Mariners Game Recap: M’s Power Past Padres in Opener

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May 12, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (3) is greeted outside the dugout after hitting a solo-homer against the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Zunino Homers 2x

Mike Zunino has been heavily criticized by Mariners’ fans all season, but he made his detractors eat their tweets on Tuesday night against the Padres. Not only did the M’s backstop call a fabulous game behind the plate, but he also contributed 3 hits and 2 home runs. Zunino absolutely demolished a hanging break ball in the 7th that nearly made it into the second deck at Safeco Field. Tonight was his best game of the season, as he finished 3 for 4 with 3 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.

2015 has not been kind to the 24-year-old Cape Coral, FL product. After producing some of the best numbers in baseball this spring, he has hit just .185 with 5 home runs and 10 RBI’s through his first 92 at bats this season. However, Mike Zunino proved tonight that his raw power is unmatched on the team. Also, his defensive prowess makes him invaluable to the M’s. He may have issues with accuracy at time on his throws, but his receiving skills are on an All Star level.

Mike Zunino is arguably the best young catcher in baseball, and he deserves the support of the fan base. He may be frustrating at times, but Zunino is the best backstop Seattle has had since Dan Wilson. I still have high hopes for his season, and hopefully tonight’s impressive showing will be a turning point for the University of Florida alum.

Next: Looking Ahead