Ackley's homer gave the M's a 3-0 lead, however victory was not to be ours. The Indians got a three-spot in the 5th off of Tom Wilhelmsen and a three-spot in the 7th off of Logan Bawcom, for a 6-3 win. If you placed a bet on the Mariners having an undefeated spring and regular season, I'm sorry to say that you'll have to find another way to achieve your dreams of financial independence.
Now, let's bullet this baby!
- Randy Wolf was the big story coming into the game, and he did nothing to hurt his chances of sneaking into the M's rotation, despite facing the Indians' top hitters. In his two innings, Wolf gave up just one hit—a line drive single by Michael Brantley—and recorded a swinging strikeout of Asdrubal Cabrera.
- Mr. Dustin Michael Ackley's home run wasn't his only hit of the day, he also contributed a sharp opposite-field single. Opposite-field hitting! This is what we wanted to see.
- The box score tells an ugly story of Tom Wilhelmsen's day—3 R in .2 IP— but doesn't tell you that the Barkeep would've pitched a scoreless inning had minor league replacement Gabriel Noriega not thrown wide to first on what looked like a sure inning-ending double play. Jason Kipnis then tripled to drive in two runs that were technically earned because you can't assume the double play, but COME ON! Noriega then compounded his no good, very bad inning by letting a Carlos Santana grounder go through his legs, costing another run.
- Logan Bawcom has no excuses for his 7th inning; he allowed three hits with the final one being a home run by 20-year-old shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor, who had 2 homers in 464 PA in the low minors last year. Maybe he bulked up in the offseason?
- Abraham Almonte showed exactly what old-school Lloyd McClendon would like to see from his leadoff hitter. Almonte led off the game by lining a speed-enhanced double to right field, gaining third on a Nick Franklin flyout, and scoring on a Robbie Cano ground out. The hit was Almonte's first of the spring.
- Danny Farquhar looked season-ready, pitching an effortless 1-2-3 8th, including a strikeout of Nyjer Morgan.
- Other pitchers ranked in order of effectiveness: Andrew Carraway (perfect 3rd), Lucas Luetge (scoreless 6th), Dominic Leone (one hitter, one out), Jonathan Arias (inherited a runner in 6th, finished it with no scoring), Joe Beimel (scoreless 4th, but allowed a walk and a hit).
- Other offensive performances of note: Corey Hart ripped a double down the LF line in the 4th, it took one hop off the wall. The M's video feed showed Hart's arrival at second base, he was jogging, at best, on his reconstructed knees, but then again there was no reason to hurry.
- Daniel Noriega, whose fielding struggles could reasonably be said to have cost the M's the game, despite his reputation as a solid defender, ended the day on a positive note with a leadoff single in the 8th. Noriega also showed good range on a grounder up the middle in the bottom of that inning.
Tomorrow, the Mariners will be sliced asunder so they can take on both the Rockies, at 12:05 PST, in Peoria, and the Reds, also at 12:05 PST, back in Goodyear where they can avenge today's loss. The M's broadcast team will understandably do the Rockies game; you can listen live online but the game will be broadcast on a delayed basis for those of you in radioland—ESPN 710 won't play it until 7pm PST.