The preseason excitement around the Seattle Mariners looked like it was justified when they started 11-6. Then they were eight games under .500 by May 22 and played .500 baseball for the next month. The hopes of contending for a playoff spot were quickly fading.
But Seattle’s 11th win in 12 games Sunday, to complete a four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, brought the team back to three games over .500 for the first time since April 28. The Mariners are currently tied with the Blue Jays for the final AL wild-card spot and feature a strong pitching rotation that includes second-year standout Logan Gilbert.
Gilbert was on the mound for the series finale against Toronto and struck out seven batters in six innings, but received a no-decision. Last week, he became the third pitcher in the majors to reach double-digit wins, joining Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros and Tony Gonsolin of the Los Angeles Dodgers, as he gave up one earned run in 5.1 innings of work in a 6-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.
.@logangilbert22 has been SHOVING! 🔥#MLBCentral talks trough the @Mariners right-hander and how his 6'6 frame helps him generate uncomfortable extension for hitters.@markdero7 | @LaurenShehadi | @RoFlo pic.twitter.com/P8yvvhRO3E
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 6, 2022
“We’re playing well right now,” Gilbert said following the Padres’ win. “When we were going through a little rough stretch earlier, getting a ton of questions about it, I don’t think anybody really panicked. We know the baseball we can play. We know we’re really good.”
Selected by Seattle in the first round of the 2018 draft out of Stetson University (DeLand, Florida), Gilbert made his major league debut on May 13, 2021. He went 6-5 with a 4.68 ERA in 24 starts last season as the Mariners hit the 90-win mark for the first time in 18 years.
The 25-year-old’s been lights out so far in 2022, posting a 2.80 ERA and 10-3 record through his first 18 starts. He is tied for the most starts, ranks 16th in ERA and is 19th in wins above replacement among pitchers through Sunday’s games.
After the Mariners selected him with the 14th overall pick, Gilbert sent a tweet giving glory to God and thanking the organization for taking a chance on him.
God is so good! Can’t thank the @Mariners organization enough for this amazing opportunity! Also thank you to my family, friends, and coaches for helping me along the way. I can’t wait to get to work and represent the city of Seattle!
— Logan Gilbert (@logangilbert22) June 5, 2018
He told His Huddle in an interview last year that his faith has always been a foundational part of his life. As he’s found more and more success on the diamond, Gilbert’s worked to keep God at the center of everything he does.
“My relationship with Jesus has always been the most important thing in my life,” he told His Huddle. “Especially since a few years ago I’ve been trying to put Him first in everything in my life.”
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Gilbert’s relationship with Christ provides him with an anchor as he navigates the challenges of playing a sport at the highest level and shapes the way he wants to use his platform.
“My faith in Jesus gives me a sense of peace and purpose in my baseball career,” he told His Huddle. “I try to glorify God in everything that I do and that includes the way I play. I want to be an example that points others to Him.”
If the Mariners are to snap their 20-year playoff drought, Gilbert’s development will be one of the reasons why. They put their eight-game winning streak on the line in Washington D.C. Tuesday night. Seattle faces the Nationals again Wednesday before traveling to Texas for a four-game series with the Rangers.
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