To put it simply, the Mariners haven't had a win like that this season. They just haven't. This season the largest deficit they had overcome and won was two runs. TWO RUNS.
Because offensively when you don't have the ability to drive the ball out of the park it limits your ability to come back. When you have to rely on that many singles and doubles it makes coming up with three and four-run rallies difficult. There are too many opportunities for outs and double plays.
On Wednesday, the Mariners got that home run from Mike Sweeney. It changed a 4-1 deficit to a 4-3 deficit in one swing. And at one run, things are much more manageable for any team, specifically the Mariners.
“It’s a game changer,” Josh Wilson said of Sweeney's two-run homer. “It changes the outlook of a game in a hurry. We’re not hitting a whole lot, but when they happen that’s big for us. It’s definitely a big relief and then in a one-run ball game we can get back to more of our game, get the guys out there and drive them in.”
Sweeney tried to make the story about Wilson's two-run single, saying the "Paperboy delivered" over and over. Perhaps, but Sweeney's recent run of hitting has been remarkable. Since he went Braveheart during a team meeting and challenged teammates to fight following the Ken Griffey Jr. "napgate" controversy on May 11, Sweeney is hitting .441 (15-for-34) with six home runs and 14 RBI.
So now the Mariners have back-to-back comeback wins. They are 18-28 and still in last in the AL West.
“We really needed a defibrillator to come in here and give us a shock because we didn’t have a heartbeat for quite some time,” Sweeney said. “We lost some tough games that zapped some of it out of us, but the last couple of games have been huge for us.”
Will it lead to something more? It's difficult to say. The Mariners are still going to have trouble scoring runs no matter who's in the lineup, but perhaps this is the start of a run of wins. They need a run of wins if they want be any sort of factor in the AL West. If it does happen, then maybe you look at these two wins as a turning point.
“We’ve had a lot of one-run ball games that haven’t gone our way,” Manager Don Wakamatsu said. “But these guys have stayed together. That ball game momentum-wise was kind of going away from us, but they just kept battling.”
- Starter Jeremy Bonderman tied a season-high with 7.0 innings pitched (last: May 12 vs. NYY)…had 4 consecutive quality starts and 5 in his last 6 starts. Bonderman has a 1.38 ERA (4 ER, 26.0 IP) in his last four starts (May)…has allowed 2 earned runs or less in each of those starts.
- Magglio Ordonez hit his 7th home run of the season (last HR: 5/23/10) in the 3rd …5th career home run at Safeco Field, and his 2nd of the season here (4/17, L 2-4)…is hitting .500 (19x38) with 9 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR and 9 RBI over the last 11 games…batting .450 (9x20) on the current road trip, collecting hits in 5 of the 6 games.
- Brennan Boesch recorded his 12th multi-hit game of the season…leads AL rookies with 22 RBI…over his last 24 games, hitting .356 (32x90) with 10 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR and 21 RBI.
- Austin Jackson has hit safely in 24 of 25 games on the road this season, reaching safely on a single in the 4th…hitting .358 (39x109) with 8 2B, 3 3B, HR, and 7 RBI on the road this season…extended his hitting streak to 7 games, hitting .357 (10x28) during the streak….added his 7th stolen base of the year in the 6th.
- The Mariners won their 5th game of the season when trailing after 7 innings.
- The 3-run deficit overcome by Seattle was the largest overcome in a win this season…had come back from a 2-run deficit 5 times this season (last: May 21 vs. SD, down 0-2, won 15-8)…10th comeback win of the season.
- Josh Wilson extended his hitting streak to 8 games with a single in the 2nd…T2nd-longest of his career…had a career-high 9-game streak July 8-22, 2007 with the Tampa Bay Rays…he is batting .423 (11x26) during the streak…finished 7-game homestand batting .435 (10x23) with 3 doubles and 4 RBI…recorded his 4th multi-hit game of the season...2-run single in the 8th was his 2nd GWRBI of the season.
- Starter Jason Vargas had his shortest outing of the season, tossing 5.0 innings (previous low: 5.1 IP, 4/9 at Tex). Vargas snapped a streak of 7 straight quality starts, which was the 2nd longest streak in the AL…including today, has allowed only 15 ER over his last 8 starts…in 6 starts at Safeco Field, has an ERA of 2.56 (38.2 IP, 11 ER).
- Josh Bard left the game in the 2nd after reaching on an error…Rob Johnson entered the game as a pinch-runner, scoring on an RBI single by Michael Saunders.
- Milton Bradley reached base 3 times…batting .293 (22x75) 10 runs, 7 extra-base hits and 14 RBI over the last 21 games…hit .296 (8x27) with HR, 3 RBI, and 4 R during the homestand.
- Mike Sweeney hit his 6th home run of the season (last HR: 5/21 vs. SD, 2)… has hit 6 home runs in May, all coming in his last 9 starts since May 13th…since May 13th is 2nd in the Majors with 6 home runs…has hit 5 HR in last 10 G…has an RBI in 7 of last 11 games…extended hitting streak to 5 games (.556, 10x18).
- Brandon League has allowed just 1 earned run in 12 relief appearances at Safeco Field this season…his 0.61 ERA (1 ER, 14.2 IP) at home ranks 6th in the Majors (min. 10 relief appearances).