For the love of God the Mariners had yet another flash of late-game heroics. In an extra inning no less! Our Double-A and Triple-A players are so much better than everyone else’s. And that’s what really matters. But hey, it’s fun watching the young guys compete and fight and earn some pretty entertaining victories.
Today the Seattle Mariners played a night game against the Chicago Cubs on television. That’s pretty cool. What’s cooler? That I woke up at 3 am in Paris to watch it then do the post game because, well, it’s editor-in-chief Dan’s anniversary, and writing about baseball isn’t exactly the most romantic thing one can do with their wife. Or maybe it is. I don’t know, I’m not married.
Things of Note:
Watching the game left me with a number of thoughts on the state of the Mariners.
1. First and foremost, Robinson Cano is a pretty good baseball player. Shocker, right? He went 2-2 with a walk today, including a hard hit double into the corner. Also, he flashed some soft leather at second base, which is just what he does. He is all business and that’s something the Mariners will relish this season.
2. Randy Wolf is still kind of sort of rotation option. Yes, he gave up two home runs today– one of them an absolute bomb– but they were both solo shots. Moreover, he showed good control, throwing 53 pitches, 33 of them for strikes over four frames of work.
3. The outfield is STILL a tossup. You all know how much I like Dustin Ackley, even to a fault where I get biased in his defense. But this Spring Training he has continued what he started the end of last season– that being playing baseball well. Both he and Michael Saunders have been hitting and playing good defense, continuing to make their cases for being starters on Opening Day. What’s more, Abraham Almonte is starting to turn into the Mariners version of Billy Hamilton. If you are unfamiliar, Hamilton is the speedster centerfielder for the Cincinnati Reds who can single-handedly change the complexion of the game on the base paths– if he can get on base.
Almonte has been speedy, played good defense. He has been batting leadoff almost the entire spring because skipper Lloyd McClendon likes what he can do with his tools at the top of the order. But he is batting .133 for the spring with only a couple of walks. It’d be different if he were a proven Major Leaguer, but it is hard to have him starting in centerfield opening day if he can’t hit his body weight in the spring. The next 17 days will be paramount for him. Because if he doesn’t get the starting gig, it’ll land in Saunders lap and the question of leadoff will again fall to Ackley or Miller or who really knows at this point.
4. Jesus Montero needs to seriously get his stones in order. He looked sloppy at first base with two errors in one inning. He still can’t run. He’s still overweight and he just doesn’t seem to have that drive to be a Major League baseball player. Sooner than later he may need a change in scenery.
5. The Mariners look like they are going to run a lot more this season. That’s a good thing. They were second to last in steals in the AL last season. Also, running is good for cardio, and cardio is good for your health. People helping people, its powerful stuff.
6. The new Mariners commercials are funny. Really funny. If you haven’t yet, watch them here.
7. Baseball is good. Baseball is great. And the Mariners are fun to watch. It all just makes me more inclined to bum around the east coast as much as I can this summer to catch live Mariners baseball.
To the nitty-gritty box score:
|Wells, C, RF||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.077|
|a- Jackson, B, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||3||.125|
|2- Vitters, PR-DH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Baez, J, SS||3||1||1||1||0||1||0||.333|
|Baker, Jo, C||3||0||2||3||0||0||0||.385|
|1- Szczur, PR-LF||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.143|
a-Struck out for Soler in the 8th.
1-Ran for Baker, Jo in the 6th. 2-Ran for Olt in the 7th.
2B: Baker, Jo (2, Ramirez, R), Coghlan (1, Kensing).
HR: Olt 2 (3, 2nd inning off Wolf, 0 on, 0 out; 6th inning off Furbush, 0 on, 1 out), Baez, J (3, 4th inning off Wolf, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Kalish; Lake; Valaika; Almora; Olt 9; Baker, Jo 3; Bonifacio; Baez, J 4; Coghlan 2.
RBI: Olt 3 (6), Baez, J (3), Baker, Jo 3 (3).
2-out RBI: Baker, Jo 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Wells, C; Lake; Bonifacio; Whiteside; Jackson, B 2.
GIDP: Villanueva, Watkins.
Team RISP: 2-for-12.
Team LOB: 8.
SB: Kalish (3, 3rd base off Wolf/Zunino), Bonifacio (2, 2nd base off Rodney/Zunino).
CS: Lake (1, 2nd base by Wolf/Zunino).
PO: Lake (1st base by Wolf).
E: Whiteside (1, catcher interference).
DP: 2 (Baez, J-Bonifacio-Valaika, Bonifacio-Baez, J-Valaika).
|Almonte, A, CF||5||1||1||0||1||0||2||.133|
|1- Kelly, T, PR-2B||2||1||1||1||1||0||0||.154|
|Montero, J, 1B||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||.310|
|a- Avery, PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.250|
|Romero, S, LF||1||1||1||0||1||0||0||.258|
|Saunders, M, RF||3||0||1||1||0||0||1||.333|
|2- Jones, J, PR-RF||2||0||1||1||0||0||2||.273|
|Miller, B, SS||2||1||2||2||0||0||0||.360|
|Taylor, C, SS||2||0||0||0||0||2||2||.158|
a-Struck out for Morrison in the 9th.
1-Ran for Cano in the 5th. 2-Ran for Saunders, M in the 6th.
2B: Cano 2 (2, McDonald, Ja, Beeler), Saunders, M (2, Beeler), Montero, J (3, Wada).
HR: Miller, B (3, 4th inning off Russell, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Jones, J; Kelly, T; Ackley; Almonte, A; Saunders, M 2; Miller, B 5; Cano 4; Romero, S; Bloomquist; Montero, J 2; Buck.
RBI: Cano (4), Miller, B 2 (7), Saunders, M (7), Jones, J (6), Buck 2 (3), Kelly, T (1).
2-out RBI: Miller, B; Jones, J; Buck 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Morrison 2; Bloomquist; Jones, J; Taylor, C.
GIDP: Seager, Smoak.
Team RISP: 5-for-16.
Team LOB: 13.
SB: Seager (2, 2nd base off McDonald, Ja/Baker, Jo).
E: Montero, J 2 (3, fielding, fielding), Kelly, T (1, fielding).
DP: 2 (Cano-Miller, B-Smoak, Kelly, T-Taylor, C-Montero, J).
Pickoffs: Wolf (Lake at 1st base).
|Wada (H, 1)||1.2||2||3||3||2||3||0||7.36|
|Batista, F (BS, 2)||0.1||1||0||0||0||1||0||10.13|
|Hatley (L, 1-1)||0.0||3||1||1||0||0||0||3.00|
|Rodney (H, 1)||1.0||1||0||0||0||0||0||10.13|
|Furbush (BS, 1)||0.2||1||2||1||0||1||1||6.75|
|Luetge (W, 1-0)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.68|
Ramirez, R pitched to 3 batters in the 7th.HBP: Zunino (by McDonald, Ja).
Pitches-strikes: McDonald, Ja 64-26, Cervenka 5-4, Russell 18-15, Beeler 43-28, Wada 33-19, Batista, F 11-6, Hatley 11-7, Wolf 52-33, Rodney 13-8, Furbush 21-16, Ramirez, R 29-12, Kensing 28-15, Wilhelmsen 8-5, Luetge 10-6.
Groundouts-flyouts: McDonald, Ja 5-1, Cervenka 0-0, Russell 1-1, Beeler 5-1, Wada 0-2, Batista, F 0-0, Hatley 0-0, Wolf 5-1, Rodney 0-1, Furbush 1-1, Ramirez, R 1-0, Kensing 1-0, Wilhelmsen 1-1, Luetge 1-1.
Batters faced: McDonald, Ja 14, Cervenka 1, Russell 4, Beeler 15, Wada 9, Batista, F 2, Hatley 3, Wolf 16, Rodney 4, Furbush 4, Ramirez, R 7, Kensing 8, Wilhelmsen 3, Luetge 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Cervenka 1-0, Batista, F 3-2, Ramirez, R 1-1, Kensing 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Alex Ortiz. 1B: Dan Bellino. 2B: Hal Gibson III. 3B: Marcus Pattillo.
Weather: 76 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 6 mph, In from CF.
Venue: Peoria Stadium.
March 12, 2014