BROCK AND SALK

Brock & Salk: ‘That’s what Mariners baseball is supposed to look like’

Sep 27, 2023, 9:47 AM

Seattle Mariners George Kirby...

George Kirby of the Seattle Mariners reacts against the Houston Astros on Sept. 26, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Just as it appeared the Seattle Mariners hit rock bottom in their playoff chase, they got a much-needed 6-2 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

Playoff-chasing Seattle Mariners punch back with 6-2 win over Astros

It’s no secret September has not been good for the Mariners, as they entered Tuesday just 8-15 on the month after going 21-5 in August.

But led by George Kirby, who pitched six scoreless innings, Seattle was able to shut down Houston’s bats and get some timely hitting in Tuesday’s win, setting up a critical series finale on Wednesday where the winner will walk out of T-Mobile Park holding the third American League wild card spot.

If the Mariners win the series, then a split with Texas over Seattle’s final four games would mean the Astros would need to sweep Arizona in a three-game series this weekend in order to leapfrog the M’s in the standings due to a tiebreaker.

“They are like the weather. Whatever you think of them, just give them a few games and they’ll change your mind,” Mike Salk said of the Mariners during Wednesday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports. “If you think they stink, just wait. They’ll go out and score six runs and force the Astros to make a whole bunch of mistakes and play clean and get unbelievable pitching. You think they’re great? Just wait. They’ll go into Texas and get themselves swept … Just wait five minutes, and this Mariners team will absolutely do whatever it is you think they aren’t going to do.”

Brock Huard called Kirby’s start “just tremendous,” and admitted that he had a hard time falling asleep after the game.

“I mean, it was three in the morning and I’m still like wide awake just from all of that energy of watching that game,” he said.

Salk said there’s a simple explanation for why that was the case.

“Because that was the first game, Brock, that actually looked like a late season playoff-style game,” Salk said. “… All of those decisions were playoff kind of baseball that I thought we would have been getting for the last five (games), but instead we didn’t get until yesterday.”

Added Huard, “When the Mariners can play to, as you said, play to their ceiling, play to who they’re capable of (being), they can beat anybody. They can beat anybody in this league any given night against any opponent. And last night they did it at just the right time to avoid that five-game losing streak.”

Salk said that Tuesday’s win is essentially the recipe for most Mariners wins.

“That’s what Mariners baseball is supposed to look like. It is supposed to be (led by) great starting pitching,” he said. “… This is a run-prevention team. (Matt) Brash was filthy. Kirby was tremendous. He changed up his style a little bit last night and went much more sinker-slider early, which was great to see. It was a really good baseball game, honestly, and that’s what the Mariners need to do in order to win. So now you get back to it tonight.”

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