Last night it didn’t matter that the Mariners were playing a new team, the result ended up just the same: a loss. Facing another divisional opponent, the Los Angeles Angels, the M’s suffered their fourth loss in five games to fall to 1-4 on the young campaign. Here’s what we learned after last night’s tilt.
When you’re 1-4 in the young season and tied for the worst record in the league, there’s not much to cheer about, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot you need to know about the Seattle Mariners.
Following the loss, there were three things in particular that caught our eye.
You would think I would be mentioning the lackluster M’s offense which has scored less than 10 runs in their first five games, but no, this is a more positive feature of how the M’s arms were able to shut down the Angels big bats of Albert Pujols and Mike Trout.
Yesterday, Yovani Gallardo came to the mound with the hope that he would be just as good on the mound as his counterparts have been. Before his outing, the Mariners had a team ERA of 3.10 which was 6th-best in the AL.
While Gallardo was pleasantly mediocre, something you expect on most nights from your 5th starter -his line read 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4K. What was most impressive, however, was how he (and the rest of the M’s arm) shut down the Angels power bats.
Through his five innings of work, he held the duo to 1-5 with a walk to Trout. Furthermore, he was able to keep the ball on the ground when Pujols was at the plate, forcing him into groundouts in all his plate appearances including one double play.
In their final two at-bats, reliever, Casey Fien also induced grounders from the sluggers bringing their combined daily total to 1-7.
Trout and Pujols each had RBIs but they both came on sacrifice hits, minimizing the damage.
If Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma can shut down these guys like the pitching staff did last night, it will help the Mariners have a greater shot at winning, that is, if their bats can show up.
Chirping at Safeco
Everyone in the Pacific Northwest is already buzzing about the Mariners season-opener early next week, but when it was released yesterday that the Safeco Field food service will be including toasted crickets, the buzz grew even louder.
Over the past few years, one of the trends around ballparks has been the large and/or outrageous foods that are being served at ballparks across the nation. Think the Arizona Diamondback’s chicken funnel cake sandwich or the Kansas City Royals pulled pork patty melt.
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Now, the M’s are getting in on the fun not only providing arguably the most out there ballpark snack yet but also the healthiest.
If you’re not looking to have a big fatty burger or a jumbo-sized hot dog, now you can have toasted crickets.
It may seem far-fetched for many to eat this backyard bug, but crickets have been a tasty snack worldwide for many years, mostly in lesser developed countries. But with the latest research showing that crickets are packed with protein and other nutrients, people in the sporting world and elsewhere are turning to the chirping critters as a substitute for less healthier snack options.
100 grams of crickets (about a quarter of a pound) for example hold 13 grams of protein as well as smaller amounts of calcium, thiamine (vitamin B1), and riboflavin.
It may seem like an unusual ballpark treat, but make sure to check out the wild snack next time you make it down to Safeco Field. Check it out at Poquitos by The Pen all season long. If you can’t stomach them on their own, it’s an option to add them to one of their tacos.
Yesterday, Mariners third baseman, Kyle Seager, already committed his third error of the young season, his second in as many days.
There’s no question that playing the hot corner is tough, batters are trying to pull the ball down the line and the third baseman has the shortest time to react on the field (minus the pitcher and tied with the first baseman) plus he has to regroup and make the long throw to another base, usually first in time to get the runner.
Last year, Seager tied for the league-most errors with the Texas Rangers second baseman, Rougned Odor, with 22 mistakes.
While that was the case, due to his phenomenal fielding when he wasn’t making errors -he led all third baseman in double plays (46), assists (373), and putouts (110), he was nominated for a Gold Glove, although he didn’t win the award.
This season, he is only one of five players to commit multiple errors and he has as many or more errors on his own than 24 other teams in the league. Because of this the M’s lead the league in errors made and have the 4th-lowest fielding percentage at .975.
It is still very early on in the season, but this is not the type of play you want to see from your usually reliable everyday third baseman.