Mariners Stat of the Day: August 2021

September 1st, 2021 is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Mariners this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

Aug. 31: Mariners 4, Astros 0 -- Kikuchi finds his fastball
Yusei Kikuchi didn't just unearth the velocity to his fastball against Houston. He also rediscovered an intangible factor to his heater: conviction. Kikuchi threw his four-seamer 65% of the time in the win, his highest usage of the pitch in any of his 66 outings since joining the Mariners in 2019. That confidence also, in part, helped him throw first-pitch strikes to 21 of his 26 batters -- all of which led to him pitching seven scoreless innings against the American League's best lineup. After, Kikuchi said: "I feel like this is the real, true version of myself."

Aug. 30: Astros 4, Mariners 3 -- Marmo's immediate impact
It was more than three months in the making, and José Marmolejos' "welcome back" moment was an emphatic one. The big slugger crushed a 370-foot homer 109.6 mph off the bat in his first plate appearance since May 19. He now has two of the Mariners' 10 hardest-hit homers this season -- including the No. 1 mark, back on April 19 against the Dodgers. More than anything, Monday's deep fly represented tangible results for adjustments he made at Triple-A Tacoma, where he led all qualified Minor Leaguers with a 1.152 OPS when he was recalled.

Aug. 29: Mariners 4, Royals 3 -- An August to remember
With a seven-inning, two-run outing against Kansas City, Marco Gonzales finished August with a 1.58 ERA across 40 innings (six starts). That qualifies as the third-best ERA among Mariners pitchers who logged a minimum of 30 innings in the month. The only Mariners pitcher who finished August with a lower ERA than Gonzales in 2021 was Félix Hernández, who had a 0.82 ERA in 2010 and a 1.08 mark in '12.

Aug. 28: Royals 4, Mariners 2 -- Anderson is Mr. Consistency
Over his last 26 starts, Tyler Anderson has been the picture of reliability. The lefty, who threw seven innings on Saturday, continued his streak of starts of five innings or more to 26 games. The streak tied Anderson with Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler for starts of no fewer than five innings. The last time Anderson failed to complete five innings came on Sept. 17, 2020, while he was with the Giants.

Aug. 27: Royals 8, Mariners 7 -- Stung by Salvy's slams
For the second consecutive day, the Mariners gave up a grand slam to Salvador Perez, marking the first time that the Mariners have given up grand slams on consecutive days to the same player, per Elias Sports Bureau. Seattle has given up grand slams to players in consecutive games, but neither came on consecutive days. Steve Finley (July 3 and Sept. 1, 1997) and Nomar Garciaparra (Sept. 2, 1998, and May 10, 1999) are the only other players to hit a grand slam off the Mariners in consecutive games.

Aug. 26: Royals 6, Mariners 4 -- Seager joins Mariners greats
Kyle Seager's solo homer in the fifth inning not only tied his career best for home runs in a season, but also added his name to the Mariners record books. The second 30-homer season for Seager makes him the seventh Mariners player all-time to hit 30 or more homers in multiple seasons. Seager joins Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Brett Boone, Richie Sexson and Jay Buhner as the only Mariners players with multiple 30-plus home run seasons.

Aug. 24: Mariners 5, A's 1 -- Fun run
Despite winning six of eight games on their three-city road trip, the Mariners posted a run differential of minus-9 due to a pair of blowout losses to the Astros. After Tuesday's win, however, manager Scott Servais said the team's "fun differential" was plus-90.

Aug. 23: Mariners 5, A's 3 -- Mariners never give up
According to Stats by STATS, the Mariners have taken the lead in their final at-bat to win the game in 25 of 126 contests thus far this season (19.8 percent). The only team in American League history that has accomplished the feat at a higher rate was the 1918 Washington Senators (20.0 percent).

Aug. 22: Mariners 6, Astros 3 (11 innings) -- MLB-high 12th win in extras
The Mariners have become accustomed to the late-innings drama, and their 12th extra-inning victory extended their MLB lead for most wins in games that go beyond nine innings.

Aug. 21: Astros 15, Mariners 1 -- Mitch ties for HR lead
Mitch Haniger crushed his 28th homer of the season, which not only extended a career high -- a meaningful personal milestone he reached earlier this week -- but also, it moved him into a tie with Kyle Seager for the team lead.

Aug. 20: Astros 12, Mariners 3 -- France's latest standout
Though Ty France's eighth-inning homer wasn't nearly as dramatic as the one the day prior, which won the game, it was nonetheless notable. France hadn't homered in back-to-back games all season, and he became the first Mariner since Seth Smith on July 1-2, 2016, to tally three or more hits, including a homer, in consecutive games.

Aug. 19: Mariners 9, Rangers 8 (11 innings) -- Mitch's career-high 27th HR
Not only did it lead the way in the Mariners' offensive breakout, but Mitch Haniger's three-run homer in the second inning also carried some individual significance given that it set a new career high for the 30-year-old outfielder. Haniger's previous career high was 26, set in his All-Star season in 2018. Though it seemed inevitable the way he was hitting this spring, it can't be overstated how big of an accomplishment this is for Haniger after three surgeries and uncertainty in how he'd bounce back.

Aug. 18: Mariners 3, Rangers 1 -- Nine games above .500
By clinching a three-game series win in Texas, the Mariners also moved to nine games above .500, which ties their previous season high from back on July 26, when they came back from down seven runs to stun the Astros.

Aug. 17: Mariners 3, Rangers 1 -- AL's best staff in August
Following another collective gem by a starter and the bullpen, the Mariners now have a 2.63 ERA in 15 games this month which improved upon their American League lead in that category. They trail only the defending champion Dodgers in ERA this month. Tyler Anderson surrendered just one run and the relief combination of Drew Steckenrider, Diego Castillo and Paul Sewald carried Seattle the rest of the way.

Aug. 15: Blue Jays 8, Mariners 3 -- Crawford's 12-pitch walk
It doesn't matter if the circumstances involve a five-run lead or deficit, J.P. Crawford will give 100-percent effort every time -- and then some. He drew a 12-pitch walk after fouling off six straight 1-2 pitches with two outs in the ninth inning, tying Ty France for Seattle's longest plate appearance this season.

Aug. 14: Mariners 9, Blue Jays 3 -- Toro reaches in 17th straight
Other than maybe Ty France, Abraham Toro has been the Mariners' hottest hitter since coming over in a July 27 trade. After going 1-for-3 with a walk and RBI single over an infield that was positioned in with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, the second baseman has now reached base in each of his 17 games since the trade.

Aug. 13: Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2 -- Seattle keeping games tight
The Mariners have played in close games all season, and until about a week or so ago, it was their formula to late wins. But they haven't been on a run of tight tilts quite like the one they're in the midst of currently since way back in 2005. Seattle has now played in 10 straight games decided by two runs or fewer, which is the longest active streak in MLB.

Aug. 12: Mariners 3, Rangers 1 -- Mariners' first CG of 2021
Marco Gonzales was as good as ever in the series finale, throwing a season-high-tying 108 pitches to put the finishing touches on Seattle's first complete game of the season and the third of his career. He also went the distance on Aug. 31, 2020, against the Angels and on June 29, 2018, against the Royals.

Aug. 11: Mariners 2, Rangers 1 -- No. 9 hole DH? It's historic
Not only did Luis Torrens provide the game-winning RBI as the DH, it was also notable that the opposing DH, Curtis Terry, also hit out of the No. 9 hole. It was just the fifth time in MLB history that both teams used their DH in the lowest spot in the order.

Aug. 10: Rangers 5, Mariners 4 -- Seager joins Edgar in HR ranks
Kyle Seager's solo blast in the fourth inning was his 25th of the year, a milestone for any hitter. But it's also the fifth time in Seager's 11-year career that he's reached the quarter-century mark, which tied Edgar Martinez for third-most 25-plus-homer seasons in franchise history.

Aug. 8: Mariners 2, Yankees 0 -- Kikuchi's velocity is back
Yusei Kikuchi's toughest start of the season came on July 7 against these very Yankees, which made his outing on Sunday all the more impressive. It was his first scoreless outing in nearly two months, but more notably, he found his velocity again. Kikuchi's two slowest average fastball velocities this season came in that previous outing against New York and his most recent start on Tuesday against Tampa Bay (94 mph and 93.8, respectively), which made his 95.5 average on Sunday incredibly encouraging for this final stretch.

Aug. 7: Yankees 5, Mariners 4 -- Another hustle double from Kelenic
Jarred Kelenic said earlier this season that he's always thinking two out of the box on batted balls that escape the infield, and that was again the case in the fourth inning on Saturday. Kelenic's line drive was into the right-center gap, but it was easily playable for center fielder Brett Gardner. Yet because Seattle's rookie was so aggressive early, he was able to turn a doubtful double into a sure thing. He dialed his sprint speed up to 28.4 feet-per-second on the play, well above the league average of 27.

Aug. 6: Yankees 3, Mariners 2 (11 innings) -- Gonzales' first scoreless outing of '21
Marco Gonzales looked every bit like his old self while carving up the Yankees' loaded lineup, pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings of three-hit ball. It was his first scoreless outing of the season, a feat he achieved only once during the shortened 2020 season.

Aug. 5: Yankees 5, Mariners 3 -- Anderson's consistent length
The Mariners have now dropped each of Tyler Anderson's first two starts since he came over ahead of the Trade Deadline, but he's been doing his part in keeping the club in the ballgame. Anderson left with a 2-2 tie after pitching five innings, a threshold he's reached in each of his 20 starts this season, which Seattle has sorely needed. Entering Thursday, only 10 pitchers had at least 20 five-inning starts.

Aug. 4: Rays 4, Mariners 3 -- Tough vs. Tampa Bay
Despite the defeat, the Mariners are 38-19 against the Rays in their last 57 matchups. That string includes a 6-1 record this season and a 20-7 mark over their last 27 meetings.

Aug. 3: Mariners 4, Rays 2 -- For starters, handling the Rays
The Mariners' starters have pitched to a 2.67 ERA (33 2/3 innings, 10 earned runs) against the Rays this season, their best against any opponent.

Aug. 2: Mariners 8, Rays 2 -- Seattle's success at The Trop
After Monday’s win, the Mariners are 15-6 at Tropicana Field since 2014. That is the best record there against the Rays for any non-American League East team during that span.

Aug. 1: Rangers 4, Mariners 3 -- Seager gets it done
Kyle Seager's 7th-inning RBI bunt single against the shift was registered at a 45.2 mph exit velocity on a negative-52 degree launch angle, while also providing an important late-inning run in the eventual loss. In doing so, Seager became the only MLB player this season with multiple RBI bunt hits this season, having dropped his first on June 23 against Colorado.