A weekend with the Mariners
One week ago, the Seattle Mariners opened their 2016 baseball season. All winter long, we watched and analyzed all the transactions, waited in anticipation as the injuries healed and eagerly waited to see whether Jerry Dipoto‘s vision would work as a cohesive unit. We saw our 9-game long Opening Day winning streak broken, but collectively the Mariners fan base has remained a stalwart unit.
The next two games were chalk full of Robinson Cano home runs, Tom Wilhelmsen meltdowns and an encouraging 9th inning where the Mariners overcame a 2-run deficit to win the series in Texas. Excitement was high with the Mariners coming back into town to open Safeco Field for the 2016 season.
A record crowd of 47,065 people attended the M’s home opener. We cried with Hindu. We cheered as Ken Griffey Jr and Felix Hernandez exchanged “Felixes” and hugs on center stage. Opening Day is special for the players, but it is equally enchanting for the fans. Taijuan Walker was out to prove a point against Oakland, having given up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings during his first start last year. He fared much better this time around, going six complete innings and giving up just two runs. While he was good in his first home outing, the lack of offense ended up being the telling narrative. Even with the loss, the masses of people out to celebrate the new season, maintained their excitement for our favorite guys.
Game two, Nate Karns was on the mound for the Mariners. A solid crowd of 36,424 came out on a beautiful, summer-like night in Seattle. Karns and the Mariners offense struggled. Karns giving up four earned runs on seven hits in five innings. Our hitting catcher, Chris Iannetta slugged a home run in the second, but that proved to be the only offense the Mariners could muster. Losing this game meant that the old adage “Same old Mariners,” was dangerously close to returning.
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Game three was started by our wonderfully loyal Felix Hernandez, and he did not disappoint. In seven shutout innings, Felix only gave up three hits while striking out ten. However the offense (or lack there of) once again became the point of concern for most Mariners fans. After Felix was lifted from the game, relief pitchers Joel Peralta and Nick Vincent each gave up solo home runs. Those two runs proved to be the difference. Depressingly, the Mariners were swept in their Opening weekend.
I do not go over this to torture you, fellow readers. I am here to tell you that despite certain reporters creating superfluous articles that mean nothing or the lack of runs in THREE games, that the Mariners will be just fine. “Same old Mariners,” is understandably easy to default to. It’s comfortable, and it’s easier to complain then to put effort into creating hopes and beliefs for a team that has not really given you a reason to.
I guarantee you have heard the phrase “it’s still early,” on any given piece of writing about the Mariners in the last couple days. It’s there for a reason. It’s there to remind you of a certain truth that comes with any newly formed team, trying to find it’s way. A truth I’m here to remind you of: six games in baseball will never accurately reflect what an entire 162 game season will hold. So take a deep breath Mariners fans, there is a lot of baseball left. Throw that “same old Mariners” thinking out the window, have some fun and revel in the fact that baseball is back in full force. After all, in the end, it is just a game. Go Mariners!