Today the Mariners completed their first Spring Training game of 2019, defeating the A’s 8-1. and pushing their Spring Training run differential to +12. For the second straight day, the Mariners’ offense exploded early, hanging four runs on starter Daniel Mengden and reliever Ryan Buchter. Unlike yesterday, the Mariners were able to play a full game, and dominated the A’s on both sides of the ball for all nine innings.
The Mariners got on the board early, tagging a rusty-looking Daniel Mengden for two runs. Mengden walked Dee Gordon on four objectively terrible pitches, then grooved a fastball to Mitch Haniger, who does not look rusty:
Mitch Haniger goes YARD against Daniel Mengden.— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) February 22, 2019
Such a sweet sound. pic.twitter.com/oXIlgvKo5X
The M’s continued the offensive onslaught in the third against Oakland reliever Ryan Buchter, with a Haniger walk, a Kyle Seager oppo single (his second hit of the day, following a double in the first), a credible Ryon Healy walk (!!!), and then this
clear-cut ringing double bloop single off the bat of Ichiro, scoring two:
First hit of the year for the 45-year-old retired/unretired Ichiro. pic.twitter.com/w2C5Os2ANv— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) February 22, 2019
The Mariners’ reserves also notched a run against A’s top pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo, with Tim Lopes and Dom Thompson-Williams recording hits. DTW’s hit was beating out an infield single despite a nice stop by A’s prospect Sheldon Neuse, but Lopes’s hit was a solidly-struck double. Luzardo would nail Joe DeCarlo on three straight pitches, moving all over the zone, but Kristopher Negron would hit into a fielder’s choice and a fielding error from Franklin Barreto scored the run. Evan White also logged a strong at-bat against Luzardo, drawing a walk. Luzardo looked undeniably good, however, and there’s a good chance we will see him with the A’s this season.
J.B. Wendelken is an actual human’s name, and he was the last victim of the Mariners’ offense today, surrendering a leadoff single to Dustin Ackley before allowing him to advance to second on a wild pitch, and then singles to Jose Lobaton, Tim Lopes, and Joe DeCarlo, making up for his earlier strikeout with a two-run single and pushing the Mariners to an 8-0 lead.
On the other side of the ball, the M’s pitching staff clamped down on the A’s with a strong two innings from Ol’ Reliable, Mike Leake, followed by scoreless innings from Zac Rosscup, Shawn Armstrong, Dan Altavilla, Justin Dunn, Chasen Bradford, and Ruben Alaniz. The only Mariner pitcher to give up a run was Nick Rumbelow in the 9th, who showed off some good location but also surrendered the lone Mariner run given up to the A’s so far in 2019, with this home run to A’s catching prospect Sean Murphy:
Sean Murphy's solo blast provided the #Athletics with their first run of 2019. Murphy, who hit eight homers in 73 @MiLB games last season, is No. 3 on the new @Athletics Top 30 Prospects list: https://t.co/JMHoQqDRHo pic.twitter.com/lnsp9ZnamF— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) February 23, 2019
Of the parade of Mariners pitchers, most impressive were Zac Rosscup, who struck out two batters, and Justin Dunn, who struck out one, but worked at 95 with with run and flashed a curveball in his 1-2-3 inning. (He also got a little help from outfielder Tito Polo.)
We’ll do it all again tomorrow. Welcome to baseball, everyone.