Last year was an unforgettable one for the Seattle Mariners even before it got going in earnest. That’s due largely in part to a season-opening sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, a team that would go on to ride the Mike Trout wave to baseball’s best record. This year there was no such sweep. There was an Opening Day win, of course, and then a couple of disappointments.
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Hisashi Iwakuma labored through the first two innings as the Mariners took a tough 5-3 loss to Matt Shoemaker and the Angels, giving LAA a season-opening series win. The M’s have now shown us what they look like above, at, and below .500, all within three days. So there’s that, at least.
This game was decided by a four-run first, during which Iwakuma gave up a single to Trout and a homer to Albert Pujols. Matt Joyce singled, David Freese doubled, and Robinson Cano misplayed an Erick Aybar slap up the middle to account for the next pair of scores. Aybar ended up out on the play, but the damage was done.
Brad Miller and Kyle Seager provided the Mariners highlights with a pair of home runs in the third and sixth innings, respectively. Seager’s was actually his first hit of the season, and what a nice one it was. With the defecit now cut to two, the game turned to the bullpen, where Carson Smith once again put on a clinic in excellence with three stikeouts in 1.2 innings.
The M’s had a great opportunity to close the gap in the eighth, when Dustin Ackley singled and Robinson Cano doubled to put the tying run on base with the three and four hitters due up. Even with no outs, the M’s couldn’t convert any runs, as Nelson Cruz and Rickie Weeks struck out after Kyle Seager was intentionally walked. Logan Morrison popped out, and that was that.
Bummer way to open the season, but hey, we all figured the Angels would be good, right? The Mariners have now concluded their little mini-homestand, because MLB figured that hey, we’ll let ’em open the year at home, but then make them leave right away. Classic. Tomorrow’s an off day, so we can all sit back and spend the next 24+ hours thinking about how awesome Felix Hernandez is.