Thank God that baseball is back. Halfway through the game I was sitting on the couch with my brother, each of us sipping a Mexican Coke and enjoying a baseball game. There are times in life when you know you’re at the right place and that was one of those times. I can’t remember the last time I was able to watch opening day with my brother and, in a life where it’s vital to cherish the little things, this was one small event that I am very grateful for.
On to the recap. The Mariners were in control for most of this game. They played like they will for most of the year: solid pitching, good defense, and tacking on a run here and there. For most of this game the pitching was more than solid. Felix’s line isn’t extremely pretty but take away some bad pitches from Sean White and it would be much better. (More on Sean White later.) Felix was still dominating, his control just wasn’t quite where it needed to be. He got a ridiculous amount of ground ball outs, it’s hard to remember a fly ball. As for his control, I’m not too worried. The umpire tonight was bad (apparently he didn’t know what low strike was) and Felix got a little tired in the later innings. As the King gets stretched out more and more, his command will get better. In the 6th and 7th innings he started leaving the ball up in the zone, this is what pitchers do when they’re tired, but for the most part he missed down in the zone. This is a good sign and will be vital against Texas next time out.
The end of Felix’s outing brought us to Sean White. Let me just say that I’m not a Sean White fan. He benefited from a good deal of luck last year, his FIP was 2 runs higher than his ERA. Wak doesn’t feel the same as I do about Sean White though and therefore he put him in after Felix. I would’ve put in League, Lowe, or maybe even Sean Kelley but that didn’t happen. Maybe White will prove me, and other skeptics, wrong this year but if he doesn’t I’ll be anxious to see what Wak does with him in the bullpen. Thankfully, we won this game so I don’t have to be too upset with Sean White but if he keeps costing Felix wins I will get angrier. For now, he’s okay.
As for the other two pitchers, I was impressed. League was what I expected. After that Jack Wilson error I got a little nervous but he produced another ground ball that turned into a double play. I’m excited to see League throughout this year. Aardsma did what he did last year. I’ve always been on the fence about Aardsma but I do like that he comes right after hitters. He was good tonight.
The offense tonight was about what I expect for the season. Score a run here, score a run there and then what do you know, we end up with 5 runs in a game. This team is way more patient than last years. I’m pretty sure we matched the amount of walks we had last year in one game (sarcasm). It will be nice to see Figgins, Kotchman, Bradley paired with Griffey give this team a patient approach.
The stolen bases were fun and something I expect to see a lot of. Speed is an underrated aspect of baseball and speed is something we have.
Hero: Casey Kotchman. He was awesome tonight. I’m a Kotchman believer and one of the few who seem to think he will produce at a higher level this year. I like him batting third in the order and am excited to see what he can do this year. The fact that he got 4 RBI and a game winning hit in his first Mariner game is pretty cool.
Goat: Sean White. I didn’t understand White being the first reliever to pitch this year, especially considering it was the 7th inning and he was entering a jam. Everyone knows how lucky White got last year on balls in play, and his inability to strike guys out scares me. Tonight’s performance confirmed my fears of White this year.
A few more quick notes after the jump.
- I don’t know how the 2nd base ump missed the call on the trap that Kotchman hit. It wasn’t very close. I guess that’s easier to say when you’re watching on TV but still…. Robots please!
- Did you see Milton Bradley break his bat on the ground after he struck out in the 9th? Or when he glared down a couple of fans after catching a fly ball? This year is going to be fun. I like Milton and want him to act like that. He has a chip on his shoulder, probably for good reason, and he’s a great entertainer. It’s easy to tell that Bradley cares about what he’s doing and that’s nice to see. He must have hit that bat against the ground so hard for it to break. That might have been the most impressive part of the game.
- Rob Johnson is on pace for 162 homers (He hit that ball a long ways), Casey Kotchman is on pace for 648 RBI’s, and Chone Figgins is on pace for 324 stolen bases. Wow, this team is going to be awesome!
- The Good Guys will now refer to Rob Johnson as Hips. Just thought I’d warn you.
- Oakland’s lineup is pretty terrible. All in all, this was a very sloppy game but a win’s a win so I’ll take it.
- Miguel Batista’s ERA is 27.00 at the moment.
- Kansas City batted Willie Bloomquist 6th and Yuni 7th. I’m so sorry Royals fans.
We don’t have any set format for these game recaps, so if there’s something you want to see in these just let us know in the comments. This one was pretty sloppy and I’m sure we’ll get much better at them. Thanks for reading and go Mariners! We’re tied for 1st place!