Mariners Decision Called Into Question Following Walk-Off Loss To Astros

Why did they bring in Robbie Ray?


Oct 11, 2022

There’s just something about the Seattle Mariners in October.

Just days after experiencing the second-greatest playoff moment in franchise history, the Mariners came crashing back down to earth with a crushing loss to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday.

Leading 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning, only needing one out, Seattle manager Scott Servais made the puzzling decision to bring in starter Robbie Ray from the bullpen to get the final out of the game. The player he was tasked with getting out? Yordan Alvarez. As you can imagine, things didn’t shake out well for Ray, who let up a 438-foot walk-off bomb that sent the Houston crowd into a frenzy.

The feedback for Servais was immediate, as fans were quick to point out one key fact that likely would have caused many managers to pause when looking at Ray in the bullpen. No pitcher in the American League had given up more home runs in 2022 than the 31-year-old, who surrendered 34 in his 32 starts this season.

Ray, of course, took home the 2021 AL Cy Young award in 2021 with the Toronto Blue Jays, meaning it wasn’t completely asinine to trust in him, but the results speak for themselves.

To make matters worse for Seattle, the game never should have been close. The Mariners led from the fourth batter of the game all the way until the last, with ESPN giving them an 81.5% chance to win in the second inning of the ball game, per Jason Bristol of KHOU 11 Houston. They held four-run leads on three separate occasions, fighting off the Astros on every comeback attempt throughout the early and middle innings. Until they got to the ninth inning of course.

If Mariners fans would like to look on the bright side, there is some recent history that plays into their favor moving forward.

Thumbnail photo via Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports Images
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