This was MLB.tv's free game of the day and, as a cheap college student without enough technological savvy to find illegal streams online, I was thrilled. It was about two weeks before English theses were due, so I had it in a small window off to the side of my computer screen. One of the joys of watching baseball is that you can be as invested in the game as your situation allows; you can track each pitch and every foul ball, or you can have a conversation with a friend and check the score at the end as you're leaving for Hooverville. On this evening Rizzs and Goldsmith were background noise as I wrote about baseball from five decades earlier. The eighth inning rolled around and, with a 4-2 Mariners lead, Tom Wilhelmsen came jogging out of the Rangers' bullpen. I put my thesis on hold to hate watch the spectacle of Bartender pitching against his former team...
Crack! With that sweet, smooth swing Robinson Cano deposited Tom's first offering in the upper deck of right field...
Crack! Nelson Cruz doubled...
Crack! Kyle Seager doubled...
Crack! Seth Smith homered...
Thunk! Chris Iannetta was hit in the thigh with an 80 some MPH fastball...
*Baseball intermission wherein Iannetta offered Tom advice on being a man, Scott Servais and Jeff Banister yelled unfit-for-television words, and we got the most assertive finger point in a Mariners uniform since Lou Piniella*
Tom was tossed but that did not deter little Louis Sardinas from continuing the hit parade with his first major league home run. After that, the Mariners decided an eight run lead was enough, Tony Zych closed out the ninth and somehow, in the midst of all that, Nick Vincent walked away with the win.
For fun, and because none of you are reading this piece and won't bother to complain about my putting a list in an article... All The Firsts from the Mariners 10-2 Victory on April 6, 2016:
- Nelson Cruz's first home run of 2016
- Louis Sardinas' first home run ever
- Seth Smith's first home run of 2016
- Kyle Seager's first double of 2016
- Leonys Martin's first double of 2016
- Hisashi Iwakuma's first strikeout of 2016
- Hisashi Iwakuma's first (and second, and third) walk of 2016
- The Seattle Mariners first win of 2016
- Nick Vincent's first win of 2016
- Scott Servais' first win of 2016, and his very first win as an MLB manager
There are more, if we want to get in to other pitcher firsts, but those are just relievers and who cares about them anyway?