2014 Seattle Mariners Season Opener Live Blog


Mar 23, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop

Brad Miller

(5) and second baseman

Robinson Cano

(22) between innings against the Oakland Athletics at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Greetings, fellow baseball-liker, and welcome to Major League Baseball’s Opening Day! Okay, so we call it Opening Day, capital letters and all, but truth be told this is the fourth day of 2014 in which regular season baseball has been played. This is the third day that features teams starting their seasons, and tomorrow, there will be more teams starting their seasons. But this is a Seattle blog, and Seattle has the Mariners, and it’s opening day for the Mariners. Or, should I say, Opening! Day! This is an event worthy of a celebration. Around these parts, “celebration” translates directly to “live blog.” So we’re doing a live blog.

Mariners vs. Angels! The Seattle Mariners are in Anaheim right now to play the Los Angeles Angels, who do not play in Los Angeles. The Mariners are the best and the Angels are the worst, as far as today is concerned. Good guys, meet the bad guys. Felix Hernandez good, Jered Weaver bad. Onto the lineups:

CF Abraham Almonte
SS Brad Miller
2B Robinson Cano
1B Justin Smoak
DH Logan Morrison
3B Kyle Seager
RF Michael Saunders
LF Dustin Ackley
C Mike Zunino

RF Kole Calhoun
CF Mike Trout
1B Albert Pujols
LF Josh Hamilton
3B David Freese
DH Raul Ibanez
2B Howie Kendrick
C Chris Iannetta
SS Erick Aybar

I’ll be back with frequent updates that may or may not becomes less frequent as the game goes on. Or maybe they’ll become more frequent. The important thing is that baseball – baseball! – is back, and Felix is the King, and it all starts soon, real soon. Prepare for the best.

7:12 – The ceremonial first pitch resulted in an injury. Things not looking too good for LAAOA.

7:16 – Beer status: Descheutes Red Chair. Almonte status: still sober, safe at first.

7:19 – Angels fans booing Robinson Cano is just the funniest thing I could ever imagine.

7:20 – Robinson Cano is really on the Seattle Mariners you guys!!! It’s real it’s true it’s happening!!!

7:24 – Maybe you missed the top of the first. Did you miss the top of the first? Here’s what happened: Almonte single, Almonte caught stealing, Miller infield fly, Cano ground out. The Almonte and Cano at-bats were real nice and fun to watch. These games count in the standings and in a few seconds Felix is going to pitch baseballs, oh my holy wow

7:32 – Okay, let’s get this out of the way real quick: Mike Trout is the best baseball player on the planet, and nobody’s close. He’s number one, and whoever’s number two, he’s miles and miles behind. Trout is utterly amazing and we may well never see someone quite like him ever again. So what the hell do we do, as baseball fans who also happen to be fans of the team who’s chief rival employs Mike Trout? It’s so, so, soooooo hard to appreciate Mike Trout when he plays for LAAnaheim, let alone when he’s hitting huge home runs off of Felix in the opener. There’s a way to do this, this whole thing where we love Mike Trout while hating the Angels. That home run was a thing of beauty, and he hit it off of maybe the best pitcher alive. That’s something worth marveling over. But in the end it’s Angels runs, not to mention runs against Felix, and that just takes the shine off a little bit too much. And that’s a shame.

7:40 – Nice hit by Smoak, crappy at bat by Morrison, and why the hell is Kyle Seager batting sixth in this lineup? He’s pretty clearly the third-best hitter on the team, and Corey Hart isn’t even playing today.

7:45 – Michael Saunders gets the first RBI of the season for the M’s with a sacrifice fly. I’m choosing to take this as an indication that the Mariners will never change.

7:52 – Are you wondering if anyone has gotten on base against Felix since that whole Trout thing? If you were wondering about that then I’ll have you know that no, nobody has gotten on base against Felix since that whole Trout thing.

8:05 – Trout’s out! Trout’s out!

8:12 – Another well-hit baseball by an Angels star, another something we’ve got to talk about real quick. Albert Pujols just doubled off the wall – no big deal, he may be old but he’s still Albert Pujols. But man, Dustin Ackley – just a reminder that Dustin Ackley is playing left field now, and that that’s not second base, which is where Ackley used to play. He played really well there, too! But that was then and this is now, and while left is certainly lower on the defensive spectrum than second, that doesn’t mean that a good second baseman is automatically a good, or even decent, left fielder. Give Pujols all the credit in the world for that one because that was a big ol’ double, but man, Ackley played that ball really poorly. He’s a work in progress. He’s a work and a half in progress.

8:20 – Runners at the corners, two outs, David Freese at the plate. Felix throws two low, seems a little cautious. Why wouldn’t he be? One mistake and the game’s 6-1, and it’s only the third. So what does he do? Battles back, works the count full, and Ks Freese to get out of the jam. Felix rules so much. And now Cano’s first Mariners hit is an infield single – he ran it out! Go away forever, New York media!

8:36 – The bottom of the fourth inning, presented by Felix Hernandez: Raul Ibanez strikes out swinging, Howie Kendrick leans into a pitch that he takes off the knuckles, Chris Iannetta strikes out swinging, Erick Aybar strikes out looking at one right down the middle. Felix is amazing, yeah, but that inning was particularly nuts. He’s at seven strikeouts through four frames on 74 pitches.

8:48 – Obligatory Felix vs. Trout update: Trout strikes out swinging in a full count. This Felix Hernandez guy is a dream. So many swinging strikes tonight!

8:50Albert Pujols, meet your fiery strikeout death. Felix is such a treat.

8:59 – Jered Weaver just walked Smoak and Morrison which I’m pretty sure means the Angels have to release him.

9:03 – Hoooooooh boy. Kyle Seager, excellent baseballing man that he is, just launched a ball off the right field fence. Justin Smoak scored from second, because he was on second. Logan Morrison, who was on first, wanted to be the tying run, but only right on that exact play. Instead of stopping at third like a normal slow DH, Morrison tried to score and was out by a million billion miles. That was out number three, and now it’s 3-2 Angels in the bottom of the sixth. LoMo is not exactly endearing himself to Mariners fans right now.

9:12 – Felix is over 100 pitches at the end of six innings, so if you’re like me you’re probably assuming that’s the last we’ve seen from him today. So what did we see from him today, exactly? 11 strikeouts and a pitch that got blasted by the best player in baseball. But, you guys, 11 strikeouts. He’s in line for the loss, of course. Go Mariners I guess

9:15 – Dustin Ackley singles, Mike Zunino triples him home. Mike Zunino triples! Josh Hamilton played the ball poorly, of course, but that ball was legitimately crushed and now the game is tied. That’s the first time Zunino has tripled in MLB, by the way.

9:21 – Weaver exits, Fernando Salas enters, Almonte doubles and Zunino scores. For the first time in 2014, the Seattle Mariners are winning at baseball!

9:39 – The bullpen is live, so this is what 2014 Mariners baseball is like without Felix. Yoervis Medina and Charlie Furbush have pitched, with Furbush’s outing having just concluded in an unfortunate manor. Furbush took a Trout liner off the leg, and though he hardly reacted to being hit, it looked painful. The training staff came out and checked on him, which resulted in his removal from the game. Hopefully he’s out because Lloyd McClendon never intended to let him face Pujols and not because he’s seriously hurt. Fingers crossed. Tom Wilhelmsen is in to face Prince Albert.

9:59 – The Bartender had a great eighth and we’re onto the (hopefully) final frame. Mariners 4, Angels 3. So close to eight straight opening day wins! So! Close!

10:10 – It’s the top of the ninth. Miller’s on third, Cano’s on second. Justin Smoak, for some reason, is batting cleanup, despite the fact that he probably sucks. He’s got a nice double on the day, but otherwise has looked like Justin Smoak. So what does he do? Hits a three run home run, of coure! 7-3 M’s. Fingers crossed that we get to watch Fernando Rodney anyway.

10:14 – LoMo stole second. This is not a joke.

10:26 – This Angels bullpen sucks. They’re probably the worst bullpen in the AL West, which is a division that includes the Houston Astros. After Smoak’s dinger, the Salt Lake Bees loaded the bases again, and Dustin Ackley tripled to clear ’em. The inning should have ended on that play, as Ackley was way late showing up to third base. But the Angels have David Freese at third, and Freese sucks at defense. Ackley slid, Freese tagged, but Freese actually didn’t tag because he didn’t reach down low or fast enough. It’s 10-3 Mariners, and so Danny Farquhar is pitching mop-up? What? This is not how you’re supposed to use your best reliever, Lloyd.

10:32 – Aaaaaaaaand that’s a wrap! Mariners win it 10-3 and it’s World Series Or Bust time here in Seattle. Thanks to everyone who followed along at home, and hopefully this happens every damn time the Mariners play the Angels. The Angels should lose every day. I’ll leave you with this: Felix generated 24 swinging strikes today. That’s grotesque, in the best way possible. Mariners!!!