Last time we met, Dan was talking about how the Mariners pulled off a minor miracle in Texas. Since then, nothing too exciting has happened. The club did what we expected (maybe even hoped for them to do). With that being said, I think we all have different feelings about the team right now. I’m encouraged because the team won the games they were supposed to and that’s with the bats not being close to where they’ll finish the season (although, how many times have we said that in the last few years). Dan is slightly happy with the team but can’t get over Miguel Olivo’s inept play. They’re the team Matthew thought they’d be but he’s still annoyed about seeing his 3rd abysmal home opener in a row. Joe? He’s trying to hunt down Chuck Armstrong and make him write a letter that says if Seattle doesn’t have an NBA team within a year that he has to sell the Mariners immediately.* So, with all of those different opinions in mind I’ll try to write a quick review of the Oakland series and a preview of the next one.
* I don’t actually know if that’s how any of them are feeling. It is a fairly educated guess except for the part about Joe. That’s what Joe wants to be doing, not what he is doing.
The Mariners took 2 of 3 from Oakland this weekend and won’t play them again until late June. Some people think that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing for entertainment reasons. For winning purposes, this is a terrible thing.
On Friday night the M’s lost to Oakland 4-0. I’ve heard the pre-game ceremonies were classy, as usual. The video of the boy stealing 2nd base and finding his dad home from Afghanistan is touching and extremely well done by the organization. Otherwise, it couldn’t have gone worse for the home team. This is three years in a row that Seattle has played a terrible game in their home opener. The stadium also had their debit/credit card system break down and could only accept cash for a large portion of the game. These things happen but it was an unfortunate night for it to happen. Otherwise, Felix looked pretty good. His groundball rates still aren’t where they usually are but they progressed as the game went on so lets hope that trend continues. I still think he’s perfectly fine. The offense disappeared so there’s nothing to recap there.
On Saturday nights game, it was the Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi show. Also, I guess it was the Michael Pineda show because without him the Mariners wouldn’t have those guys. Maybe anytime Jesus or Hector do anything good the Mariners should flash Pineda’s picture on the big screen with the word “THANKS” written across it. Or they could do that with the Yankee logo instead. That’d be cool. It could be done for all trades even. I’d laugh, along with 3 other people in the stadium. Anyway, Noesi pitched 8 shutout innings with 6 K’s. When he came over, it seemed like he’d be a fastball/slider guy but it’s easy to see his 2nd best pitch is his change-up. His fastball velocity is good and I think he’s going to be just fine after that rough, first outing in Texas. Jesus hit his first home run as a Mariner and added a double just for kicks. His home run was a shot to straight-away center showing off his power. The guy can hit and he’s only going to show off more power as the year goes on. He also looked good defensively behind the plate.
On Sunday, it was the Cliff Lee trade that paid off. Justin Smoak homered. Blake Beavan pitched pretty well. John Jaso sat on the bench (he’s a product of this Lee trade if you pay close attention. Josh Lueke for John Jaso!). Those were the storylines but Brendan Ryan homered and Ichiro doubled home the winning run. It’s good to see those guys do things.
So all in all, it was a successful weekend. These are the series that the Mariners have to win and they did. Sure, a sweep would be nice but we can’t really complain about a series win.
Some actual thoughts instead of a recap and a preview after the jump.