August 10, 2020
Not-quite-live from the brand-new ballpark in the DFW Metroplex, the Mariners are taking on the Texas Rangers for the first time in 2020. Rookie Justin Dunn on the mound against veteran Kyle Gibson. Both teams with struggling offenses and iffy bullpens. Only one will win! Let's see how things unfold.
- 0-0, Top 1st: This is my first real look at the Rangers' new digs. It's an interesting facility; a bit on the industrial side, appearance-wise. We'll see how it plays, if the turf is like Toronto or maybe bouncier, if the caroms in the outfield are suitably wacky. I see the Rangers finally decided to put their team name on their home jersey. About time; I mean, it's not like anyone would forget they're in Texas.
Texas has an ad on the field too, theirs is on the back of the mound. Damn, this is epidemic.
Crawford: F7, Moore: K, Lewis: 1BL, Seager: 4-3. 0 R, 1 H, 1 LOB.
- 0-0, Bottom 1st: The fake crowd noise here is just like waterfall-ish white noise. The huge wall back of the left-field stands probably creates a lot of reverb. The place is even more hangar-like than Phoenix's park.
Dunn starts by walking Choo, who steals second without the announcers noticing. Fairness to them, they're calling the game remotely. Willie Calhoun triples him in and maybe could have had an inside-the-park homer if he'd gone for it. Dunn is pretty wild so far, he's all over the place and missing his catcher's target more often than not. M's could be in trouble early.
J.P. coming through with a great catch on a liner from Gallo that saves a run for now; Dunn got away with a pretty fat pitch to a dangerous hitter there. And he gets Stinky Odor on a popup to hold things to 1-0. Nice recovery from an ominous start, though it's a lot of pitches on the clock.
Choo: BB/SB, Solak: 6-3, Calhoun: 3BF, Gallo: L6^, Frazier: BB, Odor: P6^.
- 0-1, Top 2nd: Dull inning here, with Nola's grounder down the line the only thing well-struck. The guys are going to have to work Gibson a little harder, work some counts.
Nola: 5-3, Long: 5-3, White: P3f.
- 0-1, Bottom 2nd: This is more like it, an efficient, quick inning. Andrus hit one to the warning track, but it wasn't at all scary; Dunn seems to be hitting his mark a bit better and keeping things to the lower end of the strike zone. Nice.
Kiner-Falefa: 6-3, Andrus: F7, Chirinos: 4-3.
- 0-1, Top 3rd: More good signs from Vogey, only offering at pitches well in the zone. He gets an excuse-me double against the shift just trying to foul off a pitch that was well wide of its target.
Much better approach from the M's this inning, making Gibson throw a lot of pitches. Moore gets a tough hit going the other way to drive Vogey home, he's really making me look bad for belittling his hitting ability so far. I'm dumbfounded.
Lewis with another hit—he's a completely different hitter than he was in his September callup last year. Completely. It's fantastic to watch. Ground-ball hit this time, and it appears that the artificial surface there is pretty quick; maybe not like the old Astroturf was back in the day, but minimal resistance. Spongy-looking, too. Maybe shorter than the turf the Rays use?
Oops, Seager's aggressiveness worked against him here. Everyone else had been really good about working the count, and here Seager offers at the first pitch and flies out to strand two runners.
Vogelbach: 2BG, Lopes: 6-3, Crawford: 3U, Moore: 1BL, Lewis: 1BG, Seager: F7.
- 1-1, Bottom 3rd: Is it just me, or does anyone else think Nick Solak's name make it sound like the guy should have pointed ears and no emotions?
It looks like they have some hoity-toity restaurant area right behind the plate there in the new Rangers park. Interesting, but from a watch-the-game standpoint, it's terrible placement. I'd rather watch from the Hit-it-Here way out in right field in Seattle, you can't see squat from ground level behind the plate.
Terrible throw from Nola trying to get Solak stealing second base, and that begets the second Texas run. Well-executed by the Rangers.
Dunn is hitting his marks pretty well now, but a lot of them are intentionally out of the zone and the Rangers aren't biting. The pitch count is ratcheted up again.
Stinky Odor's between-pitches routine with the practice swings and the batting gloves would rival Nomar Garciaparra's infamous tics.
Choo: 5-3, Solak: 1BG/SB/E2, Calhoun: SF8, Gallo: BB, Frazier: 1BL, Odor: F8.
- 1-2, Top 4th: Austin Nola with another shot down the line that Kiner-Falefa makes a nice play on. In the past when the M's would play in Texas, you'd figure on high-scoring affairs, but maybe not anymore.
Shed Long with a leg double on a basic single to center field, taking advantage of the fast turf sending his ball deeper than it'd be on grass. Nice. Speed! Loving how much Long's presence at second is rattling Gibson, too. Ah, I have so missed following a team with a real running game. Meanwhile, Evan White is having a nice at-bat here, taking the junk and fouling off the tough ones. OH! What a play by Kiner-Falefa to rob Ev of a double, diving toward the third-base line on that hard grounder. Ouch.
Vogelbach with another decent plate appearance, though he gets rung up on a questionable call. All three strikes were taken and all were borderline at best; the last one he had no chance to foul off, it was high and tight and probably should have been ball four.
Cripes, the Rangers have THREE ads on the field. Ugh, disgusting.
Nola: 5-3, Long: 2BL, White: 5-3*, Vogelbach: K.
- 1-2, Bottom 4th: Nice, another quick, low-pitch inning for Dunn. He's really settled into this game after his shaky first frame.
Kiner-Falefa: F7, Andrus: F8, Chirinos: 5-3.
- 1-2, Top 5th: The exterior walls of this stadium seem like they're so much taller than the norm. I'm sure they're not, it's just a matter of layout and uniformity, but it gives a feel of playing in an open-topped underground well or something.
The M's keep making Gibson work, it's as if someone in the dugout said the same thing that I did back after the second inning. He's past 80 pitches now.
Wow, Lewis hits one out, but off the bat I thought it was just a medium fly ball. The open roof on a hot night seems to have worked in the Mariners' favor here!
The fake crowd in that cavernous stadium sounds more like a tea kettle than a ballpark crowd when the sound engineer boosts the “enthusiasm.”
Gibson looks to be at the end of his rope. And here comes Woodward to make it official.
Taylor Hearn on to pitch. A lot of guys named Taylor seem to be playing lately. Taylors and Austins. I like his career MLB line—one-third of an inning, four earned runs for a 108.00 ERA. Hm, he hardly played at all last year. Injured? Hearn walks his first man to load 'em up, throwing everything up above the zone, then gets White on a grounder for a DP.
Good inning, the patience of the lineup really paid off to wear down Gibson. Plus, you know, warm air in the first game played in this park with the roof open.
Lopes: P3f, Crawford: 1BL, Moore: BB, Lewis: HR, Seager: 1BL, Nola: 1BL, pitching change, Long: BB, White: 4-3 DP.
- 4-2, Bottom 5th: All of a sudden the Rangers have a threat going with back-to-back singles, one sharp, one a bloop. But Dunn gets a generous strike three call on an outside pitch to help right things.
I just realized the fan-cutouts, disguised with medical masks, immediately behind the plate in the hoity-toity restaurant area are of George W. and Laura Bush. More reasons to root against the Rangers.
Choo: 1BL, Solak: 1BF, Calhoun: K, Gallo: K, Frazier: F9.
- 4-2, Top 6th: Vogey took the first pretty fat pitch I've seen him take in a while and he has his first overall lousy AB in days as he's down on three pitches.
Lopes hit on the wrist with a pitch, that smarts.
J.P. with a Baltimore chop for an infield hit and that chases Hearn from the game.
New guy is Jimmy Herget, who is 26 but looks 16. He serves up a base hit to Moore on his first pitch that scores Lopes. Thank you, babyface. Next up is Lewis, who walks even though ball four was a strike. Babyface Herget does not get the benefit of the close call, especially since he missed badly with balls one through three, and the bases are loaded for Seager.
Seager with a grand salami! Another one that might not have made it out with the roof closed, but maybe. Barreled up, at any rate, and I think we can officially call this a rout at 9-2 and counting.
Vogelbach: K, Lopes: HBP, Crawford: 1BG, pitching change, Moore: 1BG, Lewis: BB, Seager: HR, Nola: F9, Long: BB, White: 1BG, Vogelbach: FC.
- 9-2, Bottom 6th: Dunn appears to be tiring some, but hopefully Servais will let him finish out this inning.
Odor: 1BL, Kiner-Falefa: F8, Andrus: F9, Chirinos: 1BG, Choo: 6^-3.
- 9-2, Top 7th: Jesse Chavez in to pitch, sadly we won't have Babyface Herget to kick around anymore. Chavez looking like he'd be more at home as a Dodger or a Padre with his surfer-bleached mowhawk hair, gets Lopes on an easy pop and Crawford on a much tougher one.
Now Dylan Moore with a heat-aided home run—well-struck to be sure, straightaway center field and just kept on carrying!
Lopes: P3, Crawford: P5f, Moore: HR, Lewis: K.
- 10-2, Bottom 7th: Dunn is done, as Anthony Misiewicz takes over. Really good game from Dunn, his shaky first inning seemed to bode ill, but he came back in fine fashion. I don't have a pitch count, but likely around 90. Well done.
Misiewicz downs Solak on strikes, but Calhoun with a cue-shot that beats the shift for a base hit; good pitch, though. Misiewicz has been maybe the most solid of the bullpen options lately, nice job here.
Solak: K, Calhoun: 1BG, Gallo: F8, Frazier: K.
- 10-2, Top 8th: Ian Gibaut on the mound for Texas. He's been terrible so far, this is a fine spot to get him some practice.
Seager: F7, Nola: F9, Long: 5%-3.
- 10-2, Bottom 8th: Matt Magill on to pitch for Seattle. Up eight runs would be a good time to give someone who needs to work on things an inning, but Servais is going with the solid Magill instead. I guess he's saving Shaw, et al. for when they can more easily blow a lead.
Odor: F9, Kiner-Falefa: 6-3, Andrus: 6-3.
- 10-2, Top 9th: OK, WTF, Vogey looking terrible again taking two fat ones and ends up grounding out. Hmm.
Now Lopes gets a double so he doesn't feel left out as the only Mariner tonight not to get a hit. Gibaut walks the next two and even with a blowout score his manager can't take any more and goes to Nick Goody out of the 'pen.
White: K, Vogelbach: 4-3, Lopes: 2BL, Crawford: BB, Moore: BB, pitching change, Lewis: F9.
- 10-2, Bottom 9th: New pitcher is Taylor Guilbeau, another guy that's doing fine already, in for a quick inning in a very much non-save situation.
Chirinos: BB, Choo: F8, Solak: K, Calhoun: L3.
Nice win. Dunn gets his first big-league victory with a really good recovery from a poor start, showing a lot of poise. Kyle Lewis keeps on looking awesome. J.P. leading the way with great at-bats. More of this, please!
Marco on the hill tomorrow night. Should be fun.