The Mariners left for Seattle taking two games from Texas in Globe Life Park, after Monday’s loss. I saw lots of “same ol’ M’s” comments after Monday’s sloppy 3-2 loss. I’m hoping the doubters are a bit more willing to take the season with an open mind after today’s 9-5 comeback victory and after last night’s 10-2 pummeling against the Rangers.
Just a recap if you, like me, were forced to rely on other technological means than radio or television to catch today’s game. The M’s scored early again, with two runs in the first inning on another Robinson Cano home run. They picked up a solo run in the third off Rangers starter Colby Lewis. Wade Miley rapidly worked through the Rangers first, but gave up three quick runs in the second, and allowed a two run homer to Prince Fielder in the 6th. Rangers up 5-3. I was certainly nervous. But Robinson Cano drove in another run in the 7th with a bases loaded walk, Rangers 5-4. In the top of the 9th, the Mariners bartendered Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson, scoring five runs capped with a two run dinger from Robinson Cano. Mariners lead 9-5. Closer Steve Cishek came in and was perfect in a non-save situation. Bartendered-that’s a verb. Any word can be a verb in English.
So the Mariners come home 2-1 after their first, albeit brief, road trip. The early Mariners have a tough early schedule, lots of road games, lots of games against winning teams. Jayson Stark suggested the importance of the M’s getting off to a fast start, assuming the role of Houston last year, who blazed to an early lead in the AL West. So winning these early road games is important. Of course, winning at home has been difficult for the M’s too, so they just need to win ’em all.
The Mariners amassed 14 hits and 6 walks. Three more home runs with two by Robinson Cano and one by Leonys Martin. Kind of makes swallowing Monday’s four hit performance a little easier. Every hitter except catcher Steve Clevenger had a hit. Ketel Marte, who struggled in the first two games offensively and defensively, got on board with three hits and a run scored.
Controlling the Zone
After Cole Hamels and company had their way with the Mariners on Monday with 11 strikeouts, the M’s have responded with consecutive games of only 4 and 6 strikeouts Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. By contrast, the Mariners mirrored the K’s with 4 walks yesterday and 6 walks today.
In nine innings the bullpen has allowed exactly zero runs. We’ve seen every pitcher except Vidal Nuno, had two inning outings from Mike Montgomery and Tony Zych, and Nick Vincent appeared in back to back games. Nada. Today closer Steve Cishek appeared in a non save situation-nails, perfect, lights out. Don’t know how long it will last, but I feel like I’m dreaming and don’t want to wake up.
I don’t know how concerned I am really, but Miley pitched six innings, wasted no time about it, struck out seven and walked nobody. Unfortunately, along the way he gave up five runs very quickly. He was able to get out of innings, but it’s like he’s cruising and then wham. More than anything, I’m concerned there wasn’t a strong start by any of the three guys leading off the Mariners rotation. Hopefully it’s just first start adjustments and not something more concerning.
So the M’s come home, advantage Mariners. Gotta say I love the new blue jerseys. Might have to get me one of those.