The Mariners had their way with Collin McHugh on Saturday, scoring eight runs in the first three innings - winning 8-1 over Houston on Saturday.
It was a magical run for Collin McHugh in 2014, he averaged 6.19 innings per start, 2.39 ERA, .263 BABIP, and 3.11 xFIP. He collected 16 quality starts in 25 outings last season, as well as starting seven game winning streak to end the season.
McHugh hasn't been the same this season. His BABIP has ballooned almost a 100 points to .325 (.263 in 2014), K/9 has dropped to 7.00 (9.14 in 2014), xFIP rose 3.96 (3.11 in 2014), and home run per nine rate has skyrocketed to 1.39 (.76).
For more than a month, you watch McHugh on the mound and see a player battling with himself. He doesn't seem happy with his breaking stuff or his location. McHugh said this in April and hasn't change much this season:
McHugh "Sometimes youve got a gun. Sometimes you've got like a machine gun & sometimes you've got a pocket knife. It was a pocket-knife day"— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) April 22, 2015
He has shown a great amount of understanding, knowing he struggling and finding a way around it. But the home run ball has bit him in the butt multiple times this season. That was the case on Saturday.
The Mariners 2-3-4 hitters reached base in the first, Austin Jackson singled, Robinson Cano double, and Nelson Cruz added a RBI single. Kyle Seager put a charge into one, but Astros centerfield Jake Marisnick tracked it down against the visiting team bullpen fence.
Mark Trumbo singled, and Logan Morrison capped off the inning with a three-run home run. McHugh worked around a double and walk, but hold the Mariners at bay in the second.
Trumbo and Morrison would repeat themselves in the third, as Morrison homered for a second time the game. McHugh would walk Mike Zunino, hit Seth Smith, and Austin Jackson singled home a run.
Eight runs after three innings. The tables turned on the Astros after getting eight runs in the first inning on Friday. Roberto Hernandez would relieve McHugh in the fourth, combining with Chad Qualls and Luke Gregerson to pitch 6 scoreless innings.
As for the Astros offense, Jason Castro and George Springer combined for two doubles in the fifth for Houston's lone run. The Astros had three double plays and seven strikeouts.
Houston and Seattle play the rubber game on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT.