Wed, 22 Sep 2021

Astros, Mariners back at it after mid-series swap

Field Level Media
28 Jul 2021, 18:19 GMT+10

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker called it a trade that would benefit both sides.

The players in the Seattle Mariners' clubhouse didn't see it that way, however, with several telling the Seattle Times they felt "betrayed."

With the teams in the midst of a three-game series that wraps up Wednesday afternoon in Seattle, the Mariners sent right-handed relievers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero to the Astros in exchange for infielder Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith.

Graveman was 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 10 saves in 30 appearances for the Mariners this year. Montero was designated for assignment last week after being acquired from Texas in the offseason to be Seattle's closer.

Graveman was nearly in tears when discussing the deal in front of the Astros' dugout prior to Tuesday's game. He was the winning pitcher Monday night when the Mariners rallied from a seven-run deficit to defeat Houston 11-8 for their fourth consecutive victory, a result that pulled them within a game in the chase for the American League's second and final wild-card playoff berth.

"I didn't see it coming, but there's always that percent of, 'This game's a business,'" Graveman said. "I'm speaking truth and honest, the way I felt is, (we're) nine games over .500 over on that side and playing pretty good ball while I was there. That takes away from the last five days, honestly, I think. But we'll see if they bounce back."

The Mariners nearly rallied from a six-run deficit Tuesday, pulling within two on Toro's two-run, pinch-hit homer in the ninth. But Astros closer Ryan Pressly escaped a one-out, two-on jam to seal an 8-6 victory.

The first question Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto received Tuesday afternoon was: How does this trade make sense?

"It probably doesn't as a standalone, but it's part of a context that's going to be an ongoing story over the next couple of days," Dipoto said, referring to Friday's trade deadline.

Following the Tuesday game, Dipoto did make an addition to the squad, acquiring left-handed starting pitcher Tyler Anderson from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for two minor-leaguers, catcher Carter Bins and right-handed pitcher Joaquin Tejada.

Anderson, 31, had a 5-8 record and a 4.35 ERA in 18 starts for Pittsburgh this year.

Earlier in the day, the Mariners added Smith, who has a career-worst 7.48 ERA, and Toro, who was hitting .211 with six home runs and 20 RBIs in 35 games.

Toro said he learned of the trade while in the batting cage. He walked over to the Mariners' clubhouse and returned to the cage with a new jersey.

"They're hungry -- Monday we all saw it," Toro said of the Mariners. "They were losing 7-0 and came back. These guys are hungry."

The Astros are scheduled to start right-hander Jake Odorizzi (3-5, 4.23 ERA) in the series finale. Odorizzi is 1-4 with a 4.63 ERA in nine career starts against the Mariners. He took a 7-2 loss on April 18 at Seattle, allowing four runs on three hits in 4 1/ 3 innings, with three walks and seven strikeouts.

The Mariners plan to send All-Star left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (6-5, 3.95 ERA) to the mound Wednesday. Kikuchi is 1-2 with a 5.26 ERA in seven career starts against Houston.

In two outings against the Astros this year, he is 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA. Kikuchi gave up five runs on six hits in seven innings during a no-decision at Seattle on April 16, then fired seven innings of one-hit ball in a 1-0 victory at Houston on April 29.

--Field Level Media

More Houston News

Access More

Sign up for Houston News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!