Mariners defeat White Sox, wind, supply chain issues, win 5-1

While the worst days of the pandemic are hopefully behind us, annoying supply chain issues persist, like the worst guest at a party who doesn’t get the hint when you start putting all the food away and cleaning up. Store is all out of your favorite cereal? Something you ordered for a friend’s birthday arriving well after the date? Building materials shortage holding up that DIY project you’ve been working on for months? Blame it on supply chain issues. Actually, go ahead and blame everything else on them, too. Drive you to the airport? Ooooh sorry, supply chain issues. Sorry I couldn’t make it to your improv show, supply chain issues! Can’t help you move this weekend, I’ve got supply chain issues.

Maybe the Mariners could blame their lackluster offensive performance on this road trip on supply chain issues, as well. Despite being in the Midwest for a week, the bats only showed up today, the first time this season the Mariners have scored five runs or more. Did the Mariners take advantage of some sub-replacement level White Sox pitching and a tuckered-out part of their power bullpen? Maybe! But they got the win despite some tough conditions, in an effort led largely by their young players, so there’s plenty here to feel good about. Tuck into a comfy spot—remember, you can’t make book club, you have supply chain issues—and prepare to watch some goodness.

Jarred seems like the kind of kid who was always first in line when pieces of pizza or birthday cake were being distributed at parties, which is absolutely not a knock on him, we respect the hustle, so it makes sense that when the actual, functioning bats showed up at the park, he would grab the biggest and best one:

That’s Kelenic’s hardest-ever hit ball, and the hardest hit ball by a lefty this year, and staked the Mariners to an early 2-0 lead. The Mariners had a chance to add on when Julio hit an infield single and stole second base, and Cal Raleigh reached on a fielding error by Leury García, but Adam Frazier flew out harmlessly to end the inning. I know you’re new here, but don’t stand behind Jarred when they’re handing out bats, Adam.

Meanwhile, Logan Gilbert came out with his hair somehow both on fire and blowing out behind him like a windsock, tossing an 11-pitch inning in the first to set down the top of the order and collecting his first sword of the day, striking out Tim Anderson on his new hard slider:

The windy conditions—not a straightaway wind, but a swirling, whirling, spinning wind—seemed to hamper what Gilbert was able to throw today. He didn’t throw many changeups, and the ones he did were out of the zone and not tempting anyone, and he only threw a few curveballs, mostly early in counts to try to wrong-foot the aggressive Chicago batters. Logan mostly stuck to his fastball-slider combo today, and while neither were great at producing a ton of swing-and-miss (only four strikeouts through five innings), they did create a lot of weak contact that was mostly handled by his defenders.

…Mostly. Because that thing about the wind was, it picked up to ridiculous levels in the fifth inning. Gilbert should have been out of that inning one pitch into his third batter, when Adam Engel popped a ball into the wind that should have been easily handled by third baseman Eugenio Suárez in foul territory, but the wind yanked it away. Engel would wind up getting all the way to second on another popup that blew all around the batter’s box that Cal Raleigh couldn’t track down; Raleigh would be unfairly tagged with an error, even though the exact same play re-enacted itself on the next batter when Jake Burger popped up in the direction of J.P. and Suárez and neither of them could corral the wayward fly ball, although that was scored as a single. Retroactive justice for Cal Raleigh, I hope. Tim Anderson followed that up with a well-struck single, no wind aid necessary, and it seemed like the wheels might be falling off Gilbert’s outing, but he rebounded to strike out Luis Robert and was clearly pumped up about it:

Also that’s not the gif, things really did get dark and weird in Chicago there for a bit, maybe Logan did some kind of summoning spell.

The summoning spell in question:

Although that brought the score to a tense 2-1, the bullpen was nails today, with Muñoz, Steckenrider, Castillo, and Sewald all tossing scoreless, hitless innings with five strikeouts between them…although to be fair, Andrés Muñoz had three of them in an utterly dominant performance.

Muñoz alternated between his triple-digit fastball, which averaged—averaged—101.9 MPH, including the fastest pitch ever thrown by a Mariner (102.8 MPH) and the slider, which did the real damage: it got five swings, all whiffs, and four called strikes, for a CSW% of 90%, which is bonkers. What’s even more bonkers is if I wasn’t spending this space talking about Muñoz, I could easily be talking about Diego Castillo and his six-pitch inning (five strikes, one strikeout), or Paul Sewald getting Gavin Sheets to cut through 92 middle-middle. Fun!

But even more fun was the Mariners getting out the GoodBats, finally, and putting some space between themselves and the wind-aided tomfoolery at Guaranteed Rate Field. Cal Raleigh offered an insurance run in the eighth:

That’s a cool 105.7 MPH off the bat with a launch angle of a ridiculous 42 degrees, maybe straighten that out a little so it’ll fly a little farther next time? But props to Cal for getting the ball up in the air and letting the wind do some of the work.

Mitch Haniger, desperate to prove he’s not a regular dad but a Cool Dad, looked at all the young kids filling up the box score and decided to how-do-you-do-fellow-kids-it, although because he’s an actual grownup with a mortgage and stuff he overdid it a little, blasting this two-run shot to put the game safely out of reach:

That’s three homers on the season already for Mitch, who wasn’t affected by the supply chain issue because like a true dad, he’s an excellent packer who knows you always put a spare pair of underwear in your carry-on bag and always get tracking on your packages. Here’s hoping the rest of the team takes his lead and it doesn’t take a week for the bats to show up for the Mariners’ first homestand of the season.

2022-04-14 23:27:01