Time to meet at “the T” . . .

Hello, T-Mobile Park!

OK – I’ll be honest, I’m not feeling the magenta.

I’m glad to know that T-Mobile is a northwest born company (didn’t realize that till now) but, the pink seems a bit out of place with all our blue, green and teal. I guess we’ll get use to it. The pink clouds on Opening Night, however, were lovely . . .

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pink clouds preferred to magenta signs

Well, the M’s are certainly off to a great start!

After having won both games vs. the Athletics in Japan, neither of which I watched, (I get up at 4am normally, just can’t make those 2:30am first pitches) they managed to take three of four from the world champs at home!

Scoring Early

One thing I noticed in the Red Sox series (besides the fact that I recognize less than one third of the team 😉 is that, except for the first game where they scored in all but three innings, they scored a LOT early but, nothing after the 4th inning in both the second and fourth games and nothing after the 5th in the third game.

Who IS this offense?!?

  • Averaging EIGHT runs per game
  • Total of FOURTEEN DOUBLES
  • batting .310 w/RISP
  • Then there’s the  l o n g  balls . . .jiminey christmas! At least one in every game so far! FIFTEEN total: four Japan vs the A’s and eleven in the Red Sox series

Pen Probs

As a whole, the pen’s not doing two bad: a handful of guys are yet to post an ERA, gone through several long stretches in game w/o giving up runs. But, our new closer, Hunter Strickland, gave up a 3-run homer to Mitch Moreland in game two – which proved to be the winning run in the only Red Sox win. After the game, Bill Kruger mentioned he thought Hunter was making some suspicious movements, like he may be hurt – turns out he was right 😦 as Hunter has landed on the DL with a lat strain – out for “a couple of months” according to the Skipper.

3B woes

Gotta feel for Dylan Moore – rookie who got his first start at 3B on Saturday night and proceeded to commit THREE ERRORS in-a-row in the top of the 9th inning. Thankfully, the M’s were able to hang on to the ONE-run victory. Hopefully, he’ll get back out there soon – really the only way to push through the yips – #JustAskBlowers

Next up, the Halos for TWO – Felix’s first start of the season tomorrow . . . 

 

Now, some of the special moments of Opening Night . . .

Awesome to see the ovation for Edgar throwing out the first pitch and the unveiling of the countdown to the Hall of Fame . . .

 A moment of silence for those lost . . .

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Awesome sunset from the third level concourse . . .

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Black and White is better . . .

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and then the garish from the outside . . .

 

g1 | Home again . . .

Surprise, surprise!

Compass Rosy is still around 😉

I’ve definitely been a bad fan by letting too many distractions get in the way of focusing on the Mariners this late Winter/early Spring – but, no more! I”m going to do my best to keep up with our “boys of summer” this season. My commute now requires a ferry ride and does not allow for my to watch complete games on TV (let alone attend in person without special arrangements – like I made in order to attend this one) since I have to arise at 4am every weekday to catch the first boat off the island. But, will do my best to stay engaged and provide thoughts and observations as we go along in 2018 . . .

WELCOME BACK BASEBALL 🙂

Great to be back at Safeco Field for actual Opening Day . . .

I’ve never missed a home opener at Safeco Field – and not about to start now, no matter where I live! Interesting that this is only the second time in the past ten seasons that the M’s actually opened the season at home!

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Firsts for the First Game . . .

  • Win – FELIX
  • Save – EDWIN
  • Strike Out – FELIX
  • Hit – ROBBIE
  • Walk – DEE
  • Double – MITCH
  • Homer – NELLIE
  • RBI – NELLIE

 

 

 

And then there were the  firsts in the first inning . . . 

Robbie had the first M’s hit on the first pitch he saw, followed by Nellie who hit it out with no doubt on the first pitch to him.

With the M’s leading 2-1, a bit of frustrating drama in the top of the ninth . . .

Eddie’s first save was anything but boring: he struck out the first batter; then hit the second batter, who later advanced on a balk AND stole 3B; then he hit the third batter; then he struck out the next two.

In between . . .

Felix: 5.1 innings, TWO hits, TWO walks, FOUR K’s

Bullpen: despite Edwin’s drama, that ended well, they are looking good – combined for 3.2 innings, THREE hits (all off Nick) ONE run (Nick) and FOUR K’s

Skipper praised Mike (Marjama – not Mike Zu, who was scratched shortly before the game with an oblique strain 😦 ). Given the unusual circumstances – only his sixth MLB start and the first opening day start of his career, plus getting hit on the hand early in the game. He was able to navigate well through Felix’s innings and the barrage of bullpen guys.

Other notable items . . .

  • Mitch is batting 1.000 🙂
  • Felix looks ready
  • Eddie’s drama and Nick’s rough outing, the bullpen looks solid
  • Ichiro is more than a bit rusty . . .
  • Dee might need a few games to adjust to Safeco’s huge outfield 😉

Safeco Field record for attendance for a regular season game: 41,497

tweets of the game . . . 

https://twitter.com/SteveSandmeyer/status/979561135706959872

 

my photos of the game  . . .

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home opener | the pomp matched the circumstance

It was nice to have the “pomp” (opening day ceremonies) match the circumstance (a win!) for the #MarinersOpener

All the usual touches from the bunting, to the confetti, to the Make-A-Wish kid run around the bases to the video with Dave’s voice reading the poem “Welcome Back Baseball” . . .

 

                Welcome back, baseball. Welcome back.

 

And, since this also happens to be the celebration of the Mariners 40th season, there was an extra special ‘first pitch’ – a group effort from: Willie Bloomquist, Harold Reynolds, Mark McLemore and Rupert Jones

Dad and I had a fabulous time, as usual, our tradition . . .

Of course, the best part was the WIN!!!

(especially after the abysmal road trip that started the season)

Mariners 6 | Astros 0

Talk about clicking on all cylinders!

  • Pitching was awesome (just imagine, an entire year of THIS James Paxton 7IP-8K-0R)
  • 2-5 in the line up came through at 8 for 14 w/3 doubles, and FIVE RBI
  • 6-9 came through with 1 walk, 3 hits, 2 runs
  • the lone bad spot was 1 – Segura left the game with a hamstring strain

All-in-All, a great day (even splurged on some great new M’s merch: jacket, t-neck and jersey)

So happy baseball is back 🙂

Meet your 2017 Seattle Mariners!

Pitchers (13 + 5 DL)

53 ALTAVILLA, Dan RHP

39 DIAZ, Edwin RHP

38 FIEN, Casey RHP

49 GALLARDO, Yovani RHP

34 HERNANDEZ, Felix RHP

18 IWAKUMA, Hisashi RHP

37 MIRANDA, Ariel LHP

60 OVERTON, Dillon LHP

65 PAXTON, James LHP

47 PAZOS, James LHP

25 RZEPCZYNSKI, Marc LHP

58 SCRIBNER, Evan RHP

50 VINCENT, Nick RHP

31 CISHEK, Steve — DL RHP

59 SIMMONS, Shae — DL RHP

33 SMYLY, Drew — DL LHP

63 WHALEN, Rob — DL RHP

55 ZYCH, Tony — DL RHP

Catchers (2)

52 RUIZ, Carlos C

3 ZUNINO, Mike C

Infielders (5 + 1 DL)

22 CANÓ, Robinson 2B

21 MOTTER, Taylor INF

15 SEAGER, Kyle 3B

2 SEGURA, Jean SS

26 VALENCIA, Danny INF

36 O’MALLEY, Shawn — DL INF

Outfielders (5)

23 CRUZ, Nelson OF/DH

1 DYSON, Jarrod OF

17 HANIGER, Mitch OF

5 HEREDIA, Guillermo OF

12 MARTIN, Leonys OF

g4 | lots of pomp, little circumstance . . .

From the moment I stepped off the link light rail and onto the platform at Stadium Station ~ pleasantly assailed by the aromas of scotch broom, hot dogs and roasted peanuts ~ until my head hit the pillow, I savored every moment of the fact that: Baseball. Is. Back.

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couldn’t have asked for better weather (especially in April!)

From the record-setting regular season crowd to the Griffey Cooperstown Countdown, from the Make-a-Wish kid running the bases to the Military mom surprising her son, from Mr. Niehaus’s voice welcoming us all to Junior “Felixing” after the ceremonial first pitch, from the rare and amazing Seattle Spring weather to the Safeco Field sunset . . .
the Opening Night pomp and circumstance was super stupendous.

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And there they are, your 2016 SEATTLE MARINERS!!!

Oh, and then we got to watch this little game they call baseball . . .

Mariners 2 | Athletics 3

ON THE MOUND
Tai was a bit amped at first . . . 
(seemed like we could almost hear his breath and heart from the third deck) but, he eventually settled down, still threw a ton of pitches (in part due to two errors by his defense in the 2nd) and THREE of his K’s ended an inning . . .
SIX innings ~ SEVEN hits ~ TWO earned runs ~ ZERO walks ~ FOUR strikeouts

The bullpen continued its roll, until the 9th . . .
} Joel and Joaquin both posted hitless frames combining for THREE K’s
} Then, as they were anointing the new closer, Steve,  complete with the audio-visual hoopla, I thought to myself . . . this isn’t a close situation and he hasn’t recorded a save yet (situation ripe for jinxing) and – BAM! Homer into the right field seats breaking the 2-2 tie  😦

AT THE PLATE
First game, in the extremely small sample size, where the M’s didn’t hit multiple homers.
Other than Dae-Ho’s solo shot,’t was the most anemic offensive performance yet . . .
~ only THREE other hits – all singles (Nori, Ketel, Robbie)
~ only TWO walks and both were stranded
~ nice to a little manufacturing (Leonys HBP after Dae-Ho’s homer, 1B to 3B on Nori’s single, scored on Ketel’s fly)

IN THE FIELD
Not their best leather but, not their worst so far . . .
* the good = TWO lovely DPs
* the bad = TWO errors in ONE inning (no damage but, a few extra pitches for Tai)

tweets of the game . . .

 

‘t would have been nice to get the win but, my theory is the M’s have issues with the first game of a series 😉

Anyway, the best part, is that I got to share it all with my Dad . . .

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The tradition continues

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almost time . . .

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awaiting the introductions . . .

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Opening Night

 

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Celebrating a legend

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Junior “Felixing” after his ceremonial first pitch

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Tai’s first pitch of 0f 2016

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Safeco Sunset

 

Hey, still atop the AL West 😉

FOUR down, ONE HUNDRED FIFTY EIGHT to go!

 

g1 | Opening Day in Arlington

Mariners 2 | Rangers 3

So, after ONE game .  . .

  • Felix gave up FIVE walks and took the loss
  • all but THREE M’s batters are hitless (Sardinas doesn’t count, since he didn’t play)
  • Iannetta is batting 1.000
  • the M’s commit TWO errors Seager and Marte (accounting for TWO unearned runs)
  • the Rangers have only ONE hit
  • the M’s have TWO homers (Seager and Cano)
  • Monty has yet to post an earned run average

Something tells me, pacing this trajectory would be serious folly (seriously crazy game)

tweets of the game . . . 

g7 | bleak blends to bright and we’re happy at home!

bleak bright

 

After a glorious Spring day yesterday (70 degrees!) we were back to drizzle  and 50 today (thank goodness for Safeco Field’s roof!). So, while it was quite soggy traveling to and fro, it was perfectly dry in-between. And, who wouldn’t take an awesome WIN over  beautiful WEATHER any day?!?

 

 

Mariners 5 | Angels 3

ONE THE MOUND
From rocky road to smooth sailing to ohhh no!
James recorded the first out on THREE pitches (a ground out) and then, before you could blink, a single and back-to-back homers (Pujols and Freese) had the Halos up 3-0 (with only ONE out). But, those would be their only hits until the 6th and their only runs for the entire game, as James pretty much “reclined” after the second homer retired FOURTEEN in-a-row! Unfortunately, after allowing a lead-off single in the 6th he left the game with (what we would hear later) a strained lat. MRI coming tomorrow ~ thoughts and prayers that it’s not serious. His final line . . .
FIVE innings ~ FOUR hits ~ THREE earned runs ~ ZERO walks ~ FOUR strikeouts

The bullpen was interesting at times but, managed to combine for . . . .
FOUR innings ~ ZERO hits ~ ZERO runs ~ FOUR walks ~ FIVE strikeouts
} Yourvis entered the game with a runner on 1B in the 6th. And, while the end result of his inning was great it took
F  O   R   E   V   E    R    to get there as he took an eternity between pitches and occasionally tossed over to 1B. Eventually, he struck out Trout, walked Pujols and got Freese to hit into a (very pretty!) double play. I don’t remember him being that frustratingly slow to work last season – maybe I blocked it out.
} Danny pitched 1.2 innings allowing NO hits, ONE walk and ONE strikeout
} Tom came in for the last out of the 8th – Trout – and struck him OUT
} Fernando decided to make things a little to interesting in the 9th when he walked the first TWO batters (argh!!) but, after Lloyd (and the ENTIRE infield) paid a little visit to the mound – struck out the next TWO and recorded a fly out to end the GAME, earn the SAVE and record the WIN (and yes – “shoot the bow”)

AT THE PLATE
Only EIGHT total hits but . . .
~ TWO were doubles (Kyle and Justin)
~ TWO were homers – BOTH by Corey (good for FOUR of the FIVE RBI)
~ FIVE walks – THREE by Kyle  (he’s gotta get on base some how, some way – though I think everyone knows will come ’round soon)

 

IN THE FIELD
Solid night in the field all ’round . . .
* no circuitous routes in the OF and, in fact, MULTIPLE, nice running catches by both Dustin AND Stefen
* sweet SMOTHER by Kyle on a smash liner down the line that he then tossed to Justin for the out
* Justin just continues his (IMO) very under-rated play at 1B
* Robbie is just.so.smooth.

 

quote of the game . . .
Lloyd upon being asked what he said to Rodney when he went out to the mound in the 9th

“I can’t even tell you.”

I’m guessing it wasn’t language suitable for radio – funny thing though, Fernando went from 92 to 98 after the “language”  😉

 

tweets of the game . . .

 

my photos of the game . . .

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g8 | awesome day, great night, good win

As per usual, the Seattle Mariners home opener was a “holiday” for me…

For about a dozen years, my mother-in-law was my standing Opening Day date and I would typically enjoy some spa pampering prior to the game. Last year, she decided she wasn’t up to the date, so I took my dad and a new tradition was born. This year, before the game, we went to the Chihuly exhibit at the Seattle Center and had lunch at the cafe there. It was fabulous – I highly recommend the entire experience. Here is a photo album from the first time I saw the exhibit when my friend Marilyn (to whom I owe the credit for the name of this blog) took me for my birthday this past January . . . Chihuly | Garden and Glass

Now, on to the festivities and the game!

We got to Safeco Field plenty early . . .

festive decor

festive decor

so, we perused the Team Store and dad picked out a new M’s cap. Then we enjoyed a beer and the, not perfect but, very pleasant weather up on the third deck (while my almost dead iPhone charged in Guest Services).

Mac 'n' Jack for the win!

Mac ‘n’ Jack for the win!

We were easily in our seats by 6:30pm for the opening ceremonies….

new video board

new video board

the crowd

the crowd

yes, we could tell fair/foul on the 1B line

yes, we could tell fair/foul on the 1B line

the changing sky during introductions

the changing sky during introductions

Anual Make-A-Wish run around the bases – this year Marlee Burkett | liver transplant survivor

Make-A-Wish runner Marlee Burke

Make-A-Wish runner Marlee Burkett

Star spangles

Star spangles

And, the ceremonial first pitch . . .

Ancient Mariner

Ancient Mariner

Danny Boy

Danny Boy

old battery mates

old battery mates

here we go!

Play Ball!!!

Mariners 3 | Astros 0

ON THE MOUND
Some chalked it up to the level of the competition, some say Joe just plain looked much better than in his first start (in Oakland) – granted, he wouldn’t have to do a whole lot better but, anyhoo, he gets his first win as a Mariner in a park he has owned (now 8-0 in the venue) with a 1.91ERA. We’ll take it!

6.1 innings ~ SIX hits ~ ZERO earned runs ~ ONE walk ~ SIX strikeouts

The bullpen of Carter, Charlie and Tom combined for TWO+ scoreless innings, with The Bartender notching his third save.

AT THE PLATE
The M’s definitely didn’t have their hitting shoes on tonight but, thanks to the stellar pitching, they didn’t need to. Good to see Kendrys heating up – he singled and doubled, scoring Michael Saunders both times. Guit dropped down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Dustin from 3B.

IN THE FIELD
* Michael Saunders swiped his third base of the young season
* the DEE was awesome tonight, including ONE double-play turned (Dustin-Brendon-Justin) and couple nice snares by Justin and this incredible catch by Guti . . . SC#1

Tweet of the game . . .

Bonus Tweets (gotta love the cross-sports support) . . .

 

g1 | watching the game in OakTown from The Safe = awesome!

So the Mariners did this REALLY COOL thing….
Since there were SO many changes to our “summer home” over the winter, they decided to have an Open House on Opening Day! Free parking, free admission and the freedom to roam all over the field and check everything out prior to the home opener, while our boys were down in Oakland on Opening Day!

I'm home!!!

I’m home!!!

The field was roped off, of course but, fans could walk all around the warning track to inspect the new dimensions (and, some even sat in the dugout!)

I decided I would check out the new restaurant, Edgar’s Cantina, for several reasons: it was located where the most significant “fence movement” occurred, it had a great view of the new video board and last but not least, I was in the mood for a margarita (or two!)

Edgar's Cantina ~ new at Safeco Field for 2013

Edgar’s Cantina ~ new at Safeco Field for 2013

yum!

yum!

The bar at Edgar's Cantina

The bar at Edgar’s Cantina

The hand operated scoreboard was just above us

Of course the main attraction of the night was the new, HUGE video board! Which we were glued to all night as we watched Felix and the guys take on the A’s . . .

First pitch in Oakland

First pitch in Oakland

Fans at the Open House

Fans at the Open House

Jen talking to our "host"

Jen talking to our “host”

It was an awesome evening and the best part was, of course, the VICTORY!

Mariners Win! Mariners Win!

Mariners Win! Mariners Win!

Speaking of the game, here are the particulars . . .

Mariners 2 | Athletics 0

ON THE MOUND
A very Happy Felix Day, it was!
7.2 IP ~ THREE hits ~ ONE walk ~ ZERO earned runs ~ EIGHT strikeouts

Happy Felix Day! | Ezra Shaw, Getty Images

Felix got TWO outs in the 8th, then gave up a double and his only walk of the game.

In came Charlie, who walked the only batter he faced. Then Stephen got the last batter to ground out and then The Bartender entered, reminding us about “Closing Time” by preserving the win for Felix and recording his first save of 2013.

AT THE PLATE
Well, the offense wasn’t exactly lighting the baseball world on fire tonight . . .
They only managed FIVE hits (all singles!) but they also walked FOUR times
Thankfully, with Felix pitching, all it took was to string a couple of those hits and walks together (which they did in the 5th)

IN THE FIELD
* Brendan with a stolen base
* no DP’s 😦

Tweet of the game . . .

 

g9 | Baseball came home, the Mariners could not…

Mariners 0 | Athletics 4

I have grown accustom to the fabulous pomp followed by the disappointing circumstance that has been Mariners Opening Day in recent years. So, I’ll concentrate on the lead-up as, unfortunately, it was the best part.

First of all, the weather could not have been better!
OK, it was a little chilly at game time but, I’ve felt WAY colder openers in Seattle. Nice that the guys who haven’t been here before got to see that it’s not always dark and dreary in the Emerald City.

my view from the train on my way to work
market shot on some errand running
yep – of COURSE I was sporting my M’s jersey at work

A new tradition begins…
For over a dozen years (only missing the year 2000) my mother-in-law has been my Opening Day date. She didn’t feel up to it this year so, my dad was my date. He and I have attended many games together but, this was his first ever M’s Opener! We met at our usual spot (The Glove) although should have met at The ‘Pen, as that’s where we headed to get some food (yummy crepes – his turkey, mine beef!). It took awhile to wade through the sea of people (one disadvantage of a sold out game) from the Glove, to the ‘Pen to our seats in section 344 but, we made it in plenty of time to eat before “the pomp” started.

Happy Opening Day!

The ceremony of it all…
Of course the red carpet introductions are always fun – especially for those who have never experienced it – players and fans alike (13 players running on the red carpet for the first time and Dad said, “It’s just like football!”)

Mune’s just a little excited! | AP photo
 Ichiro still having fun after all these years… | AP photo
our view from section 344
Wish Wedge had this smile AFTER the game | AP photo

The tears flowed…
during the moment of silence for Frank Mattox and Greg Halman

Awesome National Anthem by a twelve-year-old…

Anna Graceman from Juneau, Alaska | AP photo
our view from section 344

Special guest and new retiree…
We had known, since it was announced weeks ago, that Mike Cameron would be throwing out the first pitch. What most didn’t know until after the pitch was thrown (unless you follow the M’s on twitter) is that, earlier in the day, Cammy signed a one-day contract with the M’s so he could rightly, officially, retire as a Seattle Mariner. Awesome. (video here)

Mariners tweet…
Cammy: “My memories and my time here were a joy both on the field and with my family. I am pleased to make this happen.”#MarinersHomeOpener
Cammy entering from CF | AP photo
Surprise at 2B
This actually happened between innings early in the game but, was a very touching moment. The “Steal-a-Base Contest” is typically only on Sundays during the season but, always a part of Opening Day. A kid runs out from CF to pick up the 2B bag and runs back with it as a souvenir. I’m always amazed at how fast they run, especially on the way back (some of the kids aren’t much bigger than the base they are carrying – it must be pretty heavy!). Anyway, the base-stealer last night was surprised by the fact that the “umpire” that came over to assist him was … his dad – a Sargent just back from his third tour of duty in Afganistan!

stealing the base | AP photo
the realization | AP photo

As for the game…
I don’t have the energy and maybe that was the M’s problem as well. True the Athletics also went to Japan but, at least they have been home since then. Not an excuse but, definitely a contributor and though there was a buzz early on, the adrenaline seemed to fade.

Felix started out on fire…
needing only 9 pitches to get 3 outs (2 via K which made the thongs in King’s Court very happy!). The rest of the way, Felix was far from dominating but, getting through 7 innings (when at one point his pitch count was such that it seemed unlikely he’d get through 5) and allowing only 2 runs was certainly kept them in the game.

AP photo

The bullpen, on the other hand, did not keep up their end of the bargain…
allowing 2 runs in their combined 2 innings of work

Charlie after giving up the solo shot to Weeks | AP photo


Weeks quickly becoming as much of a pest as  FIggy was as an Angel | AP  photo



The defense made some nice plays…
including 2 double plays and a nice running catch by Ichiro that Felix appreciated.

AP photo
AP photo

And the offense?
well – 3 singles sort of says it all. But, good to see that one of the hits belonged to Jesus (his 7th straight game with a hit – just a matter of time…). I’d say that Bartolo has their number but, they hit him pretty hard in Oakland so, that’s not really it.

It will be interesting to see the line up tomorrow.
In the meantime, we enjoyed the sunset over Elliott Bay…

view from the outer concourse as I was getting my hot chocolate
more view