SEATTLE — After pinch-hitter Cal Raleigh went down swinging for the final out, the boos followed quickly.
Everyone associated with the Seattle Mariners — players, fans, management — seems fed up during a season that perhaps hit a new low point Wednesday.
“We do have a momentum-driven team, and it’s not going our way right now,” manager Scott Servais said. “And it’s spiraling a little bit. We’ve got to turn it off. Turn off the faucet a little bit because it’s running against us.”
Patrick Corbin tossed seven shutout innings, Washington jumped on Seattle starter Logan Gilbert for three first-inning runs, and the Nationals won another series with a 4-1 win over the Mariners.
The Nationals took two of three against the Mariners after doing the same in San Diego last weekend.
“Like I said before, they’re relentless. They come out; they play hard. They play hard for 27 outs,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “I love the way they play and the energy has been great. So we’ve got to continue to do that.”
Corbin (5-9) was terrific with a performance that was reminiscent of earlier in his career. For the first time in 17 starts this year, Corbin didn’t allow an earned run — and his nine strikeouts were a season high.
Opponents were hitting .309 against Corbin entering the day, but the Mariners managed just five singles, three from catcher Tom Murphy. The last time Corbin threw seven shutout innings was Aug. 21, 2019, against Pittsburgh.
“I’m not going to get too high after this one. Just kind of look at some of the things that we did well and try to improve and get ready for the next one,” he said.
Seattle avoided being shut out when José Caballero homered leading off the eighth inning against Amos Willingham in the reliever’s major league debut. Yet it was another difficult day for the Mariners, a team that was expected to contend but is mired in mediocrity with the midpoint of the season drawing closer.
Dropping two of three at home to the Nationals is arguably the nadir for Seattle so far. It may not be that way in the standings because Seattle (38-41) is only three games below .500 and one good stretch would get the Mariners back into the wild-card conversation.
But it was a damaging series against a team that arrived in the Pacific Northwest with the worst record in the National League and highlighted Seattle’s deficiencies at the plate.
“We’re just as frustrated as everybody,” Murphy said. “I made the comment earlier that every day when you come to the park it feels like it’s do or die and it really does at this point of the season, and that’s a grinding way to play,” Murphy said. “I believe those feelings will subside. We’ll find a groove. We’ll find a way to relax.”
Gilbert (5-5) gave up hits to the first four batters of the game, including an RBI double from Jeimer Candelario and a two-run single by Keibert Ruiz.
Ildemaro Vargas added an RBI double as part of an eventful sixth inning in which Martinez was ejected for the second time in a week after Ruiz was called out on a play at home plate for running out of the baseline.
Martinez immediately ran from the dugout after plate umpire Derek Thomas said Ruiz went too far out of the baseline to avoid a tag from Murphy. Ruiz was attempting to score from first on a double by Dominic Smith.
Martinez said he was trying to protect Ruiz from getting ejected but was still baffled by the call.
“Honestly, I’ve been in the major leagues for 38 years, I’ve never seen that call. I mean, I really haven’t,” Martinez said.