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Seattle Mariners

‘Good feeling’ about Adam Frazier pays off in Mariners’ win to clinch wild-card series

The Seattle Mariners celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 10-9 in Game 2 to win the American League Wild Card Series at Rogers Centre on Saturday in Toronto.  (Getty Images)
By Adam Jude </p><p>and Ryan Divish Seattle Times

TORONTO – In the midst of the Mariners’ midseason 14-game winning streak, Adam Frazier was trying to balance the frustration of his inconsistencies at the plate and the beautiful chaos that the team was unleashing on the rest of the league.

The two feelings were so different for him. His struggles and inconsistency at the plate were different from his past seasons. But the feeling of playing for something more than the day’s game and his own stats was so gratifying.

“This is the first time I’ve won since college,” said Frazier, a proud alum of college baseball powerhouse Mississippi State. “When I was with the Pirates, we never won, and even when I was traded to San Diego (2021), we faded down the stretch. This is different than anything I’ve experienced in my baseball career.”

Fast forward to Saturday night at the Rogers Centre.

Frazier delivered one of the biggest hits of the Mariners’ magical season, lacing a double into the right-field corner to score Cal Raleigh for the go-ahead run in the ninth inning in Seattle’s stunning 10-9 come-from-behind victory.

“This is what it’s all about,” he said as beer was being dumped on his head by teammates. “I’m so happy Jerry (Dipoto) and Justin (Hollander) brought me over here. This group of guys is so special.”

Moved up in the lineup because of his past success against Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman, in his first at-bat, his hard line drive to left field was snared by Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette in a ridiculous leaping grab. Undeterred, Frazier notched Seattle’s first hit off Gausman, leading off the fifth inning. He later scored on Jarred Kelenic’s sac fly.

Frazier finished the night with three hits and scoring two runs.

“I had a good feeling about Frazier and that’s why we slid him up in the lineup,” manager Scott Servais said. “It paid dividends. He was awesome tonight.”

Admittedly, Frazier hasn’t been awesome this season compared to his past performances and his own standards. Coming into this season, he had a career .281/.344/.412 slash line over six MLB seasons. A year ago, he had a .324/.388/.448 slash line with the Pirates, earning a spot on the NL All-Star team. The Padres later outbid the Mariners to acquire him in a trade.

Seattle acquired him this past offseason to serve as the everyday second baseman, but he struggled to find consistency – posting a .238/.301/.311 slash line with 22 doubles, four triples, three homers and 42 RBI. It’s a less than ideal performance going into his free agency year.

And yet …

“It’s been a tough year personally, but this has been the most fun I’ve ever had playing baseball,” he said with beer dripping off his face. “This is what you play baseball for. To be with guys like this.”

Times set for first two games of ALDS

On Sunday afternoon, Major League Baseball released the start times for the divisional round of the playoffs only through Thursday with varying times based on the winner of Sunday night’s Game 3 of the wild-card series between the Mets and Padres.

The weekend start times could be released in the coming days. One possible reason for the delay could be maneuvering around NFL games scheduled to be played in Seattle and Cleveland on Sunday. The Mariners and Guardians each be playing in Game 4 of their respective division series on the same day. Both teams and cities would prefer to not have the games played at the same times due to traffic and fan congestion.

The Mariners, who were flying to Houston on Sunday and will work out on Monday at Minute Maid Park, will open their ALDS series with the rival Astros on Tuesday afternoon.

With the Padres win over the Mets Sunday, the first pitch will was bumped back to 12:35 p.m. PT.

The two ALDS series will have an odd off-day on Wednesday and return to action on Thursday. Seattle will once again being playing in the afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 12:37 PT.

Seattle will host at least one home postseason game, depending on how the best-of-five series plays out. Game 4 would take place in Seattle next Sunday, while a Game 5 would see the series finish in Houston on Monday, Oct. 17.

All of the ALDS games will be televised on TBS while FOX will carry the NLDS games on its main network or FS1.