3/7: Spring Training Open Games Thread

look closely at that goatee, just look closely at it - USA TODAY Sports

A common refrain when a team is playing well is "break up [the team]!" It's also a common refrain when a bad team suddenly wins once or twice, but in this instance when applying it to the Mariners, we're dealing with the former circumstance, because the Mariners are 10-2 and second in the Cactus League standings. Because the Mariners have been so successful, the Mariners have effectively been broken up, as Thursday afternoon half of them will play against one team while half of them will play against another team entirely. Neither the Royals nor the Athletics will be fielding split-squad lineups -- the Mariners will be at half strength while their opponents will be at full strength. The Royals have yet to lose, but the half-strength Mariners will see to that, maybe. Against the Royals, this will be an opportunity to make up ground in a most impressive fashion. Against the Athletics, this will be a baseball game.

Details:

  • MARINERS
  • AGAINST ROYALS
  • AT WHEREVER KANSAS CITY PLAYS
  • 12:05pm Pacific
  • Gameday link
  • audio streamed online and broadcast on the radio on a tape delay

The Mariners' starting lineup:

Kyle Seager, 3B
Casper Wells, LF
Justin Smoak, 1B
Michael Morse, DH
Carlos Peguero, RF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Julio Morban, CF
Carlos Triunfel, SS
Stefen Romero, 2B

The Mariners' starting pitcher:

Felix Hernandez

The Mariners' starting manager:

Robby Thompson

---

Details:

  • MARINERS
  • AGAINST ATHLETICS
  • AT WHEREVER OAKLAND PLAYS
  • 12:05pm Pacific
  • Gameday link
  • audio streamed online

The Mariners' starting lineup:

Robert Andino, 2B
Eric Thames, LF
Jason Bay, RF
Kendrys Morales, DH
Mike Jacobs, 1B
Mike Zunino, C
Brad Miller, SS
Vinnie Catricala, 3B
Francisco Martinez, CF

The Mariners' starting pitcher:

Brandon Maurer

The Mariners' starting manager:

Eric Wedge

---

This is going to be an interesting game thread, because this is going to be a game thread for two different games taking place simultaneously. For those who always advise never to cross the streams, streams done gonna be crossed. Not that the overwhelming majority of people won't be paying attention to the Mariners/Royals game, on account of the Felix part, and on account of the Kansas-City-is-undefeated part. If ever there were a time to send a message in spring training, this is it: the Mariners need to send the message that they can take down the best, therefore demonstrating that they -- the Mariners -- are the best. Even at half strength, if you can ever be at half strength with Felix Hernandez on the mound (for a little while).

Though the Mariners will have different coaching staffs for each game, I would enjoy it more if Eric Wedge were directly responsible for both. I don't know how far the Kansas City stadium is from the Oakland stadium, but I've seen 27 Dresses enough times to know that it's possible to go between two simultaneous weddings, so how different could it be to go between two simultaneous baseball games? And if Wedge got caught up in traffic he could literally phone in an umpire argument. "That's a bullshit strike!" says Wedge to the umpire, over the telephone. That Wedge is one tough cookie.

The Mariners are working on a streak of nine consecutive multi-homer games. That would be good for an all-time franchise record if this meant anything. So now I'm curious about the potential implications of today's split-squad action, because what if the Mariners hit multiple home runs in one of the games, but not in the other? They still would have hit multiple home runs in ten games consecutively. Is the streak over? What if the Mariners hit multiple home runs in both of the games? Is the streak ten, or 11? The "consecutive" part is the tricky part. Drop the "consecutive" and it isn't tricky at all. Okay.

Pitching after Felix will be Hisashi Iwakuma, and then others. Pitching after Maurer will be James Paxton, and then others, with these others being inferior to the first others (the first others include Capps and Wilhelmsen). The Royals are starting Ervin Santana and I don't remember who the A's are starting because I closed the window that had that information on it. One nugget from the official Mariners game notes: Felix's outing will mean all 61 players in Mariners major league camp would have appeared at least once in the Cactus League. The notes continue: "up to this point, the Mariners have not used any minor league players." We are being awful charitable about Carlos Peguero and Yoervis Medina.

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