Finally, after a historic 2022-2023 regular and postseason, Seattle Mariners baseball is back in action. A 2-5 seven-game opening homestand had Mariners’ fans shocked, nervous, overreacting… you name it.
There were some pros, and certainly some cons from the first seven games of the season. Let’s do some recapping of both the Cleveland Guardians and the Los Angeles Angels series.
Opening Day a week ago today, and Luis Castillo was doing Luis Castillo things. La Piedra picked up where he left off last season. Six innings of one-hit ball, punching out six and earning the win on opening night. Ty France’s three-run shot sealed the deal for Seattle in game one, but unfortunately, that was the peak of the series, with three more games to go against the Guards.
Seattle pitching gave up 17 runs combined over the next three games, which all ended up as losses. Nine of those 17 came in game two. Robbie Ray was not sharp, and we found out after the game that his poor performance was due to a left flexor strain, where he now finds himself on the 15-day shelf.
Cleveland OF, and former OSU Beaver Steven Kwan went 2-4 with five RBIs in game two.
Game three of four against Cleveland featured Seattle’s Logan Gilbert for his first start of the year. He did his job and more with six innings, seven Ks, allowing only one earned run. Unfortunately, the bat’s never woke up on a chilly Saturday night. The M’s only mustered off three total hits and were shutout 2-0.
The series finale against Cleveland started off with a Julio first-pitch oppo home run. Former friend Mike Zunino had two doubles and a three-run shot…we’ve heard this story before against former Mariners facing their old team. This game was eerily similar stats-wise, but Cleveland prevailed in extras, and took the series.
Seattle with a 1-3 record, then welcomed in their AL West foes, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Game one against LAA, and it was second-year starter George Kirby’s first time on the bump. He couldn’t find his typical groove in the opener, giving up four earned on nine hits over four plus innings. Shohei Ohtani and Taylor Ward both mashed a two-run homers and the Angels’ bullpen was nails over four innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. The M’s fell 3-7.
After dropping four in a row, Seattle finally came to play Tuesday night. With Castillo on the mound, newcomers Teoscar Hernandez and A.J. Pollock both had two home runs, and the M’s got off the schneid with an 11-2 victory.
Yesterday’s rubber match featured Chris Flexen (in the starting role for Ray) against phenom, and WBC MVP Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani, who wasn’t particularly sharp, still got the best of the M’s. He struck out eight over six innings. Flexen certainly did his job for Seattle, going five innings, and allowing only two earned runs.
LAA scored two insurance runs in the top of the seventh off of Diego Castillo. Seattle responded with two of their own, narrowing their deficit to just one run, but couldn’t push at least one more to bring the game to extras. Seattle lost the game, and the series, and finished the homestand with a record of 2-5.
Seattle is travelling today and will open their first road trip against Cleveland tomorrow afternoon.
Pitching probables for SEA @ CLE series:
Friday 4/7: Logan Gilbert (0-1) vs Aaron Civale (1-0)
Saturday 4/8: Marco Gonzales (0-0) vs Cal Quantrill (0-0)
Sunday 4/9: George Kirby (0-1) vs Zach Plesac (0-0)
AL West Standings:
1. Los Angeles Angels (4-2)
2. Texas Rangers (4-2)
3. Houston Astros (3-4)
4. Oakland Athletics (2-4)
5. Seattle Mariners (2-5)