The last couple days of Spring Training are always bittersweet. Part of me was dreading leaving the days where my only responsibility was getting the ballpark on time, but the other half of me was shouting “SUCK IT UP OPENING DAY IS IN A WEEK”. While I most certainly would not have been opposed to a few extra days in the desert, but knowing that Safeco will be opening their glorious green gates soon, was consolation enough. Here are the highlights from my last two days of Spring Training:
Felix Day, everyone! Luckily I had packed one of my many King’s Court shirts I have acquired over the years, so I was dressed for the occasion. This game was against the Adam LaRoche-less Chicago White Soxs. This game I was not able to take score, so I live tweeted most of the important parts of the game.
This was the situation in the 1st:
That first inning was a glaring reminder that it is still Spring Training, but it was comforting to be on the receiving end of the miscues. Amidst the WhiteSoxs shaky defense, the Mariners only end up scoring two runs in the first inning. Felix would come in the bottom half of the inning and proceed to pitch six scoreless innings, only issuing five hits and three strikeouts. I was pretty excited about it.
Those two runs in the 1st would be the only two runs from either team until the seventh inning. Former Mariners center fielder, Austin Jackson, comes to the plate with 2-outs and the bases loaded by acquired, dumped and acquired again pitcher, Justin de Fratus. Austin Jackson then does a mean baseball thing to his former team and hits a home run to center-freakin-field, grand slam. As you can tell, I am still not over it.
It ended up being all good in the end. Two innings later we got some help from “BOOMSTICK BABY,” and Nelson Cruz sends a ball over the center field fence (take THAT AJax) with Shawn O’Malley on base. Tie ballgame into the 10th. The WhiteSoxs do not score in their half of the inning, but Leonys Martin refused to prolong the game any further (I’m looking at you night game), and hit a home run to right. Game over. Final Score: WhiteSoxs 4, Mariners 5.
Last day. My group decided to go to the practice fields prior to this game. For those who don’t really know, going to the practice fields gives ample opportunity for fans to get a sincere look into the preparation of a professional baseball team. You can watch batting practice, bullpens and the like. It is quite interesting to see the work that goes into making those effortless plays on the field. This is one of the videos that I took from that morning:
The Mariners were playing the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second time that week. Wade Miley was pitching for the Mariners. Opposite Miley was Dodgers off-season pitching consolation prize, Scott Kazmir. We got a glimpse into the Wade Miley that will be out there in the regular season for the Mariners. He went six innings, giving up eight hits, three earned runs and striking out five. What we were promised in Miley was not a lights out flamethrower, we were given a consistent, inning eater that would give up a couple runs here and there, but ultimately keep his team in a ball game. This game reflected that ideal well, and I think he’ll do well in the middle of the rotation.
When Miley exited the game in the 6th the score was Dodgers 3, Mariners 4. Tony Zych came in and promptly gives up a a home run to Jacob Scavuzzo on a 1-2 count with no outs. However in an excellent display of controlling that zone and situational hitting, the Mariners put two on the board in the bottom of the 7th. Leonys Martin and Tyler Smith both reach base on back to back singles. On a 3-2 count (!!) Kyle Seager smacks a double into right field, putting the Mariners ahead 6-4. They also score again on fast man, Dan Robertson’s ground out in the 8th. The Dodgers do get two runs off closer Steve Cishek, but the Mariners held on a second 1-run game victory in as many days. Final Score: Dodgers 6, Mariners 7
P.S Ketel Marte hit an inside the park home run in the 5th inning. Baseball makes me happy.
In total, we watched six game in seven days. Our final W/L record for the week was 4-2. Happy, happy week. As always, Go Mariners.