Last night was a very good baseball night in Seattle. There were about 15,000 people in attendance at Safeco Field, but the general happiness and positive vibes in the place made it feel like a few thousand more. Coming home from a 5-2 road trip, there was a joyous buzz surrounding the team and their winning ways.
Monday night games do not usually generate a ton of excitement, but this Monday’s game was special for a myriad of reasons:
1. Crowd favorites Brad Miller and Logan Morrison returned for the first time since being traded this winter. Shout out to the music/creative team for being a class act and playing John Sebastian’s “Welcome Back” during Brad and LoMo’s first at bats. There is no hard feelings toward them, but I’m going to say I was not too terribly upset to see them do this last night:
As my friends and I said last night, “we like them, but we also want them to strikeout multiple times.”
2. Felix Hernandez is the winningest pitcher in Mariners history with 146 wins, passing Jaime Moyer. In a night where Felix may have worried us just a bit, he yet again, found a way to keep the game manageable. From the beginning, it looked like a prototypical offense behind a Felix start. The Mariners started the game 0-4 with RISP, leaving men on 2nd and 3rd in consecutive innings, before a third inning Nelson Cruz sacrifice fly scored Ketel Marte from third. The only runs that Felix allowed were home runs to Corey Dickson (?????) and Evan Longoria (less weird) before exiting with a 5-3 lead at the end of the seventh. He would earn the win thanks to Ketel Marte’s productive night. Felix now sits atop the Mariners pitching leader boards in overall wins and strikeouts.
I have seen Felix do a lot of amazing things over the course of his career. Some of the bigger milestones include: his otherworldly performances in 2009 & 2014, 2010 when he won the CY Young with a 13-12 record, the Perfect Game, the first Supreme Court 5 days later, the 1,000th strikeout in Boston, the 2,000th strikeout against against the Athletics at home in 2015 and last week when he surpassed Randy Johnson for all-time Mariners strikeout leader. He is truly amazing. Even in his ever looming (bad word) decline, he will be always special and he always be ours. We love you, Felix.
3. Ketel Marte. Even though Monday night had a large precedent for Felix, a certain Marte Partay stole the show. You could tell Ketel was fired up all night, excited and clapping every time he got on base. Marte went 4-5, the first 4-hit game in his young career, including the nothing cheap about it 3-run home run to right center field. In the words of Dave Sims (I watched the broadcast when I got home), “no he didn’t”. That home run would turn out to be the game winner, as Felix, Joel Peralta and Steve Cishek shut down the 7th, 8th and 9th innings. Way to Partay, Ketel, way to Partay.
4. The first place Seattle Mariners. Coming into this game the Mariners only had a .5 lead over the Texas Rangers (which is nothing to even slightly upset about), but undoubtedly building on that lead would be of the most optimal situation. Since the Rangers has lost earlier in the evening, on a Todd Fraizer grand slam in the 12th inning, the Mariners would have be okay either way. However these 2016 Mariners have taken a liking to winning, and win they did. Beating the Rays 5-3 on Monday night gave the Mariners a 1.5 game lead and the West.
Ain’t she a beaut: