In case you have not heard, on April 25th, 2016, the Seattle Mariners became the division leaders of the AL West. This may be premature excitement. “It’s juussst April”, they say. “It’s the Mariners, don’t get too excited”. Well, you know what? I’m going to be excited all day long. I will revel in the fact that on April 25th, 2015 the Mariners were 7-10, and they were on their way to losing the series to the Minnesota Twins. Until 7:10 pm tonight I will proudly shout from every rooftop, that my team is atop a division that they have not lead this late in the season, in the last seven years.
I’m already late to rehashing the events of last night’s good Mariner baseball game party, so I’ll go ahead with my favorite narratives of the night:
Taijuan Walker: The moment I walked into my office this morning, a coworker approached me and said “I’m not really excited about first place (yet), what I’m really excited about is Taijuan”. There is a lot of truth to what my coworker said. While first place is of course something that evokes happy feelings, should we be happier that Taijuan Walker seemingly grew up into the ideal of the pitcher that has been projected on him for years, right before our eyes last night?
His curve was beautiful, his splitter was working on a whole other level and even well after 110 pitches, his fast ball was still touching 97 MPH. Aside from the 2nd inning, he dazzled all night. Just look at these numbers from BrooksBaseball:
100 Club: Two of our guys reached historical milestones last night. In the 4th inning, Kyle Seager hit his 100th career home run. This home run came just a day after he hit home run #99 off Angels’ Matt Shoemaker, and Kyle absolutely crushed it.
Closer Steve Cishek also notched save #100 of his career. He stressed the living bejesus out of every last one of 14, 832 in attendance, giving up a single, walk, single before pocket Altuve grounded out to end the inning. He is now 5/5 in save opportunities with the Mariners this season.
Defense: Last night’s Mariner defense made my tender baseball heart flutter. We did it with an authoritative confidence that made our play seem easy and fluid. One of my favorite #CatcherWhoRakes, also had a fine defensive play (Iannetta throws out Gomez) in the ninth inning. With two runners on, two outs and lead to protect, Kyle Seager makes an incredible defensive play to throw out Carlos Correa at first:
Can’t forget about Leonys: While there were many other fine things about this game, one of the best things was this picture of Leonys Martin after he hit a game tying home run in the 3rd:
He was so happy, we were all happy. I love baseball. I love everyone.
For the first time in recent history, the Mariners flag will fly first today at Safeco Field . Even if it’s only for this one night (oh please oh please let it be all the nights), it is a welcome sight. See everyone at the game tonight.