When you think of the sweetest swings in the history of baseball, Seattle Mariners legend Ken Griffey Jr. comes to mind. The former MVP brought plenty of swagger and success to Seattle and sits upon the franchise's Mount Rushmore. But on Monday, Kolten Wong etched himself into Mariners lore with a certain swing only The Kid and Adam Lind had done before.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Kolten Wong is just the third Mariners player of all time to slug a go-ahead pinch-hit home run in the 9th inning or later since Lind did so in 2016. Griffey Jr. was the first in the team's history back in 1990. Monday's blast put Seattle ahead of the Minnesota Twins, 3-2, in the top half of the ninth inning. However, Minnesota tied the game in the bottom half on a Max Kepler double. Carlos Correa walked it off with a single for the Twins an inning later.
Kolton Wong gives the Mariners the lead with a pinch hit home run in the 9th inning 🤯pic.twitter.com/Oz8O0YIMuf
— ClutchPoints MLB (@ClutchpointsMLB) July 25, 2023
In 2016, Adam Lind pinch-hit for Chris Iannetta, crushing a walk-off three-run homer off of White Sox closer David Robertson to win, 4-3. Ken Griffey Jr.'s go-ahead three-run homer in 1990 resulted in a Mariners victory over the then California Angels, 5-3. Both efforts resulted in victories making Kolten Wong's go-ahead dinger the first to come in a losing effort.
The loss drops Seattle to 50-50 on the season with the trade deadline just around the corner. Still holding out hope for a second-half surge, losses like Monday night's sting. But that doesn't veterans like Wong should have to worry about being moved before the August 1 cut-off. Seattle's GM Jerry Dipoto plans for a conservative approach to the upcoming flurry of activity throughout the league.