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Masters of the Walk-Off Home Run

Chicago White Sox v Seattle MarinersIt is perhaps one of the most exciting moments in sports – the walk-off home run. Even more electrifying is the walk-off homer that catapults a team from the edge of defeat to a thrilling comeback victory. No team in Major League Baseball this season has mastered the walk-off home run like the 2016 Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners lead the Majors in walk-off home runs this season with 5. No other team has more than 3 walk-off homers so far this season. Of the Mariners 5 walk-off homers, three have come when the team was trailing, which leads the Major Leagues.

“It’s really easy to give up, say, ‘This isn’t our night and move on’. We don’t do that,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “This club doesn’t do that…that’s why you play all 27 outs, you keep believing and you keep hoping if you can get the tying run to the plate and then the winning run to the plate, maybe you can get some magic. We’ve had that a few times.”

Seattle’s 5 walk-off homers this season are tied with the 2006 club for 2nd-most in club history, trailing only the Mariners 6 walk-off home runs in 1986. Four different Mariners have hit a walk-off home run this season, tying the club record for most players with a game-ending homer in a single season (also: 1986 & 2004).

The Mariners have hit 73 walk-off home runs in club history by 51 different players. Only 13 different players have hit 2 walk-off home runs in a single season for the Mariners, the latest being Adam Lind.

After a two-out, RBI-single from Kyle Seager, Lind was called off the bench to face White Sox closer David Robertson with the Mariners trailing Chicago, 3-1, last night. Lind belted an 0-1 fastball out to right-center field, vaulting Seattle to a 4-3 win.

“Moments like that are the best part of the season,” Lind said.

Lind is one of two players in Major League history to hit two walk-off home runs in a single season with his team trailing by two runs (Elias Sports Bureau). Lind joins David Ortiz, who turned the trick for Boston in 2006.

Take a look back at the Mariners walk-off home runs so far this season:

April 13 vs. Texas

Lee began the walk-off home run party on April 13 against the Texas Rangers. With the Mariners and Rangers tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the 10th, Lee belted a two-run home run into Texas’ left field bullpen, sending the Mariners to a 4-2 victory.

It was the first pinch-hit walk-off home run by a rookie in Mariners club history.

At age 33, Lee was the oldest rookie to hit a walk-off home run since Luke Easter hit one for the 1950 Indians at age 35.

 

May 11 vs. Tampa Bay

On May 11, Chris Iannetta broke a 5-5 tie between the Mariners and Rays with a solo home run in the bottom of the 11th. It was Iannetta’s 5th career walk-off home run and his 7th career walk-off hit overall.

 

May 24 vs. Oakland

Leonys Martin came through in the clutch with the Mariners trailing Oakland, 5-4, in the bottom of the 9th on May 24. Martin belted a 2-out, 2-run homer for a 6-5 Mariners win, marking his 2nd career walk-off home run. At the time, it was the Mariners first behind-to-ahead walk-off homer with two outs since Ichiro’s 2-out, 2-run home run in the Mariners 3-2 win vs. the Yankees on Sept. 18, 2009.

 

June 24 vs. St. Louis

With the Mariners down, 3-1, to St. Louis on June 24, Seager lead off with a double followed by a walk to Lee. Then, Lind stepped in and crushed a 3-run walk-off homer for a 4-3 Mariners win.

 

July 18 vs. Chicago-AL

Lind joins Dae-Ho Lee to give the Mariners two pinch-hit walk-off home runs this season. Prior to this year, the Mariners had recorded just two pinch-hit walk-off home runs in club history (also: Kendrys Morales, 6/23/2013 vs. OAK & Ken Phelps, 9/3/1986 vs. DET). In Major League history, only five clubs have hit 3 pinch-hit walk-off homers in the same season (Detroit, 1968; San Diego, 1986; Baltimore, 1987; Oakland, 1970 & Oakland, 2002).

Lind is the 3rd player in club history to hit a walk-off home run with two outs when trailing by two or more runs. The others are Phil Bradley, who hit a two-out grand slam home run on April 13, 1985 vs. Minnesota and Jim Presley, who belted a three-run homer with two down on May 9, 1981 vs. the Yankees. Both Bradley and Presley homered off of right-hander Ron Davis.

With his pinch-hit heroics last night, Lind becomes the 12th player in Major League history to hit a two-out, pinch-hit, walk-off home run with his team trailing by at least two runs (last: Scott Spiezio, 7/31/00 vs. DET w/LAA).

Mariners Gameday Information – July 17 vs. Houston

Game Information

Lineup

Game #92 (7/17): Mariners (46-45) vs. Astros (49-42) | 1:10 pm PT | Safeco Field
Starting Pitchers:  LHP Mike Montgomery (3-3, 2.06) vs. RHP Collin McHugh (5-6, 4.50)
Radio: 710 ESPN & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (MLB.tv subscribers)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Game Information: Mariners | Astros | Mariners-Astros History

Roster | 2016 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule | MarinersMedia.com | Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @MarinersPR | @Mariners | @LosMarineros | Facebook

Mariners All-Access on ROOT SPORTS

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This week on Mariners All-Access from ROOT SPORTS Robinson Canó as mentor, Blowers on Griffey and Vidal Nuño’s changeup.

Canó Leadership –  Robinson Canó talks about his leadership style with the young players on the team especially Ketel Marté and Leonys Martin. We’ll also hear from Marté and Martin on Cano’s advice.

Brad & Blowers on Griffey – Brad Adam sits down with Mike Blowers to talk about Ken Griffey Jr. on the eve of his Hall of Fame Induction. Mike talks about Junior’s impact in the early years and some of the amazing moments from the Hall of Famer that still leave him shaking his head.

Pitching Mechanics with Vidal Nuño – Lefthander Vidal Nuño explains how he throws his changeup and why it’s become one of his most effective pitches.

August Special Events: We look at some of the fun special events coming to Safeco Field in August. It’s a big month including Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame Weekend, and Star Wars™ Weekend. Mariners Director of Marketing Gregg Greene gives us a preview.

1st Half Plays—Robinson Canó Edition– Our Frontier High Speed Review looks back at some of the best plays for the first half from Mariners All-Star Robinson Canó.

Catch this week’s edition of Mariners All Access

  • Sunday, 12:00 p.m.
  • Monday and Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday at 3:00 p.m.

Kaiea Higa Top Pitch, Hit & Run Finisher in Her Age Group

Kaiea Higa (third row, second from right), of Maple Valley, was the winner of the 11/12 Year Old Softball Division of the National Pitch, Hit & Run skills competition on Monday at Petco Park.

Kaiea Higa (third row, second from right), of Maple Valley, was the winner of the 11/12 Year Old Softball Division of the National Pitch, Hit & Run skills competition on Monday at Petco Park.

Kaiea Higa, a Maple Valley girl who represented the Mariners at the Pitch, Hit & Run National Finals at the All-Star Game in San Diego, was the top finisher in her age group—11/12 Year Old Softball Division.

The competition took place on Monday, before the All-Star Home Run Derby. Kaiea prevailed in the baseball/softball skills program through several rounds of competition in May and June and was the winner of her age group at the Team Championships at Safeco Field on June 12. When her scores were compared with all other competitors in her division, Kaiea was one of the three top finishers in the country.

On Monday, she bested the other two finalists—Lauren Mirtoni of Roseville, California, representing the San Francisco Giants, and Amanda Lieberman of Jupiter, Florida, who represented the Miami Marlins.

Kaiea will be at Safeco Field on Sunday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game against the Houston Astros. Sunday is also Salute to Kids Day, which is fitting.

Everyone at the Mariners congratulates Kaiea on her win.

The Mariners First-Half Home Run Barrage, By the Numbers

By Gary Hill
SEATTLE, WA - MAY 25: Robinson Cano #22 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by Kyle Seager #15 after hitting a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics in the eighth inning at Safeco Field on May 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners clubbed a staggering 132 home runs in the first half of the season. They hit the second-most long balls in the Major Leagues this season and the fifth-most they have ever slugged in the first half of a season. They are on pace to finish with 240 homers which would put them in exclusive Mariners company and tie them for the 15th-most in Major League history.

Only three M’s teams have finished with more than 240 home runs in a season:

1. 1997: 264 home runs (#1 in MLB history)
Leaders: Griffey, 56; Buhner, 40; Sorrento 31; Edgar, 28; Rodriguez, 23.

2. 1996: 245 home runs (Tied for #7 in MLB history)
Leaders: Griffey 49; Buhner, 44; Rodriguez, 36; Edgar, 26; Sorrento, 23.

3. 1999: 244 home runs (Tied for #9 in MLB history)
Leaders: Griffey, 48; Rodriguez, 42; Edgar, 24; Bell, 21; Davis, 21.

KEN GRIFFEY JR.The 2016 Mariners have bashed themselves into the realm with some of the most elite home run hitting teams in the franchise’s history. The mid-to-late ’90s Mariners featured a fearsome collection of big bats, including Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey Jr. From 1996 to 1999, Griffey slugged an astonishing 209 homers. Edgar Martinez (107), Alex Rodriguez (143) and Jay Buhner (113) joined him to help form a devastating offense.

However, the ‘16 version of the Mariners accomplished something no previous Mariners team ever did. Seven different Mariners finished with double-digit homers by the All-Star Break.

  • Nelson Cruz:23
  • Robinson Cano: 21
  • Kyle Seager: 18
  • Adam Lind: 13
  • Dae-Ho Lee: 12
  • Leonys Martin: 11
  • Seth Smith: 11

Only 14 teams in history claimed seven different players with double-figure first-half homers. The most recent team to do it was Robinson Canó’s 2012 New York Yankees.

The Mariners were also just one Franklin Gutierrez home run away from giving them a record-tying eight players in double figures by the All-Star Break. Only three teams in history can make that claim:

  • The 2010 Toronto Blue Jays, who had Adam Lind hit 12 first-half homers.
  • The New York Yankees, for which Robinson Canó hit 13 home runs in the first half.
  • The 2004 New York Yankees

Individual achievements for the M’s this season have been numerous and impressive.

Cleveland Indians v Seattle Mariners

Nelson Cruz has already bashed 23 homers this season which is tied for 3rd in the AL. In just a season and a half, Cruz is only five homers away from tying John Olerud and Dave Valle and pushing his way into the top 20 in M’s history. Since the start of 2014, no player has hit more homers than Cruz:

  1. Nelson Cruz: 107
  2. Edwin Encarnacion: 96
  3. Mike Trout: 95
  4. Chris Davis: 95
  5. David Ortiz: 94

Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners

Robinson Canó has reached the 20+ home run mark for the seventh time in his tremendous career. He continues to add to his legacy as one of the best offensive second baseman in the history of baseball. He has already claimed the sixth-most homers for any second baseman:

  1. Jeff Kent: 377
  2. Rogers Hornsby: 301
  3. Craig Biggio: 291
  4. Ryne Sandberg: 282
  5. Joe Morgan: 268
  6. Robinson Cano: 260

Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners

Kyle Seager stroked 18 home runs in the first half, which is tied for the most any M’s third baseman before the All-Star Break:

  • Kyle Seager, 2016: 18
  • Jim Presley, 1986: 18
  • Jim Presley, 1985: 18

The list of batters who have hit over .260 and cracked 20 or more homers the last three seasons is very short and Seager looks poised to make it four in a row:

  • Mike Trout
  • Kyle Seager
  • David Ortiz
  • Andrew McCutchen
  • Adam Jones
  • Adrian Gonzalez
  • Edwin Encarnacion
  • Nelson Cruz

Leonys Martin has already secured his career high in homers (11), surpassing his previous high of eight in 2013 with the Texas Rangers.

Dae-Ho Lee and his 12 home runs are tied for the most by a rookie in the American League with Byung Ho Park.

Seth Smith is just one home run away from matching his output from each of the last two seasons.
Franklin Gutierrez hit 9 home runs in the first half of the season as his tremendous power season from last year continued. Gutierrez is averaging a home run every 13.1 AB’s the past two seasons.

The Mariners will continue their assault on homer history with the beginning of the second half of the season against the Houston Astros on Friday at Safeco Field.


Gary Hill does pre- and postgame shows following Mariners games, in addition to filling in on play-by-play. You can catch him every weekday on the Mariners Podcast.

2016 Mariners Mid-Season Report

16MidSeasonReport_CoverCheck out the 2016 Seattle Mariners Mid-Season Report for a comprehensive recap of the first half, player bios, statistics, as well as the minor league mid-season review and more.  Find out where Robinson Canó, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz rank among this year’s American League sluggers and how their first halves stack up in club history. Recount milestone achievements, such as Felix Hernandez’s record-setting strikeouts and wins, Canó’s historic numbers as a 2nd baseman, Cruz’s home run streak and more. As the Mariners prepare to resume play in the 2nd half of the season at Safeco Field on Friday, take a look back at the first half in the Mid-Season Report below.

Maple Valley Girl Repping Mariners at Pitch, Hit & Run Finals

Kaiea Higa, who is representing the Mariners at the National Pitch, Hit & Run Championships at Petco Park, gets a high five from pitcher Nathan Karns.

Kaiea Higa, who is representing the Mariners at the National Pitch, Hit & Run Championships at Petco Park, gets a high five from pitcher Nathan Karns.

Kaiea Higa of Maple Valley is representing the Mariners today at the Pitch, Hit & Run National Finals competition at Petco Park in San Diego. Higa was the top finisher in her age category (11/12 Softball) at the Pitch, Hit & Run Team Championships at Safeco Field on June 12, and her scores placed her among the top three in the nation. She’ll match up against competitors from Roseville, California (representing the San Francisco Giants) and Jupiter, Florida (representing the Miami Marlins) in the baseball skills competition. Win, lose or draw, when Higa returns from San Diego, she’ll get to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Mariners meet the Houston Astros at Safeco Field on July 17.

Kaiea Higa of Maple Valley, is competing against kids from across the country at the MLB Pitch, Hit & Run National Finals during All-Star Week at Petco Park.

Kaiea Higa of Maple Valley, is competing against kids from across the country at the MLB Pitch, Hit & Run National Finals during All-Star Week at Petco Park.

Higa was also chosen by MLB as one of two National Finalists to write a blog post about her experience.

Congratulations and good luck, Kaiea. The Mariners are rooting for you.

Mariners Game Information – July 10 at Kansas City

Today;s lineup

Today;s lineup

Game #89 (7/10): Mariners (44-44) at Royals (45-42) | 11:15 am PT | Kauffman Stadium
Starting Pitchers:  LHP Mike Montgomery (2-3, 2.15) vs. RHP Dillon Gee (3-2, 4.05)
Radio: 710 ESPN & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (MLB.tv subscribers)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Game Information: Mariners | Royals | Mariners-Royals History

Roster | 2016 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule | MarinersMedia.com | Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @MarinersPR | @Mariners | @LosMarineros | Facebook

Mariners All-Access from ROOT SPORTS

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This week on Mariners All-Access from ROOT SPORTS:

Conversations at home plate – We recently learned it’s the catcher and umpire who talk to each other the most during a game. So, what exactly are they talking about?

Pitching Mechanics with Wade LeBlanc – The latest addition to the Mariners rotation explains how he developed the grip on his changeup and why it’s become such an effective pitch for him.

Ichiro nearing 3,000 – The former Mariners outfielder is nearing a milestone and his former teammates aren’t surprised. We’ll find out from them what makes Ichiro such a success at 42-years old.

Best Plays of the First Half – Too much good stuff not to go back and re-live it. The best highlights and biggest accomplishments from the first half.

Ken Griffey Jr – With the clock ticking down, we check in with players around baseball on Griffey’s Hall of Fame career as our Countdown to Cooperstown continues.

Mariners All Access airs:

  • Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Monday at 6:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
  • Friday at 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday at noon and 6:30 p.m.

Mariners Gameday Information – July 9 at Kansas City

Today's lineup

Today’s lineup

Game #88 (7/9): Mariners (44-43) vs. Royals (44-42) | 1:15 pm PT | Kauffman Stadium
Starting Pitchers:  LHP Wade Miley  (6-5, 5.36) vs. RHP Edison Volquez (7-8, 4.87)
Radio: 710 ESPN & Mariners Radio Network…also Mariners.com (MLB.tv subscribers)
TV: The game will be televised in HD on ROOT SPORTS
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score with pitch-by-pitch data
Game Information: Mariners | Royals | Mariners-Royals History

Roster | 2016 Media Guide | Game Notes | Standings | Schedule | MarinersMedia.com | Promotions
Social Media: From the Corner of Edgar & Dave | Instagram | @MarinersPR | @Mariners | @LosMarineros | Facebook

 

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