SEATTLE – A year and five days ago, in a time when masks were for surgeries and dental appointments, when fans could attend games and baseball was a 162-game season, the Mariners were no-hit by four Houston Astros pitchers at Minute Maid Park. It was fitting outcome to the domination by the Astros.
Perhaps more embarrassing for the Mariners, it was the second time that they had been no-hit in the span of 23 days, having suffered a similar fate vs. a cadre of Angels pitchers in Anaheim.
Fast forward to the empty confines of T-Mobile Park and a cool but comfortable Saturday evening in the Puget Sound, the Mariners flirted far too long with the possibility of being held hitless by the Colorado Rockies in a dismal 5-0 loss.
J.P. Crawford’s single up the middle with two outs in the seventh inning off reliever Jeff Hoffman rescued the Mariners from being the first team to be no-hit in this shortened 2020 season.
But that was their only hit. Four Rockies pitchers combined for the shutout that also included two walks and six strikeouts.
The Rockies called up right-hander Ryan Castellani, the No. 18 prospect in their organization, to make the start and his major league debut.
With a delivery that’s nearly identical to Nationals ace Max Scherzer, Castellani delivered a Scherzer-like outing, minus the intensity and histrionics, while working on a limited pitch count to make the no-hitter a possibility.
Using a fastball that topped out at 96 mph, Castellani got ground-ball outs and allowed two base runners in his final inning of work.
After working a perfect first four innings, he hit Kyle Seager with a pitch to start the fifth inning and walked Daniel Vogelbach, ending his outing. Rockies manager Bud Black brought in Hoffman, who immediately got Evan White to hit a hard ground ball to first base. It started a difficult 3-6-1 double play where Hoffman covered first, making a tough grab to finish it. Tim Lopes then bounced out, ending the Mariners’ best and only realistic scoring threat.
The Rockies’ offense was supplied by Charlie Blackmon, who might be the hottest hitter in baseball. Blackmon had three hits, including a bases-loaded, three-run double off in the fifth inning off reliever Anthony Misiewicz.
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