Mariners battle errors, mental mistakes in win
CHICAGO -- Manager Scott Servais' message since the All-Star break has been simple: There are things he's wanted to see cleaned up with the Mariners, both individually and as a team.
On Saturday, there was no doubt as to why.
As the Mariners clawed out a narrow 4-3 win over the White Sox, they repeatedly made things difficult on themselves, committing mental and physical mistakes that kept Chicago within arm's reach until the end. The Mariners were charged with three errors for the game -- their highest total of the season -- and added another mistake on the basepaths in what was a particularly sloppy effort.
"Really a team effort tonight, [but] unfortunately there were a couple errors," Servais said after the game. "The [pitchers' fielding practice] stuff is something that got away from us a little bit tonight."
It didn't take long for the Mariners' first mistake. It wasn't technically an error.
Five pitches into the game, Jean Segura smacked a curveball 357 feet to center with a 102.5-mph exit velocity, as projected by Statcast™. But because of the low launch angle and bounce off the wall, it was only enough for a single.
Segura tried to stretch the play into a double, using an elongated path to the bag and trying to sneak his left leg in on a slide, but he was well out on the throw by Melky Cabrera.
"Obviously, Jean Segura can run a little bit. That ball was smoked off the wall," Servais said. "There's not many guys that are going to make that into a double. You gotta be smarter there and head's up. He knows it.
"Mistakes happen. We'll keep talking about it. We'll keep hammering it. We will get better on the bases, guaranteed."
The next miscue came in the third inning. The game was tied at 1 and Felix Hernandez seemed poised to get his first out of the frame, as Adam Engel hit a soft grounder to short, but Segura was unable to come up with the ball.
Engel reached safely on an error, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, eventually scoring on a single by Cabrera. A similar sequence would occur in the fifth: Cabrera reached on a single, advanced to second on a passed ball and moved to third on an errant throw by Hernandez after he fielded a bunt by Avisail Garcia.
"I don't know what happened, don't ask me that," Hernandez said. "It looks terrible. It was my fault. That was bad, that was really bad."
After the throwing error, Hernandez hit Jose Abreu with a pitch for the second time to load the bases with nobody out. The White Sox would end up taking the lead in the inning, as Todd Frazier grounded into a double play that allowed Cabrera to score.
But fortunately for the Mariners, they had one more burst in them. By the time the final error came -- an errant pickoff throw by Steve Cishek in the sixth -- they had already retaken the lead. And with the bullpen leading the way, the Mariners clawed out their third straight win and continued to inch closer toward a potential playoff berth.
"We overcame it," Servais said of the errors. "Big win, nice to win a series here. I don't think we've done that in a while."