Monday morning, it was officially announced that theand had agreed to extend their deal with the city of Peoria for another 20 years. I wouldn't say it was huge news - it probably wasn't on most people's radars. But it was news that showed that the Mariners and Padres have a good off-field working relationship. Monday afternoon, it was made evident that the Mariners and Padres have an abusive on-field working relationship, as the Mariners throttled the Padres 13-7 to move to 3-1 in Cactus League play.
The lowlight, if you want to call it a lowlight, is that Hisashi Iwakuma wasn't very impressive in his start. But he allowed just one run and wasn't helped by his defense. Oliver Perez allowed four of the Padres' other six runs, and that's just the kind of thing you have to expect from a guy who used to bleed Padre...sand...earlier in his career. His loyalties are mixed. More importantly, the Mariners took the lead in the top of the first and never looked back, establishing themselves as the Presidents of Peoria, the Captains of the Cactus League, the Governors of the Golden Saguaro. The Ministers of Maricopa County, too. Forgot that one.
Iwakuma was initially scheduled to go three innings. That might seem kind of aggressive, it being so early in camp, but bear in mind he was to face the Padres. He was pulled after one, though, having thrown 35 pitches. Including the intrasquad, Iwakuma's now got a pair of unimpressive starts in his back pocket. This afternoon PITCHfx gunned him around 87-90, which probably means more like 85-88. The line of thinking seems to be that, because Iwakuma has struggled, the Mariners don't yet know what they have in him, which would also be true if Iwakuma hadn't struggled. He has appeared in an intrasquad game and in one inning of a Cactus League game. We'll have a better idea of Hisashi Iwakuma in...September, really. We should have a solid idea by then.
After Iwakuma, some pitchers were fine, and other pitchers were less fine. George Sherrill made his debut, accompanied by lasers, rock music, and a fog machine, and turned in a performance as unforgettable as ever. Tom Wilhelmsen threw pitches. Scott Patterson threw pitches without giving up a homer to Vinnie Catricala. Perez threw pitches that I guess weren't very good, and then Shawn Kelley threw pitches that were a little better. He didn't show any of the mid-90s heat he used to have before surgery, but I'll give him time. Steve Garrison and Yoervis Medina are in the box score.
The offensive star was Dustin Ackley, who singled, doubled, and tripled, and also homered in my imagination. He singled to right, he doubled to left, and he tripled to center before coming out, and then his replacement drove in three runs in three more plate appearances. Adam Moore homered and Francisco Martinez singled and doubled as the Mariners beat the Padres and then the Rainiers also beat the Padres. Carlos Peguero went 2-for-5 and now has a career OPS of .622, which is the same as it was yesterday because Cactus League stats aren't regular season stats dumbass.
After the Mariners allowed a 6-1 lead to become a 6-5 lead, they put the Padres away with two in the eighth and five in the ninth. The first two were charged to Cory Burns, whose name hopefully isn't his hobby, and the last five were charged to Brad Boxberger, whose name sounds like box and then burger. These late putaway runs are indicative of a killer instinct that makes me glad the Mariners are baseball players instead of regular people who have to obey their killer instincts in other ways. I'm pretty sure the prisons in Minority Report are overflowing with people with a killer instinct. That's the whole problem!
I mentioned the B-squad game earlier and the Mariners lost that. The Mariners' lineup actually got three-hit, with two coming from Darren Ford, and one coming from Luis Jimenez. We don't have to talk about the B-squad game though because it doesn't matter, unlike these Cactus League games.
Tomorrow it's Felix. After Felix will come an assortment of pitchers who aren't anything like Felix. The Mariners' opponent at 12:05pm Pacific will be the 2-0, so this'll be an opportunity to leapfrog a team in the standings. You don't waste these opportunities. Expect Eric Wedge to make that point very clear.