What an exhilarating, odd game. When the Mariners assembled this team, I doubt they ever figured that Figgins, Saunders, Seager, and Ryan would ever account for 9 of 13 hits and 4 of 6 RBI. But during just the third game of the season, such an oddity has already occurred.
The story of the day of course belongs to Chone Figgins. After he struck out looking in the first, many a fan groaned at a very familiar sight. After that though, Figgins was anything but a source of familiarity. During the top of the third Figgins laid down what was intended to be a sacrifice. However, due to an error Figgins reached first and Ryan came around to score. Chone himself scored later
that inning on a Montero sac fly. Saunders was only 90ft away from home the next time Figgins came up to the plate and I quipped on Twitter that Figgins would lay down the safety squeeze for his 3rd bunt in 3 games. Turns out I was a little early in my prediction, as Figgins smacked one up the middle for a surprisingly solid base knock. He didn’t waste any time swiping second, but the inning was over before he could advance any further. My prediction became a reality during the top of the 6th when Figgins utilized his 3rd bunt of the year, bringing in Saunders on the safety squeez and reaching first safely for another base hit. He again singled in the top of the 8th and other than a botched play in left, he wrapped up a spectacular night. Well, spectacular by the standard Figgins has set for the fan base. Figgins looked like an actuall baseball player tonight.
Figgins stole the show, but Ackley, Saunders, Ryan, and Seager all had outstanding nights as well. Saunders collected 2 hits included a tip-of-the-glove double over Yoenis Cespedes. Ryan also ripped two hits including a double and Seager came through with 2 hits and 2 RBI. Ackley did his thing, collecting another 3 knocks in 5 chances. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch him throughout this year.
In the bottom of the 6th Steve Delabar came in to replace a tiring Jason Vargas. Vargas was due to face Cespedes, who had previously hit one seriously majestic, 462ft rocket off of him the at bat before. Delabar had the difficult task of taking on the talented Cuban native. Here is how it went down.
|1||95||Fastball (Four-seam)||Called Strike|
|3||95||Fastball (Four-seam)||Swinging Strike|
He made it look a little easier than it is, as I’m sure Vargas can attest. Still an impressive bit of pitching by a guy who didn’t even have a guaranteed job until a few days ago.
Montero and Smoak went a combined 1-8 with 7 LOB. Perhaps what was more disappointing than the pure results was the approach taken by both. Smoak attempted to obliterate the baseball in critical situations and Montero just looked timid, and uncomfortable. It’s early and I am in no way condemning either player, but today was just disappointing for both of them.
Solid, bizarre 7-3 win for Seattle. I’m looking forward to more of the same from Figgins, Ackley, Saunders, Ryan, and Seager, with obvious improvements from Montero and Smoak.