Seattle Mariners

Three takeaways after Mariners commit five (!) errors in first inning in loss to Yankees

Oops. Shortstop Jean Segura (center) failed to catch a pop by Didi Gregorius in the first inning after calling left fielder Ben Gamel (left) and center fielder Guillermo Heredia off the ball. The Mariners committed five errors in a disastrous first inning, including three by Segura.
Oops. Shortstop Jean Segura (center) failed to catch a pop by Didi Gregorius in the first inning after calling left fielder Ben Gamel (left) and center fielder Guillermo Heredia off the ball. The Mariners committed five errors in a disastrous first inning, including three by Segura. AP

What the…?

The Mariners committed five errors — FIVE ERRORS — in the first inning Sunday in an…yes, five errors in ONE inning…epic breakdown that led to a 10-1 thumping by the New York Yankees.

"It was, obviously, the worst inning we've had all year," manager Scott Servais said. "Embarrassing. But there’s nothing we can do about it now. We’ve got to forget about it. Move on."

Here are the details. They're aren’t pretty.

The Mariners had just wasted a chance to hang a crooked number on New York starter Masahiro Tanaka (10-10) when they put on a vaudeville show behind luckless Andrew Albers (2-1) at Yankee Stadium.

After Albers retired Aaron Hicks on a pop, Starlin Castro doubled to right. Gary Sanchez followed by poking a single to left that skipped past Ben Gamel for error No. 1. Castro scored, and the error permitted Sanchez to reach second.

Aaron Judge walked before Didi Gregorius sent a pop into short left-center field. Shortstop Jean Segura called off Gamel and center fielder Guillermo Heredia before pulling up and failing to make the catch. Error No. 2. Bases loaded.

Chase Headley hit a potential double-play grounder to third base that Kyle Seager bungled on the glove-to-hand exchange for error No. 3. Everyone was safe. One run scored, the Yankees led 2-1 and still had the bases loaded with one out.

Albers struck out Todd Frazier before the inning really slipped away when Jacoby Ellsbury sliced a drive toward the left-center gap.

Played cleanly, it was a two-run double, but Segura dropped the relay throw from Gamel for error No. 4, which permitted Headley to score.

Segura then rushed a belated throw to the plate that bounced past catcher Mike Zunino, which permitted Ellsbury to reach third base. Error No. 5, including error No. 3 in the inning on Segura.

Ronald Torreyes followed by beating out a grounder to third for an RBI single, which pushed the lead to 6-1, before Albers ended the inning by retiring Hicks on a fly to center.

"The snowball got rolling," Servais said, "and we couldn’t stop it. You’ve got to make plays. Everybody knows that. We know we screwed up today. There’s nothing we can do about it now.

"We’ve got to react a good way (Monday) and get after it over in Baltimore."

The five errors are a franchise record for a single inning and the most by any club in a single inning in 40 years.

As bad as it was, and it was terrible, the cliche is correct: It’s only one loss. The Mariners are 66-65 and still just 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the race for the American League’s final wild-card berth.

The Mariners played error-free after the first inning, which means their franchise record for errors in a game remains seven — on June 25, 1978 at Milwaukee. They also scored seven runs over last three innings that day and won 10-8.

That didn’t happen Sunday in the Bronx.

THREE TAKEAWAYS:

***An all-bad start: The entire first inning was bad.

The Mariners started the game with hits from three of their first four players and has a 1-0 lead with one out and runners at second and third before they allowed Tanaka to escape.

Seager struck out on a weak swing before slumping Mitch Haniger sent a soft fly to center. Haniger is 6-for-46 over his last 13 games after going hitless in four at-bats. His average is down to .242.

***Hanging tough: Albers pitched through the first-inning fiasco with no discernible change in body language, which is the sort of thing that elevates a player in the eyes of his teammates.

After throwing 32 pitches in the first inning, Albers still made it into the sixth before departing after a season-high 105 pitches. His final line showed eight runs and 11 hits. Just three of the runs were earned.

Dan Altavilla replaced Albers in the sixth and closed out the game. Altavilla permitted one inherited runner to score in the sixth before giving up two runs of his own in the seventh inning.

***Dyson’s status: While outfielder Jarrod Dyson was eligible Sunday to return from the disabled list, he’s appears likely to remain sidelined until the Mariners open a homestand Friday with the first of three games against Oakland.

Dyson is scheduled to test his recovery from a strained right groin muscle by increasing his activities prior to Monday’s game in Baltimore, but the Mariners won’t need to make a corresponding roster move if they wait until Friday.

MLB rules permit rosters to expand to 40 players in September.

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners

 
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