Seattle Mariners: The Best Moments – 2010s Edition
As the Seattle Mariners get set to kick off their final season of the 2010s, let’s take a look back at the best moments from the decade.
2010: CLIFF LEE JOINS THE MARINERS
Since it’s tough to pinpoint a single highlight from a 100-loss season, the point is Cliff Lee made this team more watchable than they deserved to be. Lee only pitched for two-and-a-half months as a Mariner, but dominated when he took the mound. It all began with a superb debut versus the Rangers (who acquired him later that year) of seven innings and three hits. His other 12 starts weren’t too shabby as he notched four complete games along with three outings of double-digit strikeouts.
2011: ICHIRO SETS FRANCHISE HITS RECORD
It would be another dark season capped off by a 17-game midseason losing streak. However there was some light from one of the team’s icons. At the start of the season, Ichiro surpassed Edgar Martinez for the franchise lead in hits (2,248). Great timing considering 2011 would be Ichiro’s last full season of his decade-long first stint with the M’s.
2012: SAFECO HAUNTS HITTERS
Would you believe it if one stadium surrendered three no-hitters in a single season? Well, that’s exactly what occurred at Safeco Field in 2012. Led off by Philip Humber’s perfect game against the Mariners that April, two more would occur later in the Summer. Luckily for Mariners fans, the team would be on the victorious side of those outcomes.
In June, Kevin Millwood and five relievers teamed up to no-hit the Dodgers. As the final score was 1-0, the Dodgers came awfully close to knotting things up. In the eighth inning, the Dodgers had the tying run on third with less than two outs. The Mariners escaped trouble with clutch pitching by Brandon League and a hustling catch by Chone Figgins.
The historical 2012 season was capped off by Felix Hernandez throwing the first perfect game in Mariners history. He dominated the Rays and capped off his feat by fanning six of his last nine hitters.
2013: KYLE SEAGER’S EXTRA INNING SLAM
Despite going on to lose this June home game against the White Sox, fans sure received their money’s worth. In a game which was mostly a pitchers’ duel, the 14th inning saw 10 combined runs! The White Sox shelled Mariners pitching with five runs in their frame. But the M’s continued to fight in the bottom half of the inning, as Kyle Seager hit a game-tying slam to right-center field to knot things up at 5-5. The moment was so improbable that White Sox announcer Ken Harrelson was left speechless for a few seconds.
2014: FIGHTING BACK AT FENWAY
The Mariners were in the playoff race but Friday’s road game at the Red Sox appeared to be a loss. After just one mistake by Felix Hernandez, the team found themselves shut out into the top of the ninth. After Koji Uehara got two of his first three hitters out, it was all Mariners from there. An Endy Chavez walk opened the floodgates for four straight Mariner hits. And Dustin Ackley’s go-ahead bloop had Mariner mojo written all over it. Fernando Rodney sealed the deal next frame to make this one of the most exciting two-out rallies in recent memory.
2015: NELLIE BEATS HIS FORMER TEAM
James Paxton simply didn’t have it in this April affair against the Rangers. Down 10-5 heading into the sixth, the Mariners’ backs were against the wall. Not if Nelson Cruz had anything to say about it. He capped off a five-RBI, two-homer day with a two-strike walkoff to seal the comeback win against his former team.
2016: 10 RUNS DOWN. SO WHAT?
The Mariners found themselves down 12-2 on the road against the Peoria rival Padres. But somehow the Mariners mustered up 14 unanswered runs, with only half a game to do so! The Padre bullpen had no answer as the team came back to haunt former Mariner relievers Matt Thornton and Brandon Maurer.
2017: JEAN WALKS OFF THE SOX
As one who attended this game, it was quite the marathon. The Mariners and Red Sox found themselves deadlocked at 4-4 heading into extras. After an early lead for Felix, he couldn’t hold the Red Sox down. But Sandy Leon broke that tie with a go-ahead single off Tony Zych in the 13th. I found myself about to leave as that appeared to be the dagger with the sea of Sox fans around. The Mariners fought until the end as they again haunted a familiar face in Doug Fister. Small ball was at hand with two outs, and the Mariners found themselves victorious among a wild pitch from Fister and a Jean Segura infield single to walk off the team of the 2010’s.
2018: NOT ONE, BUT TWO COMEBACKS?
The Mariners left the Angels bullpen with grey hairs as they made two separate comebacks in extras. After Edwin Diaz blew a rare save in the ninth, the Mariners played cat to the Angels’ mouse. While trailing in the 10th, poor fielding helped drive Ben Gamel home for the tie. Trailing again in the 11th, Kyle Seager shattered Jim Johnson’s hopes of a save with a game-tying gapper. Ryon Healy then played hero for the night with a game-ending single that just hugged the foul line.
Leave your comments below on what you expect from the 2019 season!