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3/18: Open Game Thread

Hisashi Iwakuma battles the Giants

Division Series - Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants- Game Four Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Seattle Mariners take on the San Francisco Giants today in a Spring Training matchup that will largely be ignored by the masses due to it happening squarely in the middle of Saturday’s March Madness action. Does that make this game pointless? Ryan Braun seems to think so, but there are a few things to watch for in today’s contest. First, here’s the lineup:

Steve Baron is starting! So is Justin Ruggiano! What a lovely flashback to the 2015 Seattle Mariners season. Okay, let’s move on.

Hiashi Iwakuma will be the biggest focus today after getting walloped by the Milwaukee Brewers in his previous outing (2.2 IP, 7 ER, 6 H, 2 HR, 2 BB, 0 K). It was a nightmare of an outing, even by Spring Training standards. Iwakuma said this afterwards, per The News Tribune:

"Overall, my timing, my balance…," he said. "I couldn’t get my lower body to sync to my upper body. I couldn’t the feel for anything. Nothing was working. I have nothing to say today that went well."

With the rotation being the biggest question mark heading into the season, an impressive performance from Iwakuma sure would make me feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy inside. We also get to see if Taylor Motter can continue to separate himself in the competition for the utility role and if Guillermo Heredia can keep finding grass on nearly every ball he manages to put in play.

Meanwhile, Dutton has provided us with the list of reserves:

I hope we get a chance to see Darin Gillies, who put up an 11.17 K/9 mark in Advanced-A ball last year. Outside of that, the rest of the reserves are either guys we’ve already seen a few times or guys who really are just filling spots in the event of emergency.