very rudely in the fifth (with Haniger aboard, as he was, of course):
Cal thought that looked fun, so he got in on it too, doing his own solo recording to make it 7-1.
And so it would be. Every time the Angels went over a few more runs, the Mariners answered back and extended their lead. The Angels got two more runs in the fifth? Birthday boy Jesse Winker had an answer to that, blasting this 93 MPH fastball in his favorite part of the zone, right in the middle:
Adam Frazier was on board before and today reached base three times from the leadoff spot to lift the lead to 9-3. Do the Angels still have two points? Cal Raleigh has an answer to that, and this one was booming:
That’s a certified tank, going 425 feet, which at the time of this writing is the most impacted baseball in MLB today. It’s also what we in the biz call ‘a dagger’ that propelled the Mariners’ lead to 11-5 and went into the bottom of the 9th. It’s also Cal Raleigh’s most among all MLB catchers 18th home run in MLB this series, and the thing that earned him the coveted “YouTube Player of the Game” award, introducing the Big Dumper to a national audience. We are so proud.
3) The bullpen
Admittedly, it’s not hard to outperform the Angels’ bullpen, and the Mariners’ muscle-bound relievers faltered a bit here: Penn Murfee gave up two runs in 1.1 innings of work, and Matt Festa gave up an Ohtani- bomb that probably all the national media are highlighting roles of this game, though Cal’s went further and got hit harder. However, Matt Brash was absolutely disgusting, hitting the side in his inning and recording some hilarious numbers along the way:
Here it is in video form:
So there you have it. A win in all phases of the game, with the bonus of some high-level Tungsten Arm O’Doyle shit with a four hit (a double shy of a cycle!), celebrate RBI day for Ohtani in the losing effort (John tried to convince the Slack that Festa purposefully allowed the final homer to push his off-season price tag even higher and though I’ll never doubt the ingenuity of a Staten Island native, I think it was just a missed pitch). The Tungsten Arm effect was so strong that Twitter had to define it even for the norm:
There’s another YouTube game on the 25th, when the national teams come to Seattle for a Seattle-Cleveland game with big Wild Card implications, giving the Mariners another chance to show a national audience what we’re up to. brewing right here in Seattle.