With the way this season’s gone so far, the Mariners should’ve lost last night’s game 9 ways from Sunday, but instead somehow pulled out the 2-1 victory.
Felix looked good, though still not quite his old dominant self, in going 7.1 innings, giving up 1 run on 6 hits, striking out 3 with 0 walks. The fact that he’s still on 0 walks through three starts is about as amazing as it gets. Last night, he pitched to contact well and for the most part was rewarded by his defense, aside from that Zunino bungle in front of home plate.
The King was still in great shape in the 8th inning, at around 80 pitches heading in. But, a line-out to the short stop and a single to the next batter ended his day. Scrabble came in and got the next two lefties out to end the threat. From there, it was more or less a relatively pain-free save situation for Diaz, who watched a 2-out single scamper over to third base on a steal and a wild pitch before being stranded.
The Mariners kicked off the scoring with Nelson Cruz’s first homer of the season, a solo shot in the 4th, to go up 1-0. It was an impressive liner to right-center field, and you know Cruz is going well at the plate when he’s going the other way with power.
Obviously, the offense isn’t going right when you only get 2 runs, but 6 Mariners managed to get at least 1 hit. They’re just not getting these in succession, as they went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
Part of it wasn’t necessarily their fault though, as in the bottom of the 7th, Dyson reached on an infield single, and stole second before Heredia could bunt him over. Heredia finally DID bunt him over, but it got away from the pitcher, ending up with runners on the corners and nobody out. That brought up Mitch Haniger, who worked the count in his favor and hit a shot off the top of the wall that the idiot umpiring crew called a home run. It was later ruled NOT a home run, but for some reason they put Haniger back at first base and Heredia back at second. You can say Heredia mis-read the ball all you want, but with their speed, there’s no way they wouldn’t have gotten to second and third on that hit. That sufficiently changed the course of the inning, but with the meat of the order coming up, you still had to feel good about our chances of playing a little add-on, right?
WRONG. Cano popped out and Cruz hit into a double play. I guess that solo homer back in the 4th didn’t cure all of Cruz’s ills quite yet.
Danny Valencia is still stinking up the joint. So is Mike Zunino. Valencia just looks as lost at the plate as I’ve seen anyone. Zunino has a giant hole in his swing causing him to miss anything up in the zone. A guy with his power and his youth should not be missing on this many fastballs in the zone, saying nothing of the times he goes chasing those breaking balls that fall out of the zone. I’ve been doing a little work on updating my Worst Trades, Draft Picks, and Free Agent Signings page, and right now in my notes I’ve written “Mike Zunino?” Well, we’re going on 5 years since he was drafted, and I’m just about to take that question mark off of his name and cement him in as yet another first round Mariners draft bust. God damn you Jack Zduriencik, you worthless pile of crap.