Julio Rodriguez must be fine.
Everything else stopped at the back of 1st as George Kirby struggled with his lead and earned a walk up the mound from Cal Raleigh. As the bout on the mount unfolded, outfielders converged and Julio began to express discomfort with his lower back, something he had missed a few days with recently as he struggled through the longest professional season of his young career. . The removal of him, even with a 3-0 lead that he had ignited on the first field of the match with a brace, was a pallor for the whole procedure.
Servais called the situation with Julio’s back “worrying”. Nothing specific turned him on, he just started locking him up. Tomorrow it will be further examined.
– Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) September 22, 2022
With their star set aside and a truly abysmal day on the hill for Kirby, whose problems stemmed from a total lack of control over his speed in particular. In a season filled with delicious firsts for the talented rookie righty, he has seen many more ominous ones today. First game with more walks allowed, first game that he fails to generate a single swing and misses on any of his speed shots, the first time he fails to get past the third inning in a start. There was no shortage of disappointments when he left the Ms in a dead end that would have wiped out the three-point lead and would have seen them down 5-3 by entering the top of 4th. The collapse seemed imminent. And then it wasn’t like that.
Yesterday I wondered if Jarred Kelenic’s return was a sign of hope or of despair and misfortune. As is often the case, it feels like reality is somewhere in between. Kelenic’s performance today was nothing short of a game-saving, despite a completely hysterical moment that made me laugh hard enough to scare those around me (watch to the end as Brian says).
Leading in 4th place, while still poking a cup in the microwave to attempt to warm my sunken heart, Kelenic took advantage of Oakland Athletics owner Adrián Martínez, whom Kelenic noted he saw frequently in minors and had a good sense of.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more furious swing, nor a home run trot. Kelenic had walked four shots in his previous pot appearance, so his first swing of the day had two ABs of pent-up frustration. Frustration for his season which went very differently from what he hoped? With the organization for leaving him in early September initially for Taylor Trammell? With himself for struggling so much in both his first month and his previous stint that he wasn’t there to try and help his teammates and their troubled line-up? Yesterday I referred to Gandalf or a Horseman of the Apocalypse, but the intensity coming out of Kelenic’s pores all afternoon may have been enough to sear the Oakland grass as if it were the Ghost Rider, with eyes on fire. for revenge to boot.
No time for cheating, Kelenic’s big fly cut the lead at 5-4 and a double push on a line in the gap (with a southpaw!) Mended things in the wake of a Ty France brace.
Crushing the homer against Martínez was brilliant, but this 6th inning, even on a 3-0 pitch, was the most impressive and vital piece of his afternoon and Seattle Mariners afternoon beyond Rodríguez’s health. Kelenic’s struggles have been contested Up to nausea and in particular his problems dealing with left-handers. If Seattle hadn’t been under Julio and needed Luis Torrens to pinch for Jesse Winker right after Kelenic, I wonder if they could have replaced Jarred right there. Instead, with Cal Raleigh going ashore and failing to take France from third, they needed Kelenic to come up with something big enough to score the glacial All-Star from third. He did it and with authority. A brilliant 2 out of 3 day with a walk is just as beautiful as anyone could have dreamed of since the 23-year-old with overwhelming expectations on their shoulders and a future that once seemed so certain is now awash in doubt. Kelenic hasn’t always made himself the most sympathetic figure, but the young man has every opportunity to regain pace and carve out a role in training, clubhouse and fan base support as he strives to harness the skills he’s worked so well. hard to honor.
The 5-5 became 7-5 soon after on an Adam Frazier brace, with a double-ended Captain Slapdick left special, with a Dave Sims special “yyyeeuuuugh, you’d rather not be tagged there!”
The Ms played extra comfortingly in the 7th and 8th, and even more impressively their bullpen teamed up to keep Oakland goalless the rest of the way for a 9-5 win. The hope now is to see Julio’s health situation manageable enough to avoid it being a real Pyrrhic victory. With three in Kansas City before a day off, it would be pretty easy to just sit down at the alleged AL Rookie of the Year all weekend and get the benefit of 4+ days off, although an IL period wouldn’t be unthinkable and would be however get him back as soon as the last game of the Oakland series in early October, or perhaps the start of the four-game Detroit series later on. Either way, the victories are a bulwark and perhaps a harbinger of better things for one of their exceptionally talented young outsiders, even if the other has been sidelined in the short term.