As today’s game started, the weather in Seattle finally began to match that in Peoria. Most of the Mariners’ actual 2017 lineup was in to face less than half of the Angels’ projected opening day roster. Dustin Ackley, who came in to this game hitting 1-for-8 so far in spring training, got the start for the Angels. There was plenty of reason for optimism surrounding this pleasant Wednesday afternoon matchup.
Cody Martin had other plans. In just 2.2 innings of work, he flushed away any semblance of a good impression he’d managed to make thus far in spring training. He took 23 pitches to get out of the first inning while giving up three hard hit balls and a walk. A casual 6-4-3 double play managed to limit the damage to just one run. Here’s the replay, which I recommend watching because Robinson Cano’s smile is just so infectious.
The second inning was where the wheels really came off for Martin. It took him another 31 pitches to get through the inning, during which he surrendered four runs, including back-to-back dingers. Worst of all, Dustin Ackley led off the inning with a line drive single to Leonys Martin. All in all, Martin had a horrible day starting, and this game felt over by the time he was pulled in the middle of the third inning.
The other M’s pitchers didn’t fair much better, with the exception of Marc Rzepczynski. Scrabble threw a solid inning of relief, recording one strikeout in the process. Darin Gillies, Nick Vincent, and James Pazos all submitted relief performances ranging from mediocre to bad. Jean Machi also pitched, reminding us of his existence.
The Mariners’ offensive starters weren’t able to get much more done against Yusmeiro Petit. Petit continued his stellar spring, throwing 3.2 shutout innings with four strikeouts against zero walks and just one hit. Fortunately, one of the recently returned starters gave us one thing to cheer about in the sixth inning:
Aside from this dinger and a Cruz double that didn’t amount to much, the starters stayed fairly quiet this game. Still, I feel rewarded for watching this game just from that dinger. The reserves nearly brought it all the way back in the seventh and eighth innings, but couldn’t quite dig out of the Cody Martin-sized hole.
- Guillermo Heredia had an up-and-down day. He started out the game with two strikeouts, but came through with an RBI double in the seventh inning to bring his spring training average to .391. He seems to have a solid grasp on a roster spot.
- It seems unlikely that the team will ditch Nick Vincent any time soon, but after giving up another dinger, there may be some cause for concern.
- Mike Freeman stole a base. Aside from that, there just weren’t many runners, nor opportunities for further thievery.
- Carlos Ruiz threw out one of two base stealers today. He’s always been fairly league-average in that department.
- Dustin Ackley finished the game 2-for-5 with a single and a double. I’m fairly ambivalent about this, but it was very weird to see him in an Angels uniform.
The WBC Final is tonight, which should be far more scintillating than this game was. The Mariners will take on the Giants tomorrow night at 6:05, with Felix Hernandez getting the start.