As I write this the Seattle Mariners have once again found themselves holding first place in the American League West. It is a good feeling, it is a great feeling. Let’s all celebrate! This win marks the Mariners SIXTH consecutive winning series. Baseball is fun right now.
A month ago, the Mariners got swept at home by the Oakland Athletics in the first home stand of the year. Their bats could not string hits together against the likes of starting pitchers Eric Surkamp, Rich Hill and Chris Bassitt. Yesterday, they hustled out a 4-3 win against Kendall Graveman. Today, the Mariners absolutely lit into Oakland’s prize possession, Sonny Gray.
Scoring got started in the third inning with a two-run home run by a slumping Leonys Martin. In 2015, Leonys Martin hit a total of five home runs. He now has five home runs in 2016. Shortly after in the fourth inning Robinson Cano went opposite field for a solo home run. Norichika added a run on a single in the 7th, Ketel Marte scored on the play. Five straight hits in the eighth was punctuated by a Leonys Martin bunt single, RBI pop up “single” by Adam Lind and a three-run home run by Kyle Seager. Kyle’s home run brought the score to 8-1, Mariners.
Hisashi Iwakuma’s valiant pitching efforts are not something that should not be lost in the excitement of the offensive fireworks. Tonight, Kuma bear earned his first win of the season. He did it by pitching out of a bases loaded jam in the 2nd inning, pitching seven strong innings and allowing a single run. He had only 88-pitches, 56 for strikes. Kuma added to a positive trend by Mariners starting pitching:
There are no words that can fully capture the excellence of this double play:
Oakland got their first run off a Jed Lowire single in the 6th. After reliever Tony Zych got put on the 15-day DL this morning, Steve Johnson was called up from Tacoma. He made his debut in the 9th inning of today’s game, and gave up a solo shot to Khris Davis.
Final Score: Mariners 8- Athletics 2
We want to able to pinpoint what is different this year. What makes 2016 feel just so much better than seasons’ past. As humans, our curious nature wants to delve into the numbers, watch the footage and try and to figure out where the change happened. It’s hard to just accept the good feelings, but that is what we should do.
About a week ago, the first time the Mariners had a little taste of what first place felt like, I tried to air on the side of cautious optimism. After years of cemented dread, it seemed silly to put too much faith into one month of playing. It still feels a little bit like that, but little by little, series win by series win, the dream of being “good” again starts to grow tangible.
It may be too early to make the assumption that we have turned a proverbial corner. However, there is no better feeling than watching my favorite baseball team enjoy playing the game together. The Mariners are playing incredibly confident baseball right now. Sit back and enjoy the fun with them. We’re in first place, y’all.
Let’s get this sweep tomorrow, boys.