The Mariners played two games today.
In one, they did a good thing. In the other, they did a very bad thing. When I was a kid and my parents would ask me, “which do you want to hear first: the good news, or the bad news?” I always preferred to get the bad news over with. So let’s do that.
The Bad News: Mariners fall to Angels 4-0
Seattle fell victim to the first Cactus League no-hitter since 1996. Bud Norris, Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon, Justin Anderson, and Abel De Los Santos now get to impress their friends and family with an accomplishment few can boast.
Those eight pitchers struck out 12 Mariners and were just a walk and a catcher interference shy of a combined perfect game.
Here’s some live video of the final out:
First Angels spring training no-hitter in 20 years. It will be celebrated in the traditional way: a Gavin DeGraw concert. pic.twitter.com/TXt0NIs9ad— Meg Rowley (@megrowler) March 25, 2017
Luckily for the M’s, this isn’t the first no-hitter of the spring. The Yankees shut down the Tigers exactly one week ago. One has to wonder if this is some sort of prelude for the regular season. Are we going to see 20 no-hitters this year? That would be cool.
If you’re looking for some good news, Dylan Unsworth might have been the best pitcher on the field today. The South African hurled four innings in relief, allowing just one hit while striking out six. He has yet to allow a run in seven innings of spring action.
Other than a prickling sense of embarrassment, getting no-hit in the spring doesn’t matter much. It’s certainly frustrating, especially since it was at the hands of the Angels. I’d like to think that this game will spark an anti-Angels fire in the Mariners that propels them to a 90-win season.
The Good News: Mariners defeat Royals 4-3
Today, Hisashi Iwakuma turned in an excellent outing against Kansas City. He flashed solid stuff, generated swings-and-misses, and went fairly deep into the game. He allowed just one earned run — a solo homer off the bat of Paulo Orlando — with four strikeouts and no walks in 5 2/3 innings of work.
Kuma’s start will inspire some confidence in skeptical M’s fans. Although it’s just spring training, Rock Bear had allowed 10 runs over his previous 6 1/3 innings. Those trends are a little bit more concerning for a 35-year-old.
On offense, Mitch Haniger continued his strong spring with a double off of Royals starter Danny Duffy.
Haniger is hitting a pretty .407/.453/.678 in 59 spring at-bats. All aboard the hype train, folks.
The M’s pulled off the win despite nearly half of the team’s plate appearances going to guys who are going to start the season in the minors. A whole army of prospects were called up in advance of today’s games.
Split squad and cold in big league camp makes it tough to field rosters in minor league camp as 39 of them will be used in ML games today— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) March 24, 2017
Eric Filia, Jay Baum, Luis Liberato, Steve Baron, Braden Bishop, Logan Taylor, Joey Wong, and Mike Freeman all saw playing time in the win. Only Baum recorded a hit in the game.
Dan Altavilla, Dean Kiekhefer, and some dude named Blake Perry posted scoreless outings out of the bullpen. Emilio Pagan — fresh off his stint with Team Puerto Rico — garnered the save despite giving up a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth.
The M’s are back at it tomorrow against the Rangers with first pitch at 1:10. I know I could use anything to rinse out what transpired today.