clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mariners Give the Rangers a False Sense of Security Early, Take their Lead and Confidence Late

Oh, you almost had it. You’re gonna have to be quicker than that

MLB: Seattle Mariners-Media Day
Guess who’s back!
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Scanning the lineups of Sunday afternoon’s matchup against the Texas Rangers and you could talk yourself into seeing this game as a sort of preview of a real AL West showdown. Texas rolled out a lineup featuring plenty of players who will crack their opening day roster to face James Paxton. Additionally, Guillermo Heredia was slotted to make his spring debut and there were several Mariners competing for a roster spot in the lineup.

During the top of the first inning, Heredia drew a walk for his first at bat of the spring, demonstrating some impressive patience for a player that missed the first couple weeks of camp and must have been very anxious to swing the bat. Unfortunately, Heredia was stranded on first base and the Mariners were unable to get on the board in the first inning.

Then it was James Paxton’s turn to take the mound and square off against a lineup that included Delino DeShields, Nomar Mazara, and Joey Gallo. DeShields started the bottom of the first off with a bang, ripping a double down the left field line. He would come around to score a few batters later on a ground out by Mazara. Ryan Rua also hit a double the very next at bat, but he was left in scoring position to end the first inning.

An uneventful second inning for the Mariners was followed by an explosion by their foes. Robinson Chirinos hit a solo dinger with one out in to put the Rangers up 2-0. Paxton would reture the next batter to get to two outs; however, clutch two-out hitting helped Texas build a healthy lead. Jurickson Profar singled, then Delino DeShields walked to get aboard for the second time of the day. An Elvis Andrus grounder up the middle plated Profar from second, extending the Rangers’ lead to three runs.

Nomar Mazara garnered his second RBI of the day on a grounder through the whole between third base and shortsop, bringing DeShields home from third. Immediately following, Ryan Rua crushed a fly ball over the Mariners’ bullpen in left field, extending Texas’ lead to 7-0. James Paxton’s day ended after just 1.2 innings of work, during which he allowed seven runs to score on seven hits and a walk.

Just two innings in, the Rangers had built a healthy lead. Would that lead stand? Stay tuned to find out.

(NOTE: MLB did not post any videos from the game. Neither did the Mariners’ twitter account. This forced me to take matters in my own hand and draw a few of the most meaningful moments of the game. Forgive me.)

The Mariners put a runner on base in each of their first three innings, but never got to familiar face Doug Fister, who went unscathed through three innings of work. Mike Minor took over in relief to start the fourth inning, just as the Mariners’ bats started to wake.

Heredia started the fourth inning with a double over Delino DeShields’ head in center field.

As you can see, Guillermo hits a baseball to deep centerfield, and then runs to second base.

Daniel Vogelbach continued his strong spring showcase, drawing a walk to put two runners on. Junior Lake notched his second hit of the day to put the Mariners on the board, still with no outs in the inning.

Later in the innings, Taylor Motter double to centerfield, putting Vogelbach across home plate to notch the second run of the inning. Mike Marjama reached on a throwing error and Gordon Beckham scored in the process to cut the deficit to four. Marjama and Motter advanced to second and third base, respectively, after a ball in the dirt to Braden Bishop. Bishop ended up going down on strikes, but Ian Miller drove a grounder up the middle to drive home two more runs, bringing the Mariners’ run total to five.

In this picture, Ian Miller hits a grounder up the middle and Marjama (MM) and Motter (TM) score on the play. Miller running to first is symbolized by a lightning strike over his head because he is lightning fast.

The bottom of the fourth was the first of three scoreless innings for Andrew Moore. Moore scattered three base runners, recorded three punch outs, and didn’t allow a runner into scoring position.

Offensively, the Mariners continued their charge in the sixth inning. Marjama sparked a rally with a one out single. Bishop followed with his second hit of the day, putting runners on the corners with just one out. Miller picked up his third RBI on the day on a sacrifice fly, making the score 7-6 in favor of Texas.

Danny Muno, who came in to spell Andrew Romine, knocked a single to put two on for Mike Ford, who filled in for Heredia. Ford proceeded to give the Mariners a lead on a three run shot to right field.

As you can clearly see, Mike Ford sends this ball into freaking orbit. Also, the base paths look pretty similar to the state of Texas.

Now leading 9-7, the Mariners added an insurance run during the seventh inning. Gordan Beckham nailed a double and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Joe DeCarlo. The Mariners would never look back, allowing just one Texas base runner for the rest of the game and holding onto win 10-7 and pick up their fifth win of the spring.

Here are some bonus observations and notes:

  • Ian Miller and Braden Bishop are getting quite a bit of playing time as a result of some bumps and bruises in the outfield. Those two combined to tally three hits and three RBI in eight plate appearances today.
  • Dan Vogelbach and Mike Ford both showed what they can do at the plate today. Vogelbach tallied another single and a walk, while Ford obviously had his go-ahead homer and a walk of his own.
  • When Shannon Drayer joined the broadcast, she told the story behind Ljay Newsome’s name. His dad’s name is John and his mom’s name is Linda. Linda wanted a kid with a name that starts with “L,” but most people in John’s family had names that started with “J.” After some discussion and compromise, BOOM! You’ve got the name Ljay. Newsome fanned two of the three batters he faced in the ninth inning to slam the door.
  • Edwin Diaz pitched today during the third inning and stuck out two in a clean frame. Sam Moll and Ryan Cook also pitched scoreless frames. The Mariners got 7.1 scoreless innings of relief from Bryan Bonnell, Diaz, Moore, Cook, and Newsome.

The Mariners don’t play tomorrow, which is sad, but they’ll be back on TV Tuesday night against the Rockies at 5:40 PM.