Last year, the Mariners didn’t get to play their home opener until April 13th, after eight games on the road including two in Japan. I don’t remember this, but apparently the Mariners got to start Felix Hernandez at their home opener last season. He went seven innings, giving up two runs, and we ended up losing to Bartolo Colon and the Oakland Athletics 4-0.
In 2011, the Mariners didn’t play their home opener until April 8th, after six games on the road. I remember this game vividly, because Jason Vargas got the start against the Cleveland Indians, giving up 7 runs in 3.1 innings en route to a miserable 12-3 loss. The 2011 Mariners were trying to help everyone forget about the doldrums their 2010 counterparts faced; what better way to do that than to get lit up at home in front of a near-sellout crowd?
In 2010, the Mariners didn’t play their home opener until April 12th, after seven games on the road. I have a vague recollection of this game, which leads me to believe that maybe last night’s home opener was my FOURTH in a row and not just my third. Ryan Rowland-Smith was a personal favorite of mine and he didn’t do so hot in his 7 innings of 4-run ball. The Mariners lost this game to the A’s 4-0, while generating only two hits.
In 2009, the Mariners didn’t play their home opener until April 14th, after seven games on the road. I am almost positive I didn’t go to this game, though I bet I thought about it. Carlos Silva got the start, went 7 innings, gave up 2 runs, but this ended up being a battle of the bullpens as the Mariners won 3-2 in 10 innings.
2008 was the last time the Mariners got to play their home opener on ACTUAL Opening Day. On March 31st, against Kevin Millwood and the Texas Rangers. Newly-acquired Erik Bedard got the start and went 5 strong innings of 1-run ball; Sean Green, Eric O’Flaherty, Mark Lowe, and J.J. Putz locked down the final four innings, giving up only 1 run in our 5-2 victory. For the record, the Mariners played their first three games at home, then promptly went out on the road for a 7-game trip against the likes of Baltimore and Tampa Bay.
Major League Baseball REALLY likes sticking the M’s on the road to start the season!
I was at the game last night, but right now my mind is a jumbled mush, so this post probably won’t come out the way I want it to.
When I go to a mid-week Mariners game, I tend to do it up right. Straight from work (getting off at 3:30), I walk down to the tunnel and get off at the International District stop. From there, it’s a hop and a skip over to Slugger’s, the little hole in the wall just across from the north entrance to CenturyLink Field. Yesterday, I made a bee-line to the upstairs area and grabbed the first 4-person table I could find. A basket of tots and a Coors Light tallboy later, I was joined by a couple of friends and we proceeded to drink Coors Banquet Beer tallboys until 6:15 or so.
Then, we grabbed some bagel dogs from Blazin’ Bagels and went inside. We opted for the 200-level club seats, along the third base line, and were hardly disappointed. Of course, I managed to find the only two Astros fans willing to spend upwards of $75-$100 on club tickets, seated right next to me. There’s nothing sadder than a lone Astros fan clapping in your ear when he knows as well as you do that there’s no chance in Hell the Astros are going to win this game. Nevertheless, it’s still kind of annoying when you hear people next to you cheering at all the wrong times.
I was inside buying a soda when Jamie Moyer threw out the first pitch. From television replays, he looked like a guy who should not be quitting his day job (especially when that day job is “Sit around, do nothing, play some golf, and go for a swim in your Money Bin”). I don’t understand these athletes who can’t give up the game. IT’S JUST A GAME! Take your millions of dollars and enjoy your fucking life! Find a new hobby for fuck’s sake, it’s not that hard!
I did not get a chance to leave our club seats during the game. I did not spend any time in The Pen, nor did I get a chance to walk through Edgar’s; it was far too crowded to do either. Maybe on some chance Tuesday-night game when there are only 12,000 people there.
I did get to marvel at the new video screen. Sure is a great way to pump us up with more advertisements! Here we go, Budweiser, here we go! Clap clap.
The hydro races were most certainly NOT in mid-season form. Green won wire to wire! When does that EVER happen? Yellow was poised for a breakthru, but it wasn’t to be.
Oh, and a fan ran onto the field! Those are always fun and exciting. It was between innings, so I’m sure the Root broadcast was on a commercial break. I’m also sure that when they came back, Dave Sims probably made some disparaging remark about that fan’s overall jackassery. I don’t understand the media policy surrounding fans running onto the field. They have an “America Doesn’t Negotiate With Terrorists” type of stubborn resolve over not showing these people (streakers, athlete kissers, general disruptors) on camera, lest everyone else gets the bright idea that, “If I run out onto the field, I’ll be famous!” This, in spite of the fact that NOT showing them still doesn’t seem to be much of a deterrent. Also, let’s face it, when someone runs onto the field, people want to see what happens! They’ll take a break from open-heart surgery to see how this idiot gets tackled and whisked away to Stadium Jail. Why not show it? It’s something new and different and obviously the people want to know what’s happening. Pretending everything is hunky dory and showing random shots of athletes standing around looking confused isn’t exactly the best way to spend five minutes of broadcast time. Making snarky comments about people you refuse to show on camera, bemoaning how they’re wasting everyone’s time, is also a terrible way to spend your broadcast time. Just acknowledge it, laugh it off, and let us see the guy get tackled to the turf by four guys in security outfits!
As for the game itself, what am I going to tell you about a 3-0 game over the Astros that you don’t already know? I was going to rage against the machine if Joe Saunders got anything less than five strikeouts, so bully for him. He only managed to go 6.1 innings even though his pitch count was at 91 for the day.
I’m telling you, I’ve never seen a manager so giddy about his bullpen. I hope you like mid-inning pitching replacements, because Eric Wedge is a kid in a candy store, mixing and matching left-handers and right-handers left and right! Capps came in and continued his blitzkrieg on the rest of baseball. Furbush got to pitch to one guy. And Wilhelmsen recorded one of the easiest saves you’re ever going to see. A 3-0 lead against the Astros shouldn’t even COUNT as a save! That’s like a 12-0 lead against anyone else!
Regarding the offense, they got five hits. Saunders and Morales got two apiece in accounting for just about all of our offensive production. Dustin Ackley got a hit and still managed to finish the day with a sub-.100 batting average.
In fact, here’s a look at our 5-6-7-8 hitters:
- Kyle Seager
- Justin Smoak
- Jesus Montero
- Dustin Ackley
And here are their batting averages:
The future of the Mariners! The young core that’s going to lead this organization back to the playoffs! True to the Blue!