Tonight was a lovely little preview of the 2017 Seattle Mariners optimized lineup versus right handed pitchers. Zones were controlled. Plate appearances were productive for the team. Bases were stolen successfully and the TOOTS did not BLAN. Uh, ignore that last one.
Let’s talk about Jean Segura. I am pretty excited for Segura to play shortstop and hit at the top of the order for the Seattle Mariners. He had a single, an RBI, a stolen base, and a walk tonight in his return to Cactus League action. Also, I’m calling him Jean as in “yawn” not Jean as in “Gene” because he’s not my great aunt or uncle from Florida. He’s Jean Segura from the Dominican Republic. When Cano talks to him, he doesn’t say, “HEY GENE, SHIFT TO THE RIGHT, WILL YA?” I can promise you that. But, I haven’t heard what the official media guide decision is yet on pronunciation, so if anyone knows, say so in the comments.
Some may recall the 2007 model of Yuniesky Betancourt as the last time the Mariners had a shortstop who could both field the position well and hit above their body weight. Well, that 10 year gap is likely over if things go at least semi-according to plan with Segura. That is fun to think about. At much as I loved watching Brendan Ryan and Jack Wilson do improbable things at shortstop, I am excited Dipoto found a player who can crank some hits, too.
Chris Heston, he of the 2015 rookie year no-hitter for the Giants, cruised through the first and second innings, only to have the brakes go out on him in the third inning after Seager couldn’t handle a tough bounce on a liner to third. 6 runs later, he was pulled for someone named Josh Steven Judy, who is indeed a baseball pitcher.
Other highlights from the warm desert evening baseball game:
- Yes, it’s Spring Training, but there were a ton of long at-bats by the Mariners tonight resulting in 6 walks through first 4 innings. I want all the walks. Give me the walks.
- Our fella Cano! Robi (or Robbie?) cranked out 3 RBIs while looking extremely dialed in.
- 2017 hype beast Mitch Haniger had a nice game with 2 singles and a stolen base. Yes, the Mariners stole 2 bases total tonight. That will take some getting used to after witnessing the misadventures on the base paths by the 2016 Mariners.
- Bullpen! Dan Altavilla and Evan Scribner had very encouraging outings, yielding no runs, 1 hit, and 3 strikeouts between the 2 of them.
- Most starters played through the sixth inning, but after that it was A-ball city.
- Mariners loaded the bases in bottom of the ninth inning with 2 outs, but it was all for naught as Guillermo Heredia couldn’t quite beat out a grounder to first.
In a deeply regrettable move, Kate gave me the keys to LL Twitter during the game. This was my first of several ill-advised tweets.
Good evening, this is @sanford_and_son tweeting here. Kate is out pub quizin' it up, so come at me with your worst movie takes please— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) March 22, 2017
It resulted in many bad takes and bad tweets, some of which I am very sorry for. It bled over a bit into the game and I probably lost some followers, but like any true American I tweeted through it, settled down, got in the zone, and didn’t try to do too much (and other sports cliches). Anyways, here are some highlights from the ensuing antics.
Sweezo came out absolutely SWINGING for the grandstands and it all went downhill from there.
This one from Tyler here got me going. I will not stand for anyone besmirching Die Hard with a Vengeance’s good name. That movie is a treasure.
And this was around the time when I realized I’d let things go too far.
So yes, apologies for the lost followers, but thank you to those who indulged me in some Spring Training shenanigans. The Mariners go back to daytime baseball tomorrow against the Angels at 1:10 PM.