[Ed. note: Please welcome Eric Sanford, who some of you will recognize as Sanford and Son from here, the internet. Eric had some free time this month and volunteered to help us recap some spring training games, which is great for me, and also, I think, for you.]
Hello, yes, this is Eric Sanford. Long time LL commenter, first time LL author. Please be gentle to me as I parachute into 2017 Spring Training 21 games in to bring you the hottest in hot desert baseball action.
Also, happy St. Patrick’s Day to all, or as regular adult drinkers call it, "Friday."
So we've got the starting pitcher most of us are least enthused about, Yovani Gallardo, trying his darnedest to get his groove back. He is fresh off of a not great WBC appearance for Team Mexico where he pitched 4 innings and gave up four runs on four hits (including 3 home runs) with five strikeouts against Team Italy (Alex Liddi 4ever).
This being the first of 2 split squad games, there was no radio or TV coverage. Sweet first gig, thanks a lot Mariners. Like the lady from the “OA,” Gameday has been an unreliable narrator so far this spring, so I supplemented some coverage from Twitter. Notable LL youth Josh Kuh aka SmoakOnTheWater was in attendance for the game, as well.
So our intrepid Mariners traveled to Talking Stick to face the Arizona Diamondbacks, the frosted tips of the National League. On that front, some breaking news as the team will wear non-hyper color pants this season. Bonus Fernando content!
Halle-freakin'-lujah: No more blood-soaked pants this year for the Diamondbacks. Old version on left, new on right. pic.twitter.com/Ayj9olldCY— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) March 17, 2017
Onto the Whacking Day game action!
- Kyle Seager scored Jarrod Dyson from first on a double in the top of the first, which is something we all hope to see a lot of this season.
- ZUNINO WALK ALERT: Down 0-2, our Italian Stallion took 4 straight balls to extend the first inning. All the gold stars for CtZ’n that bad boy, Mike.
A quick look at Mike Zunino's walk that he drew off Shelby Miller. pic.twitter.com/dDKZm41ruh— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 17, 2017
- A scary moment on Gameday followed in the second inning when the dreaded “Injury Delay” notice popped up with no further detail.
Alas, it was just Ian Miller subbing in for Dyson to give him the rest of the day off, which is A-OK with me. Crisis averted.
- Yovani watch!
Through 2 innings Gallardo moving efficiently at 18 pitches, Miller not so much with 49— Josh Kuh (@JoshKuh44) March 17, 2017
FYI: scoreboard says Gallardo hit 97— Josh Kuh (@JoshKuh44) March 17, 2017
/NO POLITICS, JOSH
When the PA guy said Ben Gamel's name dude behind me goes "Ben-ghazi"— Josh Kuh (@JoshKuh44) March 17, 2017
All in all, a whelming day for Gallardo. 4.1 innings with 2 strikeouts, 2 earned runs, and 3 walks. Add a few more numbers to each category there (hopefully not runs, though) and you probably have your average start from Gallardo this season. Or he could be Cy Young. I am not a fortune teller. At least it wasn’t a meltdown.
- Arizona pitcher Grant Sides, which is more of a partial statement than a name, took over for Shelby Miller in the 4th inning.
- Beyond the fifth inning, there were a lot of NNOB players with high numbers doing baseball things. Justin Seager got some playing time and racked up a strikeout, a single, and a run.
- Sandals with socks enthusiasts Arizona broke up the 2-2 tie in the 8th inning and made it 5-3, only to have the Mariners strike back with a grand slam by Ryan Casteel(?) in the top of the 9th. No lie. Look, Divish even tweeted it.
Wow. Down 5-2 in the top of the ninth, Ryan Casteel blasts a mammoth grand slam to center. Mariners now lead 6-5.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 17, 2017
That is a peak third week of Spring Training tweet if I’ve ever seen one.
- Jay Baum (Bomb?) slapped 2 more runs on with a double to left field and Adam Law drove in Justin Seager on a single to make it 9-5.
- Arizona got to the bottom of the ninth and thankfully just said, “Nah, we’re good.”
Catch the other half of the split squad in action tonight against Los Doyers at 7:10. Thanks for reading and Happy Friday everyone.