"I know they weren't going to let me go over 200 [innings]," the 26-year-old said when asked if that was going to be his last start of the season. "So I guess that's probably it. Pretty good for an average season, huh? I had to put that one in there."
Keuchel allowed one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts over eight innings, improving to 12-9 with a 2.93 ERA. He was 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA in four starts against Seattle.
McClendon said the lefty threw well Saturday, but wasn't backing down from his earlier stance.
"He pitched well. He had a good sinker," McClendon said. "Listen, everybody was up in a huff last time about what I said. I wasn't trying to downplay the kid. He's got average stuff. He knows how to pitch. He doesn't have David Price-type stuff. That's just a fact, not a knock on the kid. He's 88-90 [mph], but he pitched well. He sunk it, he did a nice job."
Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager said Keuchel is a smart pitcher who makes things tough for opponents in a lot of ways.
"He does a lot of things right," Seager said after going hitless in three at-bats against the southpaw. "He works fast, pounds the zone with that sinker, holds runners on extremely well and gets a lot of ground balls. When guys are on, he's quick to the plate and rushes you a little as a hitter. He disrupts your timing. He's a pretty good pitcher, obviously. But we had some opportunities and weren't able to get 'em."
The Mariners lead the season series against the Astros 10-8 going into Sunday's finale and had won six of their previous seven games this year at Minute Maid while averaging 8.3 runs a game until running into Keuchel on Saturday.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.