It was the Seattle Mariners second try at Opening Day, this time by taking on the defending champions Boston Red Sox at the newly named T-Mobile Field.
It was a fun game for Mariners fans in attendance, who saw their hometown 25 take-on Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox. But after the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day that included a pre-game concert from Macklemore and an Edgar Martinez first pitch, a game still needed to be played.
So here are a few of the things we noticed during Game 3 of 162.
1. The Offense Looks Really Good
Yes, you can look at the stat line of Chris Sale and the scoreboard itself and figure out the offense had a good day. But forget about the results for a second. The team looked good. Even in the first inning that saw Chris Sale strike out the side, it took him 24 pitches to get out of the inning.
One of my keys to a successful series was getting to the bullpen of the Red Sox. Working counts, getting a pitch counts up, and taking on the bullpen. It took Sale 76 pitches to get through 3 innings. There were walks, long at-bats, home runs, line drives, and aggressive base-running.
The Mariners showed a little bit of everything in an offense’s tool belt. Plus, after the battered one of the premier pitchers in baseball, they played add on against the bullpen as well.
Of course, Tim Beckham continued his hot start, cracking 2 more home runs and adding an RBI single as well. Edwin Encarnacion also slammed his first home run with the Mariners. Both Ryon Healy and Domingo Santana deposited balls into the bullpen as well. Overall, Seattle put up 12 runs on 12 hits.
2. The bullpen was just fine
Look, the bullpen is going to have its moments of disasters. But so far, for the first 3 games, the bullpen has been fine… minus 2 disastrous innings from Dan Altavilla and Nick Rumbelow in Japan. But as for the rest of the pen, things have been quite good. And what’s more, there are actually some interesting arms as well.
Rule 5 draft pick Brandon Brennan throws a heavy sinker and has already shown a 93 mph heater as well. Cory Gearrin‘s funky delivery could cause issues for right-handed hitters. Roenis Elias has shown an improved changeup and fastball command.
We have already seen Hunter Strickland and he is throwing his slider with more frequency. The bullpen will be an ongoing discussion all season. But for now, the biggest weakness on the team has actually been just fine.
3. Nobody does Opening Day like the Seattle Mariners
Okay, so I am biased. But Opening Day is where the Mariners marketing team gets it right. From the pre-game concert to Mike McCready’s national anthem, things continue to improve. The player introductions are awesome. The bunting is incredible. T-Mobile Park continues to be one of the crown jewels of MLB stadiums.
The sunset was perfect. The weather was good. Even the things they can’t control seem to work out on Opening Day. And, of course, the Mariners capped it all off with a win. It was a great day in Seattle, and the Mariners are still undefeated. How sweet it is.