The Eye-Opener: The Mariners’ pen is mightier

The Mariners’ bullpen wasn’t exactly perfect this weekend in Chicago.

The relievers even allowed a run in the third and final game of Seattle’s sweep of the White Sox.

The bullpen was, however, better than anyone had a right to expect, allowing a combined total of four hits in the 14 innings a total of six different pitchers combined to work in relief of Seattle’s starters. So while the Mariners’ starting pitcher was credited with the victory in two of Seattle’s three games, let’s make no mistake: Seattle’s bullpen won that series in Chicago, which the Mariners absolutely had to have.

It wasn’t necessarily pretty with a Mariners starting pitcher going into the sixth in only one of the three games.

It certainly wasn’t overwhelming with the Mariners winning the three games by a combined total of four runs and almost all of Seattle’s scoring coming via home runs.

But it was a vote of confidence for a bullpen that wobbled at the back end in two different stretches of the first half of the season, but began the second half of the schedule with a pretty strong message.

It wasn’t just Eddie Diaz, who saved all three games –- two of them without so much as a whiff of uncertainty -– and striking out seven of the 11 batters he faced.

It wasn’t just Nick Vinent, who also pitched in all three games and didn’t allow so much as a base-runner in his three appearances and was credited with the win on Sunday after Nelson Cruz homered in the 10th.

It was the entire group of relievers who picked up the slack over a series in which Seattle’s starting pitcher became less effective with each passing game from James Paxton (two runs in six innings) to Felix Hernandez (three runs over five though two of those runs …read more

Source:: – Sports

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