Due to busy schedules and such the Good Guys haven’t been able to cover the Kansas City series game by game. So, with that being said I’m going to take this weird series down with one post. We’ll get back on our game by game schedule in this coming series.
Monday 4/26 KC – 3 Seattle – 1
This game sucked. You can’t really sugarcoat it. It was Felix Hernandez vs. Kyle Davies and we lost. Kyle Davies is not a good pitcher but our lineup had no trouble making him look like a cy young. He had a no-hitter into the 6th inning. The one good thing the M’s did against him was get his pitch count up even when they were getting shut down. This was a common theme this series as they did this the next night against Greinke.
Felix was a little off his game and that’s all the Royals needed to win. The King was good but he wasn’t his usual great self. Felix’s few struggles combined with our lack of offense made this game very frustrating to watch.
Getting no hit through six is frustrating in one way but what followed in the 7th, 8th, and 9th was even more annoying to me. The Mariners got a ton of runners on in those 3 innings. The number was close to 10 (sorry, I can’t remember exactly), yet they only drove in one run in those innings. This is more bad luck than anything and the same thing happened to the Royals the next night. This doesn’t make it any less annoying.
If the Mariners had this pitching matchup 10 times I’m confident in saying that they would win at least 8 of them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be this night. Baseball is weird.
Hero: Mike Sweeney. This is by default. He got a pinch hit RBI single in the 9th and that’s enough to win him the hero award. He did have a nice little series though so that’s worth noting.
Goat: There are so many options. We’ll go with Chone Figgins. He was 0-4 with 3 strikeouts. That’s not very good. Sorry Chone, I still like you.
Tuesday 4/27 M’s – 3 KC – 2
As much as I expected the Mariners to win the first game of the series, I expected them to lose this one. Of course, they were playing the Royals so anything was possible but it was Ian Snell vs. Zack Greinke. If there’s one pitcher I’d think about trading Felix for it’s Greinke. He’s incredible. And he was incredible on Tuesday. The Mariners did manage to get his pitch count up and that’s what changed the game.
Ian Snell was interesting. The grass is green. What else is new. Snell only gave up 2 runs but he allowed an incredible amount of baserunners. Fortunately, we were playing the Royals and they don’t hit very well so he was able to pitch out of numerous jams. His stuff was decent and after the game he said that was the best his slider has felt in a long time. This is good news since the slider is his best pitch. This was probably Snell’s best start of the season but it’s not good enough to keep him in the rotation. So the 4.35 million arm moves to the bullpen. I don’t see how anyone can argue with this move and I’ll be anxious to see how he does. He fits the mentality of our bullpen: a wild right-hander with a fastball and above average slider. Snell could still be a valuable asset to the Mariners, time will tell.
Once the Mariners got to Kansas City’s bullpen it was game on. When a team runs out Josh Rupe, Robinson Tejada, and Bruce Chen in succession, that team is usually going to lose. That is not a very good bullpen. With that being said, the Mariners used some annoying baseball to win this game. The annoying aspect was exclaimed with Jose Lopez’ RBI double off the pitchers glove. It’s annoying baseball like Venoy Overton being an annoying defender. It’s annoying like when we play the Angels. It’s annoying and it’s so much fun to win that way.
Make no mistake, the Mariners should not have won that game. Thank goodness they did though. These first two games show just how weird baseball can be. There is so much statistical analysis to baseball, and I love that, but these two games show that there’s a certain level of unpredictability to baseball and that’s what makes it great.
Hero: Milton Bradley. Bradley was 2-3 and drew a bases loaded walk. I love Milton Bradley. Lookout Landing said that he realizes his job is to be an entertainer and I couldn’t agree more. He makes watching games way more fun. On this night, he played the role of the villain and fed off the crowds boos. He played right along with them; taunting them back playfully and brimming with intensity. I was following the game on Gameday so I didn’t get to see any of his antics live but caught his interview after the game. If you haven’t already, go read some of his quotes after the game. They are hilarious. Milton is becoming one of my favorite Mariners and he’s been slumping. I know he has his share of haters but I think he’s great.
Goat: Casey Kotchman. Kotch had a tough game. Oh well, he’s been strong this season and after the last game in the series it’s safe to say that his was just a blip on the radar. Don’t forget that the Mariners were facing Zack Greinke on this night.
Wednesday 4-28 M’s -6 KC -5
The Mariners won a close, weird game this afternoon. I really enjoy day games. Anyway, this game was awesome because Gil Meche was pitching, Willie Bloomquist was playing second base, and Yuni was playing short and they all sucked. I don’t really have a problem with Meche but Bloomquist and Yuni are two of my least favorite Mariners ever. When they’re at short and second together they may be the worst double play tandem in baseball. Poor Kansas City.
Hyphen started for the Mariners and had his best start of the year. He was very effective with his off speed stuff and probably should have only given up one run on the day. A pop up fell in between Ichiro and Figgins because Ichiro misread it. Smith still isn’t where he was at the end of last season but he got a little closer today.
The Mariners hit the ball hard most of the day. It was nice to see the bats come alive before the 8th inning even if it was against Gil Meche. Ichiro and Figgins both had great days. The bottom of the order was pretty impressive too. I konw we’ve addressed this before but Jose Lopez needs to move out of the clean-up spot. Please. Put Kotch or Bradley there. Lopez is a pretty decent 6-hole hitter, clean-up not so much.
Jack Wilson made an absolutely amazing play in the 8th inning. It’s been described as the Derek Jeter play but with range. He ranged far to his right, jumped up and threw the ball to first, getting the runner by half a step. Derek Jeter did make that throw famous but there’s no chance that Jeter would have gotten to that ball. Yuni wouldn’t have even moved for that ball, he would have just watched it roll through the hole because there’d be no hope of him getting it. It was an incredible play and saved Mark Lowe some trouble in the 8th. Wilson also added a double today.
Hero: Chone Figgins. Figgins put together a really solid day. He just missed a home run, which is saying something when we’re talking about Chone. Figgy tripled, singled and walked. He hit the ball hard. Hopefully, this continues and his bat gets a little hotter.
Goat: Franklin Gutierrez. Guti just had a bad day. 0-4, it happens.
So, the Mariners are heading home with a .500 record. This seems fitting because Friday is going to feel like opening day all over again. This team will be the one we envisioned since December with Lee returning. Not only does this add a talent boost but it adds a mental boost. When you get one of the best pitchers in baseball starting for your team your confidence has to go up. Let the real season begin!