Archive: April, 2021
Sugoi! Kikuchi gem keeps Mariners above .500
Those don't look like walks to me—in fact, Straw, at least, should be another strikeout—and without that kind of umpiring Yusei's pitch count would likely have been low enough to get him through at least one more inning. That he mowed down the Astros so well despite that unpredictable moving strike zone is even more remarkable. As his countrymen might say, Sugoi desu ne.Yusei helped himself defensively too, fielding a Baltimore-chop off the bat of Yuli Gurriel following the one hit he allowed in exceptional fashion, sliding to catch the ball on one high bounce and throwing the runner out...
Minor moves & notes
As we get ready for the Mariners' third game in this week's four game set in Houston, a few minor notes to pass along:
Split with Sox leaves M's one game back in AL West
It was a disappointing series finale today, a 5-3 Mariner loss to the Boston Red Sox. Starting pitcher Nick Margevicius, in his first action since prematurely leaving last Sunday's start against Houston four pitches into the 5th inning due to an unexplained discomfort that prevented him from finishing his proper pitching motion, gave up two hits and walked four in just one-third of an inning to register the shortest start by a Mariner pitcher since July of 2019 (Matt Carasiti allowed five runs in 1⁄3 IP as an "opener," a fad that seems to have mercifully run its course).
The Facebook Dilemma
Social media has been a revolutionary tool. It's a great way to connect with people around the globe. But it's also become a problem in some ways, and when it comes to reaching an audience with a website like this one it can be a real double-edged sword.
Mariners hold their own against best in baseball
The just-completed two-game Interleauge set against the Los Angeles Dodgers was a remarkable statement by Your Seattle Mariners. Had both games resulted in lopsided Dodger victories, no one would've batted an eye. LA's club is the best of the best, Seattle's was picked to lose 90+ games by most preseason prognosticators (though not us). Instead, the M's handed the Dodgers their first experience of 2021 in which they didn't take a lead at any point in a game, then followed up with a pitching performance that held them to a mere two hits.Unfortunately, LA was up to the task in...
The Curse of Section 120
A hearty GrandSalami.net welcome to Rob Hill, our own version of a non-roster invitee, if you will. We connected with Rob via Facebook, where he's a member of the Seattle Mariners Fan Group, and he was kind enough to share this post with you all here on gs.net. Hopefully we'll hear more from Rob as the season continues on.
M's win another series, stay in 1st
Yes, yes, it's early—really early—but at 10-6, Your Seattle Mariners are tied for the best record in the American League and second only to the juggernaut Dodgers for best record in the Majors. The M's are finding their identity, gelling together as a team of patience and determined tenacity, and have been unperturbed by some problem areas of the roster. In the words of one long-suffering Seattle fan, "these M's are fun to watch!"
Mariners Fancare: That's a Problem
I'm part of a season ticket group at Mariners Field (formerly Safeco, currently TMP, should be Griffey Park), and because of You Know What I haven't seen a game there since Sept. 2019 (M's over Reds, 4-3); but last month, the man who runs our group, Stephen, told the group there would be a season-ticket presale for socially distanced games in April. Anyone in? Some were. I considered it but decided not. I'd been vaccinated but I tend not to go for April games anyway. It's a time of high hopes but low temps. This year's beautiful April notwithstanding.
In sweep of doubleheader, the M's start to take shape
Don't look now, but Your Seattle Mariners are in first place. I said don't look! Now you've jinxed it. Oh well.
‘The Handshake’ on Jackie's 100th
This post originally appeared on January 31, 2019, at eriklundegaard.comToday, Jackie Robinson would've been 100 years old. He was born January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, and moved to Pasadena, Calif., at a young age. He died at 53. I’m older than he ever got to be. One wonders how long he would‘ve lived if he hadn’t had to endure, and swallow, so much.My friend Jerry, a great writer and better person and huge baseball fan, recently pointed me to this song by Chuck Brodsky called “The Handshake.” It's worth a listen or two or 12:The song is about April...
More rule tinkering!
The Mariners were rained out again today in Baltimore—meaning we'll suffer through another lame 7-inning doubleheader tomorrow, weather permitting—but there is news on the greater baseball front. Or maybe "news" isn't the right word; it's more of a continuation of an ongoing machete attack to baseball.
What happened to ... ?
Since tonight's game between the Mariners and the Baltimore Orioles has been rained out (to be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow at 1:05 PDT), here's something to fill the void, a look at those players who are Mariners no more. We can get back to complaining about Rob Manfred's reign of terror that will result in tomorrow's games being just seven innings long later.
Manfred's mark is a bloody stain
The Mariners won their fourth game of the young season this afternoon in Minneapolis, overcoming another blown save to earn a 4-3 victory in extra innings against the Twins.
That was fast
In our season predictions post, everyone here at GS.net HQ foresaw oft-injured starting pitcher James Paxton hitting the IL at some point this season. When we couldn't say, but definitely before fellow injured-list veteran Mitch Haniger would do so. Safe to say, though, that none of us imagined the Big Maple going down after facing just five batters and not pitching again for the whole year.
Futility, injuries, and batting around: M's take 1 of 3 vs. ChiSox
The just-completed three-game set against the White Sox left the Mariners with a 3-3 record as they hit the road for the first time in 2021. After taking two of three against the Giants, Seattle dropped two of three to the likely contenders from Chicago's south side and looked a bit schizophrenic when doing it.Monday night's game saw the anemic version of the Mariners, the group that can't execute with runners aboard but is plenty adept at whiffing at strike three. Tuesday night saw the opportunist M's, ready to pounce on opponent mistakes when at bat, but more than willing...
Pitching and patience give M's first series win
After Opening Night's wild and wacky role-reversal win for the Mariners against the San Francisco Giants, things seemed to revert to form for Game Two. In that affair on Friday night, Yusei Kikuchi threw a gem, striking out ten over six innings while only racking up 89 pitches, a start marred only by two mistakes—home runs the opposite way off of outside fastballs to Buster Posey and Evan Longoria. (They weren't bad pitches, either, it's not like Yusei grooved them down the middle.) It was a terrific game for the Japanese lefty and he left with the score tied at 3-3.
Game One: Through the looking glass
Game 1 of 162 is in the books, and it was ... weird. Fans in the stands, but only 9,000. Marco on the mound, but also Jeff Nelson and his tiny tiny strike zone behind the plate. Kevin Gausman pitching for the opposition as if he were Juan Marichal. And the Mariners coming back from 5-0 and 6-1 to win 8-7 in the 10th inning, a 10th inning in which free baserunners were used because reasons.
Baseball for first-graders
The 2021 baseball season started yesterday, and from Miggy's home run in the snow to the Mariners' eighth-inning comeback against the Giants (which our closer gave back on four pitches in the ninth), there was much joy in Mudville, particularly after last year's pandemic-shortened, fan-free season. But a few things could still use fixing. I'll start with the easy one first.