Let’s lead things off here with perhaps the only piece of pop culture that glorifies Cleveland. As a 90’s youth and Presidents of the United States of America fan, I would get REALLY excited when the intro to the “Drew Carey Show” came on and then quickly lose interest once the actual show started. It did make being a 20 to 30 something in Cleveland seem like quite a bit of fun, though.
As Mariners fans, many of us dread playing the Cleveland Indians. The franchise crushed the first postseason chance the Mariners ever had. There was the snowed out opening series. There’s the Ichiro quote. There’s the game we do not speak of.
So going into this Friday night tilt at Progressive née Jacobs Field, the inner pessimist in us all was probably a bit uneasy. Even after a series win in Detroit following the Darkest of Dark Tuesdays when both Felix Hernandez and Mitch Haniger left the game with fairly serious injuries, it’s hard to look at a series against the 2017 Indians and feel super confident about it. This is mostly the same team that took the Cubs to game 7 of the World Series and nearly won, but now with Edwin Encarnacion who has historically hit well against the Mariners while with the Blue Jays.
But baseball will baseball, and the Mariners strolled to a routine and timely 3-1 win with relative ease.
Segura, who has just been awesome since his return from the DL, launched a lead off double to start the game. The offense then went quiet until the top of the fourth when Ben Gamel, hitting in the coveted, magical 2 spot, crushed a double and then Robinson Cano launched a 2 run ding donger to right center field. Suddenly it was 2-0 Mariners, and it felt oddly comfortable.
Ariel Miranda, a Mariners pitcher I’m most likely to not remember in 10 years, pitched a quietly effective 5 1⁄3 innings with seven strike outs and yielding only 2 hits. His pitch count got up to 96 and Servais elected to bring in LHP James Pazos for what ended up being 2 1⁄3 innings of brilliant relief, a move I openly questioned on Twitter dot com given Pazos’s shaky performance in Spring Training and thus far in the regular season. Well, I’ll take credit in my snark assisting his velocity and/or control because Pazos tore shit up, especially against Encarnacion and Kipnis.
Boy, James Pazos is not who I'd utilize here, but I'm not a doctor or baseball manager.— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) April 29, 2017
Y'ALL I WAS WRONG ABOUT PAZOS OKAY.— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) April 29, 2017
also, Pazzo's Pizza on Eastlake is very underrated, imho.
The aforementioned Ben Gamel also looped a moonshot just over the fence in the right field corner for his first home run of 2017 and second of his MLB career. The legend of the Mariners longhairs continues.
This is Ben Gamel with less hair.
This is Ben Gamel with more hair and more home runs.
Moving on, Edwin Diaz came in for the dreaded/lauded 4 out save in the 8th inning. Diaz has been shaky to say the least so far in 2017, but he locked down the victory like it was nothing tonight and that is something I hope we can all get used to this season. Diaz is so much fun to watch when his control is present, so here’s to many more saves this season.