This week begins the start to my virtual 2016 Seattle Mariners season. Early Sunday morning I touched down in Peoria, AZ to start a week of mid-90s weather and baseball. Me and my group headed straight from the airport to the Peoria Sports Complex to watch the Seattle Mariners and the Cleveland Indians play some Sunday afternoon baseball. Monday we traveled to Camelback Ranch in Glendale to watch our M’s defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers. Here are the highlights from the first two days:
It was 91 degrees at first pitch, and a real snoozer of a game overall. Wade Miley and his bearded glory started for the Mariners against Cleveland’s TJ House. Aoki (LF) Sardinas (SS), Seager (3B), Dae-Ho Lee (1B), Seth Smith (RF), Chris Iannetta (C), Dan Robertson (CF), Leonys Martin (DH) and Chris Taylor started for the M’s. Out of all the position player starters, third-baseman Kyle Seager was the only one that remained all nine innings.
Our seats were in section 119, row D, and that was a perfect play to watch the boys warm up and watch the game. We attempted to get some autographs, but when you’re a cute kid under 10, you usually beat the adults for the autograph battle. Directly above our section was a conveniently located bar where I enjoyed a nice tall glass of Kilt Lifter ale (times three).
The offensive production from Cleveland was solely attributed to two homers by Jose Rameirez, a 1-run shot in the first and a 2-run shot in the third. Our favorite boys in blue responded with a Dan Robertson 2-out run scoring single in the 7th. Dae-Ho Lee stole second prior to the Robertson at-bat and using whatever speed those lumbery legs could muster, scored the only Mariners run from second base. Final score, Cleveland 3- Mariners 1.
Camelback Ranch is beautiful, as many of the temporary Arizona homes of our favorite teams are. You walk in on a long path that is dotted with oversized baseballs boasting the names of famous Dodgers players. Once you get closer to the entrance there is a large “LA” structure, prime for photo opps, and another historical commemoration of players. This time separated by the top guys at individual positions, the Robinsons, the Koufaxs, the Lasordas.
Number 18s Hisashi Iwakuma and Kenta Maeda faced off against each other. Kuma making his start against the Dodgers, after almost losing him to the wicked witches of the valley, was rightly satisfying. Kuma went four and one-thirds of an inning, giving up eight hits, including a home run to Josh Turner, yielding three runs.
Mike Montogomery came in and finished the inning without further damage. He was the pitcher on record for the win, when the Mariners exploded for four runs in the top of the 6th inning. Ketel Marte and Luis Sardinas were both on base for Nelson Cruz’s second homer in four days. Adam Lind followed that up with a solo shot of his own. That was the last offense of the game for both teams. Final score, Mariners 6- Dodgers 3.
P.s – Today was my first purvey back into score keeping for the year. I think I did alright, but Spring Training is sometimes hard to keep up with.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the rest of the week. As always, Go Mariners!