HANIGER DOUBLES IN BOTTOM OF NINTH TO AVOID NO-HIT BID
What happened: Wei-Yin Chen didn’t allow a hit through seven innings and the Miami Marlins shut out the Seattle Mariners 5-0 on Tuesday in Seattle.
Chen allowed two walks and hit a batter, striking out two. He threw 64 of hit exactly 100 pitches for strikes, generated seven ground outs and six fly outs, facing 24 batters in total.
Reliever Brad Ziegler pitched a clean eighth inning.
The Mariners broke up the no-hitter in the ninth when Mitch Haniger laced a double to the right-center gap against Marlins reliever Kyle Barraclough. The hit extended Haniger’s hit streak to 12 games.
Mariners starter Yovani Gallardo ended up going six innings and allowed four runs on nine hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
- Miami’s Dee Gordon ripped Gallardo’s first pitch into the gap and to the wall in right center for a double. Kind of surprising he didn’t get three bases out of it, but that’s how hard it was hit.
- Gordon went to third on a single by J.T. Realmuto, then the Mariners fell into bad luck when Christian Yelich bounced one off the plate so high no play was possible and Gordon scored without a throw.
- Later in the inning, Gallardo tried to give up a three-run homer to Justin Bour, but left fielder Guillermo Heredia timed his leap at grabbed the big fly at the top of the wall for the third out of an adventurous first inning.
- Back-to-back base hits for the Marlins in the top of the second and Miami manager Don Mattingly then forgot he was playing in an American League park. He sacrificed No. 9 hitter J.T. Riddle, then Gordon bunted and was thrown out as the runner on third appeared to miss a sign. No worry though, as Carlos Ruiz failed to block a ball in the dirt and the run scored from third anyway.
- Bour got to Gallardo in the fourth. He went the other way again on a hanging slider and this time Heredia had no chance. The two-run shot made it 4-0.
- Meanwhile, the Mariners hitters were making Wei-Yin Chen look like Sandy Koufax. They didn’t get a base runner until Robinson Cano’s two-out walk in the fourth, and he was immediately rubbed out on a fielder’s choice grounder by Nelson Cruz. Chen then had an easy 1-2-3 fifth.
- Chen’s no-hitter extended through the sixth.
- On his 84th pitch, Chen walked Mitch Haniger to lead off the seventh. Cano hit into a fielder’s choice to wipe out Haniger, then hit Cruz on the left elbow. Kyle Seager waved at a fastball on the corner for strike three and Taylor Motter popped up the threat.
- That was it for Chen. Mattingly yanked him after he completed the seventh with the left-handed starter at exactly 100 pitches.
- Perhaps the Mariners best chance at a base hit came in the eighth, when pinch-hitter Leonys Martin tapped one down the first base line against sidearmer Brad Ziegler. Ziegler got to it as Martin sped past and his throw to first was low, but gobbled up just in time by Bour to record the out. Jarrod Dyson then hit a slow roller to third but Derek Dietrich made a nice pickup and nabbed Dyson by half a step.
- The Marlins picked up a run in the eighth against reliever Dan Altavilla. Miguel Rojas singled, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Mike Zunino. Rojas scored on a sacrifice fly by Riddle.
Sometimes you tip your cap to the other guy. Chen wasn’t dominant (only three strikeouts), but it was a quality outing by a finesse pitcher that was controlling all four quadrants. Chen kept the Mariners off-balance all night and though he looked to be running out of gas, he lost his chance at immortality because of his manager’s dedication to an arbitrary pitch count.
Tweet of the Day
Haniger hitting streak at 12 games— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) April 19, 2017
Players of the Game
Hero: Wei-Yin Chen. If you’re a fan of pitching in general, you have to appreciate his performance.
Goat: Don Mattingly. Wouldn’t let Chen keep going due to an arbitrary pitch count, then didn’t pitch his best pitcher in the ninth (closer A.J. Ramos) because it wasn’t a save situation.
Yovani Gallardo is 5-2 with 2.33 ERA (15 ER, 58.0 IP) with 47 strikeouts, 15 walks in nine career starts against Miami. It was his 13th career start of six-plus innings and zero walks (last: Aug. 11, 2014 at CHC w/MIL)….Nine hits allowed were his most since allowing nine hits on April 16, 2016 at Texas w/BAL…Nelson Cruz (0 for 3, HBP) had his seven-game hitting streak snapped. During the streak he hit .370 (10 for 27) with four runs, one double, two home runs and six RBI…Mitch Haniger (1for 3, 2B, BB) extended his hitting streak to 12 games (since April 6). During streak he is hitting .348 (16 for 46) with 10 runs, three doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI…Seattle starters have only allowed one walk in the last 31 1/3 innings pitched over the past five games…Seattle was limited to one hit for the 23rd time in club history (last: July 24, 2016 at TOR).
Seattle Mariners vs. Miami Marlins on Wednesday at 12:40 p.m. at Safeco Field. RHP Felix Hernandez (1-1, 2.95 ERA) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (0-1, 3.45 ERA).
What others are saying
A no-hitter is one thing. Even a combined no-hitter is a piece of history. But a one-hitter is a footnote. Thanks to Haniger, the M’s are a footnote. … Tony Zyck’s return is somewhat of a historical note as well. … When Jean Segura returns, what happens to the M’s lineup? … As we’ve said, the Mariners love to look back. So who gets the next statue at Safeco? … Ichiro is a candidate, even if he was never fully appreciated. … I pass along this story from Arizona just because of the closer in question. M’s fans understand this feeling.