Series Review: #22 Seattle Mariners & #23 San Francisco Giants
Catching up from a hellacious schedule I finally had time to review these past series. The one with the Mariners showed faint hope starting to turn into a light at the end of the tunnel, but the one with the Giants is looking like the beginning of the end of a once promising season.
The Rays took two out of three and deserved both of the wins and the lone loss. They hit well in the first two games before getting outslugged in the finale, but still, two out of three from another fringe contender was a great sign. Then it all turned to shit:
The Rays flat out got manhandled this series. They put up a fight in the second game, and almost took it, too, but the Giants just proved to be too much in the pen. When you only have a coin flip chance in one of the three you shouldn’t expect to win a series. They went on to get swept. The matchups liked them well enough in each game, but Bochy’s Boys play like a team that wants to get back to the Series.
Seattle’s best featured a trio of sluggers that mashed the Rays to little avail. Iannetta had himself a series while the production from Cruz and Seager is more in line with expectations. The Rays did well to limit the damage from many of their players and that was probably the difference in this one. That or the pitching that really let the Mariners down. Walker mixed good and bad before a foot injury derailed his day, while Paxton and Karns were more average than good. Their bullpen has solid headliners in Diaz and Cishek, but the depth is limited leading to the rest of them being exposed more or less.
The Rays countered with a couple big bats of their own as Pearce carried the team. Forsythe’s re-entry into the lineup was as sight for sore eyes as he didn’t miss a beat and Corey Dickerson’s power was a game changer. Against their former team the Miller and Morrison floundered to re-take their early season roles at the bottom of the table.
The pitching wasn’t great, but it was enough. Snell got hit around and so did Odorizzi, but Smyly gave a fine performance. The real heroes were the late inning guys Andriese and Cedeno that helped bridge the gap to Colome.
The Giants paired excellent pitching with a true slugger in Brandon Belt with little else required. The lefty Belt carried their offense with a few of part-timers also having great success. This is what good depth looks like. Their pitching was masterful, but especially Samardzija who threw a complete game that saw no Rays reach second. Quite a feat of futility. Peavy was nearly as good with only Suarez giving a poor effort. He was picked up by a very good pen that Bochy had no problem going to when needed.
After poor performances against Seattle it was nice to see all of Miller, Morrison and Odorizzi have bounceback games to help carry the team, but Pearce did the same thing in the opposite direction. Colome joined him with a bad series that cost the team a shot at one of these games. The team didn’t pitch badly so much as they were outdueled by a heck of a team that is hot, hot, hot right now.