Let’s start with the two highlights from today’s game.
First, Robinson Canó changed sports on us in the first inning — when Houston starter Lance McCullers tried to sneak a low curve by him, he tried his best Tiger Woods/Jordan Spieth impression and golfed it out of the park.
With career homer #302, @RobinsonCano surpasses Rogers Hornsby for 2nd-most all-time among MLB second basemen. #TrueToTheBlue pic.twitter.com/LiAyTgeF0f— Mariners (@Mariners) April 18, 2018
Second, Mike Blowers gave us a Very Good Boy in the second inning!
Beyond that, this game never really heated up. Aríel Miranda, making his first start of the season, vacillated between in control and teetering on the verge of calamity. In five innings, he walked four and allowed six hits plus a run, leaving the bases loaded in two separate frames. On the whole, it was a respectable outing for the Cuban lefty, and one that the M’s will gladly take from the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
But it certainly paled in comparison to McCullers’ 6.2 innings of work. The Tampa, Florida native tied a career high with 11 strikeouts, looking nothing like the guy who walked eight batters in his last start just six days ago. He allowed only one hit — that Canó homer in the first — and kept the M’s guessing all night.
Miraculously, despite the clear difference between McCullers’ domination and Miranda’s competent pitching, the game remained tied at one apiece until the 6th. Dan Altavilla didn’t have his best command, but it certainly didn’t help that he got squeezed by the ump. After a leadoff walk to Evan Gattis, and a wild pitch that allowed Gattis and his glacial pace to make it to second, Altavilla’s 1-1 pitch to Brian McCann looked pretty good but failed to get the call from home plate umpire Sean Barber. What could have been a 1-2 count instead was a 2-1 count, and the rest, as they say...
First homer of the season for McCann! #NeverSettle pic.twitter.com/lp3QX1ACvO— Houston Astros (@astros) April 18, 2018
Will Harris and Chris Devenski then came in and shut the door, with the game ending on a line-drive double play because of course it did.
Looking for a couple of treats, some hits and a few runs, too. Astros lead 4-1 in the 8th. Haniger, Vogelbach & Ichiro due up. #GoMariners pic.twitter.com/8WmhcF9aj1— Mariners (@Mariners) April 18, 2018
If you’re unable to sit still right now and you’re looking for some schadenfreude, Shohei Ohtani had to leave the Angels game in the third inning due to a blister, and Albert Pujols was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. I don’t want to wish ill on anyone, but if Ohtani’s blister issue continues to plague him, it will certainly raise questions about the long-term viability of playing both ways at the MLB level.
Ohtani had blister problems in 2016. He pitched through it in the beginning of the year and looked.. basically like he did tonight. Took him a month to get over it. Then missed 6 weeks as a pitcher due to blisters late in the year, mostly because he was hitting too well.— Daniel Brim (@DanielBrim) April 18, 2018
Back to the Mariners. Today was not a pretty game. This was not a pretty result. But the beauty of baseball is that in a little less than 24 hours, we get a chance to do the whole thing over again. See you tomorrow night at the corner of Edgar & Dave.