It doesn't mean anything. It never does--you know that, I know that, we all know that. But if that's the case then you have to ask yourself why you're coming here to this website to read about the results of this meaningless exercise which saw the Seattle Mariners narrowly beating the San Fransisco Giants--as if you actually wanted to know about any of it. You have to wonder why your response to me saying something like "The leadoff hitters for this revamped M's lineup sure are proving themselves adept at getting on base and rounding third one way or another" will be something like "It's only March 11th, Matt, stop trying to read into any of this."
Maybe, whatever, maybe Ketel Marte led off with a double and scored with quick feet after a Leonys Martin single, sure, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen in April or anything. Suuuuuuure, I guess Hisashi Iwakuma gave up only one single hit in three innings of work, maybe he got four strikeouts in the process. MAYBE. Who knows if it means anything. If Franklin Gutierrez and Chris Taylor each hit RBI doubles on the afternoon, which might suggest the team is finding ways to get on base in front of hitters who are capable of moving runners in, does it give us any indication that this Mariners team is going to fare well against Cole Hamels in Arlington when it's ninety billion degrees outside and Nelson Cruz is sitting on the bench with grandpa knees? I don't think so.
I'm only half joking here. Yes, the Mariners beat the Giants, and we can extrapolate a certain amount of information out of this victory which will either tell us something, or not. The M's got ahead early while Hisashi Iwakuma kept the Giants off the bases. They themselves got on base by mounting two-out rallies, hitting the ball hard, and they got on base even when it didn't result in any runs scored. The logic behind this is clearly good in that the more you are on base the more you are going to score, even when you don't. See how meaningful this all is?
So yes, it's comforting to see the machine up and running with parts greased and fully operational. But it's also then a question when you watch Joel Peralta replace Kuma in the fourth and accidentally put two on the board after earning a pair of quick outs, as two poorly-placed pitches to Buster Posey and Hunter Pence will be just a terrible decision whether it's March or October or whatever, even a video game:
We don't have any PitchF/X data on the afternoon (I've heard San Fransisco is real hard up for cash these days), but the reality is that this either means something or it doesn't--it just kind of happened and that's that. Well, for us, anyway. The sad thing for Joel is that this really does mean something for his future. Felix can come out of the gate and do this every day this spring, and everyone would get scared and scratch their heads and maybe do some X-rays before tossing him out there in April anyway. While we're obviously dealing with apples and oranges here, the reality is that Peralta doesn't have that luxury. A fuck up is a fuck up when you're trying to crack a roster with steep competition, and...well...now we're back to the first sentence.
The same goes for Tony Zych, who only hours earlier was probably texting the headline FEARLESS ZYCH BOASTS CLOSER POTENTIAL to his family rooting him on back home with crossed fingers. Today he entered the ninth with a three run lead and promptly gave up a leadoff dinger to Ryder Jones, the Giants' 23rd-ranked prospect. After that, a single to George Kottaras, who hasn't played in the bigs in two years. After that, a double to Jarrett Parker, a quick out on strikes, and an RBI sac fly off the bat of I don't know, whoever, look the point is that it was ironic considering the article this morning, alright?
But ultimately the M's came out on top, and will be looking to have a nice, relaxing break until they play their first evening game of the spring against the Reds tomorrow. Until then, the tweets:
Final line for Kuma 3IP 1H 1BB 4Ks 41 pitches. Samardzija goes 4 IP, 6H 3R 1BB 1K— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) March 11, 2016
Tyler O'Neill follows with RBI single. He's had two at-bats this spring, with an RBI single each time.— Larry Stone (@StoneLarry) March 11, 2016
Also make sure to check out this piece on the Mariners over at the New York Times, which features Steve Cishek admitting he joined the Mariners this offseason because the Mariners are bad. Or, as our fearless leader and site dad Nathan Bishop says: