What’s the perfect capper to the worst opening week in Seattle Mariners history? How about taking an 8-1 lead – including a 9-3 lead in the bottom of the 9th – and pissing it all away to blow a great Iwakuma start, the first really good offensive effort, and have it happen one day before the Mariners’ home opener?
Robinson Cano was the star of the day, breaking out of his slump with a 2 for 5 effort, including a 3-run homer and a 2-run bases loaded double. But, he wasn’t the only guy on offense doing good work. Mitch Haniger hit his third homer of the new season, Segura scored 3 runs and got his third stolen base of the year, and Carlos Ruiz had a couple hits, scoring a run and knocking one in. The Mariners were a solid 3 for 8 with runners in scoring position and only left 3 runners on base. I’ve had a lot of shit to say about the offense this first week, but they were absolutely NOT to blame for losing this one.
Hisashi Iwakuma also played a major part, going 6 innings, giving up just a solo homer in 89 pitches. On the one hand, it’s a tad concerning Kuma has yet to throw more than 90 pitches in a game through two starts, but on the other hand he’s managed to go 6 innings both times while giving up 3 runs total this season. If he’s going to do that for you on a regular basis, then I don’t think I mind keeping his arm fresh like we’ve been doing. Of course, we’re going to need more out of our bullpen if that’s the case.
As soon as the Mariners went up 8-1 in the top of the 7th inning, Nick Vincent promptly gave up two runs in the bottom half of the inning to start the collapse. He looked terrible as usual, and only got out of the inning because the last out got caught in a run-down between first and second after knocking the two runners in. From there, Scrabble and Altavilla got through a scoreless 8th inning, while the M’s tacked on another run to make it a 6-run game.
No worries, then, right? 6-run lead, 3 outs to go in the game, why not bring Casey Fien in to get us through the garbage time?
Yeah, Casey Fien has to go. As soon as Tony Zych is ready to return from his rehab assignment, Fien better be DFA’d, and in the meantime he better not show up in another fucking game unless it’s an absolute last resort. At this point, I’d rather see any position player on the mound than Fien one more time. Fuck that idiot.
Fien started off the 9th by giving up a solo homer to Albert Pujols. He then walked a guy, gave up a single, and walked another guy before he was pulled, having gotten exactly zero outs. Needless to say, all of those guys would go on to score.
With the game still 9-4, with the bases loaded (now technically a save situation), the Mariners had to scramble to get Edwin Diaz in the game. I don’t know if he would ever give this as an excuse for his own poor outing, but I hardly think he had enough time to sufficiently warm up his arm prior to getting thrown in the fire. Diaz induced a ground ball out that scored a run, 9-5. He struck out the next guy, 1 out remaining in the game. Then, Diaz went completely off the rails. A double scored two, 9-7. Two walks loaded the bases. Then, Albert Pujols returned, this time to slap a game-tying single to right. The final pitch Diaz threw went off the wall in right center to put everyone out of their misery.
I just don’t know what to say after a game like that. I don’t even know what to say after a week like that! Way to suck all the life out of Opening Day – today at 2pm – by starting off the season 1-6! Even if this was just an ordinary year, we’d be talking about fans jumping into a pit of hot lava just to get the hell off of the bandwagon, but this is the year we’re supposed to be going back to the post-season! On paper, we’re talking about the best team we’ve had around here since probably 2003, and you go out and shit all over everything by losing 6 of your first 7 games? How are you going to get asses in the seats this season? How are you going to keep fan interest alive when you’re COLOSALLY FUCKING THIS UP, DUDE!?
This year’s motto is “Whatever It Takes”. Apparently, that’s short for, “Whatever It Takes To Make Our Fans Miserable”.