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Hey, sweetie. Come on in here and sit down. Your father and I have something to tell you. You're going to be a big brother!
My older brothers let me tag along and will occasionally hoist me up for an easy layup in the driveway, but I know that when the game gets serious I'm better off staying out of their way. My shots get blocked, my ingenious Connect Four strategies are thwarted, my legs just don't churn quickly enough. I love to play but they're so much bigger, stronger, smarter.
My turn. Finally.
I couldn't have been more excited by the news of my new baby brother, my new little buddy. He'd tag along with me the way I did with my older brothers, and then I'd win. My crossover would break his baby ankles. I'd connect my four in three moves. I'd run circles around him in the backyard. It was going to be great!
The crying. Oh, god, the crying. And he's getting into my stuff. And he can't do anything. And he's shitting all over the place. And now he's crying and shitting and ruining my whole day.
Where are my big brothers.
After spending four of the last five seasons in the American League West cellar the Seattle Mariners and their fans welcomed the Houston Astros to the division with open arms. Finally, a new whipping boy. Finally, some easy wins.
The Mariners played their first game against their newest division rival Monday evening, cruising to a 3-0 victory. But despite a festive, Opening Day atmosphere, this game was missing something.
You know their situation, and if you didn't Mariners play-by-play man Dave Sims filled you in by joking about airport welcoming parties and mentioning that the Astros "lead the known universe in strikeouts." They're bad. Really bad. They lost in the triple digits the last two seasons and are probably heading there again this year. And while any win is to be celebrated, not all wins are particularly thrilling spectacles no matter how many fans show up.
The Mariners threw a shutout but there wasn't much going on of interest. Joe Saunders tossed 6.1 innings, scattering 6 hits and a walk. He was sharper than he was in his 2013 debut, but it didn't feel like he did anything above and beyond what was expected of him. This was not a dominating appearance by Saunders and company. This was the Mariners pitching staff brushing aside a passive Astros lineup while the Mariner offense did just enough to get the victory.
17 more to go.
- The offense: In the first inning Michael Saunders hit a single the other way, stole second base, and eventually scored on a seeing-eye single by Kendrys Morales. In the third inning Michael Saunders had a popup drop in to left field for a single. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored when Morales crushed a double to the left-center field gap. In the fifth inning Dustin Ackley worked an eight pitch at bat before lining a single into right-center. Then: small ball. Ackley advances to second on bunt, to third on fly ball, scored on a safety-squeeze.
- Play of the game:
This is much more impressive when considering where Death to Flying Things landed and the ground he had to cover to get there. Check out the video at MLB.com. It's good to know that a healthy Franklin Gutierrez is still one of the best center fielders in the game.
- Strange play of the game:
A hit and run that Brendan Ryan refused to give up on. The booth heaped praise on him for sticking with the play, though in real-time I thought Dustin Ackley had the base stolen.
- Aside from Gutierrez's catch, my favorite part of this game was watching Carter Capps record four outs. With a 98 MPH fastball, an 85 MPH slurve (or whatever), and a release point that is almost off the map, Capps has become one of the most compelling Mariners in my mind. I don't want to look away when he's in the game.