Monday, May 29, 2023

Wouldn't It be Bryce


The good news is the Mariners are finally above .500 again. The bad news is there's still two teams that are a lot further above .500 than they are in the AL West. 

I think the best part of yesterday is getting a sneaky little walk off win while the Angels get trounced by the Marlins. Having Geno Suarez do something awesome while the Angels suffer changes the trajectory of the division a little, lands the Angels in fourth, which is a place they go a lot with Ohtani and Trout, and makes the Mariners look even more impressive going into the third month of the season. I mean, yes, taking down the Pirates isn't the toughest thing in the world right now, but they did this when the pressure was on, and that's always a nice sign.

Part of what's making the Mariners so tough right now is that, a lot like the Pirates, their pitching has been outstanding. Four of the Mariners' starters have WAR above 0.9, including Luis Castillo and Bryce Miller, who have WARs over 1.4. Castillo doing well is something we all saw coming, and both Logan Gilbert and George Kirby doing well is enough of a sure bet, considering how quickly they've taken to the bigs in the last few years. But the fifth spot, after Robbie Ray's injury, looked to be an issue following both Chris Flexen's struggles and Easton McGee flirting with a no-no and then immediately needing Tommy John surgery [which is honestly the perfect metaphor for pitching development in the modern era]. 

Bryce Miller, therefore, coming out of nowhere to win the fifth spot and becoming one of the most dominant rookie starters of all the best possible outcome.

Through 5 starts, Miller has a 1.15 ERA, a 3-1 record, and has only allowed 4 earned runs. And this is Miller's first month in the majors. Typically when people start in the majors, they make some mistakes. Miller's teammate Jarred Kelenic can attest to this, it took him three years to figure out MLB pitching and now he's a hero. J.P. Crawford struggled mightily in Philly and only found his stride a few years into his career. And yet at the moment it seems like Bryce Miller has the talent and knowhow to figure it out immediately. Which is a very nice perk for this Mariners team, which seems to only be getting better with every day.

The M's have been fantastic lately. Unfortunately, so have the two teams above them in the standings. It may not be enough at the moment to catch Houston or Texas, but hopefully they can build on this week and get back to where they were last year.

Coming Tomorrow: A pitcher whose team my Yankees had some fun with this week.

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