While many Mariners fans are aware of how the team is opening up the season, there may be a few things that were overlooked or misunderstood. Today, we get you ready for Game 1 of 162.
Let’s start by knocking out a few of the obvious things Mariners fans should be made aware of. First, the Mariners are opening their season by taking on the Oakland A’s in the Tokyo Dome. Yes, the Tokyo Dome in Japan.
This will be the second time the Mariners and A’s have opened up the MLB season in Asia. In 2012, Seattle and Oakland kicked off the MLB season by playing 2 games in Japan. The A’s and M’s split the two-game set.
“What time does the Game Start and where can I watch it?”
Well here is the fun part. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 AM PDT. Yes, 2:30 in the morning. The game will be carried live exclusively by ESPN and the WatchESPN app. Fire up those TiVo’s!
However, if you can’t or do not wish to wake up at 2:30 AM to watch baseball, MLB Network will be replaying the action at 1 PM PDT and again at 10 PM PT.
“Who is pitching?”
The Mariners will send somebody other than Felix Hernandez to the mound to open the season for the first time since 2008. Does anybody remember who got the start in 2008? Erik Bedard. I know, pretty gross.
Instead, Seattle will send left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales to the mound, hoping he can build off his 2018 season. In 2018, Gonzales threw 166.2 innings, posting a 4.00 ERA, a 3.43 FIP, and a 1.22 WHIP. This will be Gonzales’ first Opening Day start.
The A’s will send veteran RHP Mike Fiers to the mound. Fiers is coming off a career year in 2018, posting a 3.56 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 172 innings. However, these numbers are a bit deceiving, as his underlying stats weren’t particularly great, posting a 4.75 FIP.
“Is Ichiro Playing?”
Yes. Mariners Manager Scott Servais has already announced that Ichiro will, in fact, be in the Opening Day lineup. As for where, it stands to reason that Ichiro will start in RF, with Mitch Haniger in CF and Domingo Santana in LF.
“Who’s in the Starting Lineup?”
Lineups have yet to be announced but will be updated as soon as we get the official word. It is highly likely that, along with the OF mentioned above, Omar Narvaez will catch, Ryon Healy will play third, Dee Gordon will play second, and Tim Beckham will play shortstop. Edwin Encarnacion is likely to be the DH, leaving the biggest question to first base.
Traditionally, managers give the nod to veteran players, which would seem to indicate that Jay Bruce will get the nod at first base over Daniel Vogelbach. We will update as soon as the lineups are official.
That is all for now guys. Stay tuned for more updates. But as always, let’s have some fun, and go, Mariners!
The Mariners and A’s have unveiled their individual lineups for the first game of the series:
No surprises here from the Mariners, especially as Bruce takes on first base duties. It will be interesting to see whether or not Braden Bishop will come in as a defensive replacement for Ichiro later in the game, such as the Mariners did in their two-game exhibition set against the Yomiuri Giants.