The thing is, this was an odd day. We were treated to a win, the team's third in a row, despite shaking pitching from our King. The Mariners TOOTBLAN'ed, but it didn't matter. They didn't play particularly well, but were good enough and lucky enough when it mattered. Baseball, man. It's like there are lessons in life in here or something.
#KingFelixTerritory extends from coast to coast.— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 16, 2016
He heads out for the 5th with a 3-1 lead. #GoMariners pic.twitter.com/uM0kiTuWDc
With his four strikeouts today, Felix Hernandez tied Randy Johnson for most strikeouts in Mariners franchise history, with 2,162 total. That's an awful lot of strikeouts. He's 59th all time, and third among active players behind CC Sabathia (2,582) and Bartolo Colon (2,250).
2,162. #HappyFelixDay https://t.co/au2t9STC30— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 16, 2016
Runs! Fun! Runs are fun!
CC Sabathia had handled the Mariners pretty well (more on that in The Bad) until the fifth inning, when the guys remembered they needed to score at least two runs to win. Leonys Martin got the Mariners on the board with a well hit solo shot to right. It is absurdly early in the season to do this, but what the heck, let's splurg: so far, the Mariners have won the Martin-Wilhelmsen trade. Martin is slashing .257/.333/.486 with two home runs, a 142 wRC+, and that crazy arm of his. The Bartender has a 22.50 ERA, has been worth -0.6 fWAR, and has given up four home runs. He has pitched four innings. Poor Tom.
After Martin, Luis Sardinas singled. Nori Aoki ground out, moving Sardinas up. Ketel Marte, singled sharply and then (sorry, The Bad creeping in) Sardi made a young man's mistake and was thrown out at third after over running the bag. TOOTBLANs are bad. But then The Good! Robinson Cano singled and Ketel Marte scored. From first. He ran on the 2-2 pitch and just kept going. I like to think Manny Acta's thought process went like this: NOODLE ARMS. NOODLE ARMS EVERYWHERE. I like to think Marte's though process went like this: ZOOOOOOOOOOOM. It's probably close enough. With the good jump, the bad outfield arms, and Marte's blink-and-you'll-miss-him speed, it was a good send. When data and speed are on your side, make ‘em beat you. But the Mariners weren't done. Nelson Cruz doubled in Cano to make it 3-1. It was Cruz's second double of the day and his sixth of the year.
Vidal Nuno had a nice little afternoon. He gave a lead off double in the sixth, but worked a clean inning, aided by a Jacoby Ellsbury flyout, an A-Rod strike out (this is where we boo, I guess), and some heads up fielding to catch Austin Romaine between second and third (bye bye, lead off double). Joaquin Benoit pitched well, and despite flirting with a bit of trouble, closer Steve Cishek notched his first save of the year.
RISP (Yankee Edition)
In the bottom of the 7th, ahead just 3-2, Robinson Cano kicked of a gorgeous double play. So smooth. So casual. So "Hey American League, I'm healthy, have fun!"
Robbie, doing as Robbie does. #GoMariners https://t.co/kP43voP820 pic.twitter.com/Kz94FW3fEB— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 16, 2016
Walk the Line
So Felix walked some folks today. Six to be precise, tying a career high. His whole game was weird. 5 IP, 5 hits, 1 earned run, those 6 walks. He worked his way out of some jams of his own making. His run was a bit lucky for the Yankees, when a Beltran double got rolled under the outfield wall and took a moment to retrieve, allowing the runner to score. He had great movement on his pitches, but the command was spotty. He didn't seem comfortable with his fastball. He also wasn't helped by some low strikes that were called balls.
Some of this is the ump, who didn't give much at the bottom of the zone today. Some of it might be Chris Iannetta, who hasn't seemed to be getting those calls much, although it far too early to say anything about anything framing related. It was Felix's first win of the year and probably his shakiest start. But also, it was a win?
Hey, don't TOOTBLAN, Luis Sardinas.
Home Runs from the Bullpen
Hey, don't give up home runs, bullpen.
Striking Out 13 Times
RISP (Mariner Edition)
All in all, it feels a bit like we stole one, but sometimes that's what baseball gives you. It was awfully nice for us. The team is 5-6, a half game out of first place (shhhhh), and got the series win. Tomorrow: Kuma, Bear King? Series Sweep? Kyle Seager, home run hitter? Seattle Mariners, .500 baseball team? TUNE IN TO FIND OUT.