If we focus strictly on offense, the Seattle Mariners' 10-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies was a wonderful showcase of hitters new and old, young and wise. Seth Smith hit a couple doubles and collected three RBIs. Nelson Cruz, who I'm sure has freaked out at least five or six people with a low batting average this spring, collected two hits. Austin Wilson, the Mariners' 2nd-round draft pick in 2013, slashed a triple and looked great doing it (no, seriously, he's 6'4, 250 pounds and moves like a freaking gazelle).
Even when you take into account the five adorable errors by the Rockies, it was a fun offensive performance that featured a whole bunch of Z's being C'd. If the Mariners manage to carry this approach into the regular season, the offense could really catch the rest of the league by surprise.
On the pitching side, things weren't as bright and shiny. Taijuan Walker turned in the second consecutive poor outing by M's starters, allowing 6 ER and 9 hits in just 3.2 IP. He only managed to throw 47 of his 80 pitches for strikes, and it felt like everything that made it over the plate was hit hard. For what it's worth, he did have an impressive third inning, punctuating it with a strikeout of Ben Paulsen:
Mike Montgomery also struggled in his inning of work, falling behind nearly every batter while surrendering 3 hits and 2 runs (1 ER) in the process. For the most part, I tend to not read much into pitching performances in the spring unless there is very serious cause for concern (see: Paxton's velocity, and even that has improved), but it'd be delightful if one of the starting pitchers could start mowing some batters down.
Thankfully, it wasn't all bad news for the pitchers. Bullpen candidates Mayckol Guaipe and Donn Roach combined to toss 4.1 shutout innings, with Roach allowing the only hit. Neither pitcher can be relied on to consistently miss bats, but they've both turned in strong springs and have made me somewhat more comfortable with the bullpen moving forward.
Tomorrow, the Mariners and Felix Hernandez will be in action against the Chicago White Sox at 1:10 pm. While fans eagerly await the arrival of Opening Day, the Mariners have seemed hellbent on making spring training last as long as possible the last couple games. Let us all hope for a smooth start from the King tomorrow.