Hello friends, and welcome to 2016 Mariners baseball. As Dave Sims put it, “this game was moving along like a slumber party, then all of a sudden, explosions all over the place“. That’s one way to put it. Prior to the top of the eighth inning at Globe Life Park at Arlington, the score was a manageable 4-2 in favor of the Mariners. Chris Iannetta had put the first run on the board with a single to center field, scoring Nelson Cruz. Nelson Cruz you say? Two innings later, Nelson Cruz makes the score 2-0 on an absolutely crushed ball to left center field. It was determined to be 425 ft.
4th inning. Staring pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, already showing fatigue from having battled back with runners on base in almost every inning, and gives up two runs to the bottom of the Rangers order. Tie game. He pitches an okay fifth inning, giving up only a walk to Shin-Sho Choo and a single to Adrian Beltre. Nick Vincent pitches a scoreless 6th inning (!!). In the 7th inning the Mariners regain the lead. With Seth Smith on first, Leonys Martin doubles, scores Smith, and reaches third thanks to an error by Choo. Nori Aoki then picks him up with a single of his own. The score is now 4-2 Mariners.
Now, the reason we’re all here. The top of the 8th inning. Enter former Mariners reliever, Tom Whilhelmsen. At this point Mariners twitter is peaking through the fingers that are covering their face, as if we are waiting for the moment in the horror movie before something really bad was about to happen. Oh no, this moment would not come. No no no, not today Mariners fans. First pitch, Robinson Cano, home run. I have a feeling I’m gonna say that a few times this year…
#CanoMVP2016 amirite?! Any who, that was not it. Oooh there was so much more. Approximately three pitches later Nelson Cruz doubles to right field. Four pitches later, on a 2-2 count, Kyle Seager also doubles to right field. Nelson scores. Dingers? YOU WANT MORE DINGERS?! WE’VE GOT MORE DINGERS!!! Everyone’s favorite dad, Seff Smiff just blasts one to the right upper deck. This is the video. In the video you can see Jeff Banister roll his eyes, but that eye rolling was nothing compared to what happened next.
After giving up two home runs and two doubles Tom was understandably upset. I get it, you’re being taunted by your former team and you still have not registered an out. However what Tom decides to do about this is dumb, very, very dumb. With our very capable of hitting catcher Chris Iannetta up to bat, the bartender nails him in the back of the left thigh with a pitch. Here is what happens next (full video):
Then there was some angry Jeff Banister (lol):
With Ketel Marte leading the mob, our guys are up and ready to go:
Then it ends with some good old fashion swears:
Tom is thrown out of the game and Andrew Faulkner comes in to replace him. Spring sensation Luis Sardinas is up to the plate. Guess what? ANOTHER HOME RUN. Sardinas hits a two run shot to left field that scores Chris Iannetta. That’s about all the offense I can handle in a single inning, 2nd game in the season. No. What am I saying? I want this to happen every single day. I. Love. Dingers.
That, unfortunately, was in fact all the offense for the rest of the game. While I don’t condone fighting, there is something about a potential baseball brawl that brings out the heart and love on a team. The minute Iannetta got hit, the entire bench was waiting on the warning track. More importantly, our two-day old skipper is flying out of the dugout, ready to defend his guys. Gotta admire it.
When all the swears were said and done, Scott Servais pointed his way to his first victory as a MLB manager. Congratulations to my boys on the first win of the season, my goodness it was a good one. Only 17 more games against Texas this season! Go Mariners.