Shed Long Jr. mobbed by teammates after a walk-off grand slam. Jun 20, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Shed Long Jr. (4) is mobbed by his teammates at home plate after hitting a walk-off grand slam against the Tampa Bay Rays during the tenth inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

While MLB as a whole is in the midst of a down offensive year, that’s really been true for the Seattle Mariners. Heading into Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, they were hitting .217/.291/.376 as a team and producing just a weighted on-base average of .292, second-worst in the majors (ahead of only the Pittsburgh Pirates’ .288). But they got some offensive production in a key moment. With the bases loaded and the score tied at two in the bottom of the 10th, Mariners’ second baseman Shed Long Jr. belted a grand slam:

Long has been struggling to get on base this year, posting a .282 OBP heading into this game. But he came through in the clutch here, hitting his first home run of the season and boosting his slugging percentage from .378 to .439. And that gave the Mariners a sweep of the four-game series as well, improving their overall record to 38-36. (That’s also impressive against the Rays, who even after getting swept are 43-30 and just half a game back of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.) So while there are still questions to be asked about the Seattle offense overall, at least it came through in this moment.

[Mariners on Twitter; photo from Jennifer Buchanan-USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.