Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mariners @ Twins - Game 1 April 6, 2009 Mariners 6 Twins 1

Everyone expected them to fail. I honestly wasn't even sure what I expected as I prepared to watch last night's game. Last year left a lot of people with bad tastes in their mouths including me. Who can blame us really. The Mariners couldn't seem to to do anything right last year.

It is only one game and certainly too early to tell if all the things they did right last night will continue and actually help this team win some games. But the Mariners could not have asked for a more perfect game on the road to the start the season.
Felix of course was outstanding. Even after twisting his ankle early in the game he did what the ace of a pitching staff should do. He led by example and pitched through the pain for 8 solid innings. Moments like this show how much he has matured. Felix is primed for an excellent season as long as he stays healthy and his team plays for him the way they did tonight. I really expect great things for the King this year. 8 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. Had Felix not hurt his ankle early in this one my guess is that he would have pitched the 9th as well and started the season with a complete game.

One really important thing that stood out for me in this one was us MOVING the runner OVER and putting them into scoring position and then actually bringing them home to score. Last year this killed us. Every time we had someone on base it was inevitable that runner was going to be stranded on second and no one was going to bring him home. We lost so many games because of our inability to do these little things that go a long way. Last night was different. In the 2nd Beltre doubled off the wall. Next batter Ken Griffey Jr. flies out and moves Beltre to 3rd base. Next batter Jose Lopez hits a sac fly and Beltre scores. 1-0 Mariners. SMALL BALL people. Baseball isn't all about the base hits. Let's hope this was a sign of things to come for this team in regards to things like that.

Another thing I took note of tonight was a foul ball Chavez almost got to early in the game. His speed was amazing. Chris and I looked at each other and said "Raul would have never even gotten close to that ball." As much as I loved Raul and this team will miss what he can bring offensively he wasn't the greatest outfielder. I really think the defense of these guys in the outfield paired with Ichiro is really going to help this team.
How about Griffey? How awesome was it to see him hit that HR in his first game back in a Seattle uniform. I am crossing my fingers he can pull that off in Seattle next Tuesday. That would be amazing. In case you weren't aware that was his 8th opening day HR tying him with Frank Robinson for the MLB record. I was shocked when Franklin G hit a 2 run HR in the 6th inning. He was brought here for his defense but if he can do that everyone once in a while and help us win that way I am all for it.

Jose Lopez was great last night. Couple of nice plays in the field and 3 RBI'S. The biggest ones being his 2 run single late in the game to help put the Twins away for good. Huge hit by him and it is great to see. I really feel Jose is going to have a great year.

I was really hoping to see Morrow get his first save opportunity last night. Although I suppose I would rather see us with a big lead. Batista pitched really well last night, I hope he will be able to pull that off most of this season.

All around this was a great game for the Mariners and a great start to the season. These guys need to get some confidence early and get some wins under their belts. In my opinion everyone thinking they will be horrible is only going to help them. They have nothing to lose and teams always perform better with no pressure.Could someone PLEASE tell Russell Branyan to get some new bats!? I mean really!Nothing wrong with paying Ichiro respect and hopefully in turn receiving some good vibes from him!!

1 comment:

Linda MacTravel said...

No, no...we got to wait until the second game to see Morrow 'save' the game...OOPS! I guess that will have to wait until another night - another opportunity! ARGH!!! That was SO exasperating!!! I mean, come on...WALKING THE BASES LOADED? He should've been taken out after the 1st walk!! Get a clue! He can't yet pitch himself out of a jam!! We hold on to hope...