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Now you wanna get back when you had your shine: Phillies vs. Mariners series preview

Much like the Phillies, the Mariners are finding that the road back to the playoffs is fraught with peril

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Seattle Mariners
Tridents are cool
Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

Much like the Phillies, the 2022 Mariners ended a lengthy postseason drought, won some games once they got to the playoffs, only to have their run ended by the Houston Astros. They entered the 2023 season fully expecting to get back to the playoffs, but also like the Phillies, they haven’t been fully able to replicate last year’s success.

Seattle Mariners

Record: 10-12, Fourth place in American League West

The manager

Scott Servais finished second and third in AL Manager of the Year voting the past two years. This is his seventh season with the team, and despite those accolades, you have to think that he’d be working elsewhere had the Mariners not made the playoffs last year.

I’d write more about Servais, but he’s just not all that interesting. Fans don’t seem to overly love him, nor are there overwhelming calls for him to be fired. For some reason, I thought Servais played with the Phillies during his eleven-year playing career, but they were not in fact one of the five teams he suited up for.

The last time they met

The Phillies hit the Pacific Northwest in May 2022 and took two out of three. I’d write more about this series, but it just wasn’t all that interesting of a series.

What’s the deal with the Mariners?

Despite finally getting a taste of playoff action last year, the Mariners didn’t go all in this offseason, with their biggest move being to trade for Teoscar Hernandez. Hernandez is a fine enough player, but he’s not the type of name that screams “World Series or bust.”

Perhaps they should have been more aggressive. In the early going, they’ve been mediocre on offense (Eighth in the AL in runs scored) and defense (Seventh in the AL in runs allowed). The pitching staff is led by Luis Castillo who has proven to be good, but not necessarily “sub-2.00 ERA” good, so it seems likely his 1.52 ERA will soon be going up.

I’d write more about them, but - and you can kind of see a trend here - they just aren’t all that interesting. The manager is boring. The last series they played against the Phillies was boring. The roster is boring. Julio Rodriguez seemed like he was going to be exciting, but he’s got a sub-.300 on-base percentage so far this year.

I was happy about the new unbalanced schedules for 2023 because I welcomed seeing unfamiliar teams like the Mariners instead of like 50 games against the Mets. But maybe it isn’t just East Coast bias that’s causing the Mariners to go unheralded. Maybe they’re just a boring team.

But wait, they have a trident!

I’ll grant that this is kind of cool: When Mariners hit home runs, they get to hold a trident.

Kelenic vs. Marsh: Who ya got?

Both teams have a young outfielder who was considered a top prospect a few years ago but struggled in their first two years in the majors. And now both men appear to be having breakout seasons in 2023.

We know about what Brandon Marsh has done in the early going, but Mariners’ outfielder Jarred Kelenic is having an equally impressive season. Kelenic was an even more highly regarded prospect than Marsh, with most ratings having him in their top ten heading into 2021. But he was bad in his rookie year and didn’t improve much in 2022. He wasn’t even assured of a full-time job heading into 2023, expecting to platoon with A.J. Pollock.

That platoon has been put on hold now that Kelenic has an OPS of 1.043 with six home runs.

Smarty’s tournament of randomness

In an upset, fifteenth seeded Jeanmar Gomez took down the second seeded T-1000. Onto the next matchup...

#3 Cadbury Creme Eggs

They’re a delicious staple of Easter baskets everywhere. Some people find them to be a little too sweet, but some people also don’t enjoy good things like sunshine and happiness.

#14 The Washington Nationals’ hats

When the Expos moved to DC, they could have introduced themselves to their new home city with a bold, distinctive uniform. Instead, there seemed to be a conscious decision to make the most boring choices possible. They basically threw the Walgreens logo on a hat and called it a day.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Who should advance to the next round? Vote now!


Who should advance: Creme eggs or Nats hats?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    #3 Creme eggs
    (110 votes)
  • 16%
    #14 Nationals hats
    (21 votes)
131 votes total Vote Now


Last series’ answer: Roman Quinn was the losing pitcher when the Phillies lost in 15 innings to the White Sox. (And yes, it was the Vince Velasquez in left field game) Bilzo2 got it right.

This series’ question: Who holds the Phillies’ franchise record for home runs against the Mariners?

Non-Phillies thought

Thank you to everyone who provided pillow recommendations! I now have some options to choose from. Hopefully I will soon be waking up pain-free!

Closing thought

The Mariners may yet round into form, but this seems like an opportune time to play them. (Of course, they might say the same about the Phillies.) With a World Series rematch on the horizon, it would be nice if the Phillies could put up at least a couple of victories this week.

Crazy eights

2023 Phillies in review: Gregory Soto

Rise and Phight: 12/8/2023