It appears the Mariners partied a little too hard at FanFest over the weekend as they fell 8-0 to the Padres in their inaugural game in their newly minted home.
Mike Leake fanned Ian Kinsler to open the game (SUCK IT, IAN), but it was all downhill from there as the 2-3-4-5 hitters for the Padres went single-double-home run-double before Leake induced a popup that was followed by the inevitable Ryon Healy error at the hot corner and then another home run allowed. Before many fans found their $10 sit-wherever-the-heck-you-want seats, the Padres had batted around and the M’s were down 6-0.
Chris Paddack, who the started the game for the Padres, was every bit as advertised, striking out Mallex Smith and Jay Bruce in the first as we all continued growing increasingly dumbfounded that he was acquired for half a season of Fernando Rodney. (Fun fact: Rodney allowed 24 earned runs in 36.2 innings for Miami over the remainder of that season)
The second inning appeared to be off to a rough start as Kinsler roped a line drive off the left field fence, but Domingo Santana wisely elected to field it off the carom and cut Kinsler down well short of second base with a strong throw from near the warning track.
There remained little to get excited about for Mariners fans as the game unfolded, while Edwin Encarnacion fanned twice and continued to play questionable defense at first, prompting me to tell my roommate that the Mariners are going to DFA him before Thursday (the people want Vogey. The people NEED VOGEY). Outside of a Ryon Healy single and a Domingo Santana walk, the Mariners offensive remained silent, even after Paddack’s departure upon hitting his pitch limit for the night in the fourth inning.
Leake rebounded from his rocky first inning quite admirably, scattering four hits and allowing just one run—a solo home run by Manuel Margot—over his next 4.1 innings. Somewhere during Leake’s last inning, I accompanied my roommate on his Uber Eats delivery, an order from a particularly poorly-staffed KFC, Dylan Moore apparently made a nice play that was salvaged by a “firstbaseman-ish” looking pick by Daniel Vogelbach according to one Shannon Drayer.
Taking over in the sixth, Cory Gearrin promptly struck out Fernando Tatis Jr. and Austin Hedges to end the inning.
Reliever of the Year Award front-runner Hunter Strickland toed the rubber for the M’s in the seventh, striking out the side in impressive fashion (never mind that he surrendered Manuel Margot’s second home run of the night). Back-to-back walks by Tim Lopes and Kristopher Negron in the bottom half of the frame were negated by consecutive strikeouts of Jose Lobaton and Austin Nola as the Mariners’ first and only real offensive threat of the game came to pass.
Zac Rosscup continued making his case to be named the Mariners steal of the offseason, striking out two in a spotless eight inning, pushing his strikeout total to 12 through 9.0 combined innings as a Mariner, over which he’s yet to yield a run and my goodness I don’t know how anyone is every going to hit his stuff and funky delivery.
Nice work by Zac Rosscup tonight for @Mariners including a pair of strikeouts. #TrueToTheBlue #WHEREiROOT pic.twitter.com/4pSX1CgzJ7— ROOT SPORTS™ | NW (@ROOTSPORTS_NW) March 26, 2019
Chasen Bradford followed him up by working an efficient 1-2-3 ninth inning. Noted member of The Kids™ Jake Fraley wasted no time roping an opposite field single to start off the ninth, but a strikeout looking by fellow-Kid Evan White, and swinging strikeouts of Tim Lopes and Kristopher Negron and the book was closed on the night’s action.
I’m really really really hoping that the next time the Mariners are looking to make a serious postseason push, they don’t open the season going from playing in Arizona to playing in Japan to hosting FanFest in Seattle to playing in Seattle right before the season starts.
Have fun following tomorrow’s game at work!