There was a lot of baseball today. A lot of baseball from the Mariners, specifically, who played two split-squad games, first against the Giants where they won handily, 18-3. The second was against the Dodgers, which was great because it was on TV and at night, so if felt like a real baseball game. What wasn't great, however, was Blake Beavan
surprisingly getting shelled in his three innings of work. What was confusing was Jesus Montero, but what's new about that? Here's a quick rundown:
Game one: Mariners wallop Giants 18-3
- The Mariners got started hitting early this morning, and never really let up. They had a four-run first, five-run third, three-run seventh, five-run eighth, and one-run ninth. Michael Saunders went 2-3 with a walk and a dinger, which was wonderful to see, but what was even better was Dustin Ackley going 3-4 on the day. He was a home run away from the cycle. We'll get to Almonte here in a minute, but seeing success from who are ostensibly going to be spending the most time on the outfield out of spring training is nice. In addition, Brad Miller hit a first-inning home run, and walkmaster Ty Kelly was at the plate six times and walked twice. On the other side of all this, Corey Hart went 0-4 on the day, and Logan Morrison, playing first base on the day, was 1-4.
- It always feels a little strange when any team scores as many as 18 runs. That kind of boxscore isn't really indicative of any structural problems on behalf of the losing team, and everybody has games like these now and then, making them more random outliers than meaning-carrying events. That said, forgetting about the 18 runs and focusing on the Giants' 3 helps us see a really exciting story: Erasmo Ramirez was awesome today. In fact, most of the Mariners pitchers did well in the first game, except for Hector Noesi of course, but Erasmo helped solidify his case for a rotation spot with one hit and four strikeouts over four innings. That didn't even happen until the end of the fourth inning, either. I have no PITCHf/x to see what his pitches looked like, and one spring training game against a pretty good team that knows what they are doing isn't really the best barometer of success, but here's to hoping Erasmo can do more of this soon, and if he can, do it in the regular season.
Game two: Mariners sneak past Dodgers, 8-5
- Blake Beavan got hit up a bit tonight, and like the action in the afternoon game, it started early. First, Dee Gordon singled and then stole second after the Mariners collective brain decided to forget how to throw and catch baseballs. It was messy, and it sent Gordon to third before Beavan walked Carl Crawford. Three more runs would walk past home plate after more fielding nonsense from Jesus Montero, who looks so weird at home plate. Beavan settled down in the second and third a bit, but he still looked like he was having trouble hitting his spots. His line for the day was 3IP, 3H, 1ER, 1BB, and 2 K's, which hey Ervin Santana is probably going to the Blue Jays and oh
- Jesus Montero looks weird at first base. So weird. I don't know if its me or not, just expecting to see him look different, but it's strange. The way his body refuses him the ability to stretch his legs when reaching for a low throw. The way he randomly tumbles head over feet like he doesn't know what to do with the new weight he has put on. But then he hit two home runs today, both to right field. They were even stranger, because he looked terrible in his at-bat with Josh Beckett where he hit his first. Beckett was digging and digging into Montero, hugging the plate, and he fell over twice (and flipped his bat after hitting a foul ball into the baseline seats). Then he hit a blast over the fence and oh just what the hell. His second was in a 2-0 count in the eighth inning off Chris Withrow, another right hander. It was a much better at bat. Here is his first: