ANAHEIM, Calif. – The pitcher’s win stat has been proven to be somewhat of a useless measure in this modern era of baseball.
But the win-loss record still goes next a pitcher’s name and it’s something he carries with him, no matter if he knows the measure isn’t completely relevant.
Right now as the All-Star break nears, Marco Gonzales has more wins next to his name than any other pitcher on the Mariners staff after Seattle’s 3-0 win over the Angels at Angels Stadium.
Gonzales delivered another brilliant outing on Wednesday night, pitching seven shutout innings and allowing two hits with no walks and four strikeouts to improve to 10-5 on the season.
Even the biggest baseball optimist probably wasn’t expecting that from the young lefty coming into the 2018 season. It’s a reason why the Mariners are tracking toward their first postseason berth since 2001.
Over his past three starts, Gonzales is 3-0, throwing 22 innings and allowing two runs on 14 hits with two walks and 18 strikeouts. It includes beating the Angels in back-to-back outings, allowing one run on seven hits in a combined 14 innings.
Gonzales retired the first 10 batters he faced before allowing a base runner, which came on a hard ground ball off the bat of Andrelton Simmons that smacked him in the back of the leg. He remained in the game and gave up a single to Mike Trout. It was the only Angels base runners against him. But he froze Justin Upton with changeup for a called strike three and got Albert Pujols to ground out weakly for the final out of the inning.
Gonzales worked the next three innings perfectly, but did allow some hard contact for outs. He was lifted after 82 pitches.
Alex Colome worked a scoreless eighth inning, despite allowing the leadoff hitter to reach third base.
Edwin Diaz notched save No. 36 with a 1-2-3 ninth.
With two outs in the third inning, David Freitas jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Angels starter Jaime Barria, sending a towering drive to deep right-center. It looked as though Trout would rob Freitas and the Mariners of a homer, because, well, that’s what Trout does. The Angels’ all-everything center fielder tracked the ball, got to the wall, leapt for the ball and … didn’t catch it.
The ball bounced off the top of his glove for a home run, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead and Freitas a moment he won’t soon forget.
The Mariners tacked on two more runs off Barria in the fourth, thanks to their trio of All-Stars.
Jean Segura, who found out he was an All-Star via MLB’s Final Vote contest before the game, led off with a double into the left-field corner. Mitch Haniger worked a walk. After both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, Nelson Cruz stayed on a 3-1 slider away, sending it up the middle for a single that scored both runners and gave Seattle a 3-0 lead.
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