Friday got off to a dubious start in the baseball world. MLB announced that Tim Anderson, the player who was thrown at by Brad Keller and ejected from the Royals/White Sox game, was also to be suspended for one game for using a racial slur during the dust-up. Shortly after that announcement, Mariners fans got some very sour news on one of the system’s best prospects.
Mariners OF prospect Julio Rodriguez has a hairline fracture of his left hand. Was HBP on April 12 and hasn't played since. Timeline TBA.— Corey Brock (@CoreyBrockMLB) April 19, 2019
Rodriguez was off to a .355/.444/.452 start in nine games as an 18 y/o (!) in the South Atlantic League.
Rodriguez will be out of action for 4-6 weeks. It stings.
A lot of havoc being caused by HBP’s these days and I don’t like it.
You know what I do like? Beating the Angels.
You know what else I like? Dingers.
And this game delivered on both fronts, even with Angel Hernandez behind home plate and in spite of a mercifully brief period of despair and panic late in the game.
Catch up on all the action in the game thread:
Marco Gonzales was going for his fifth win of the season, which would have set a franchise record for pitcher wins before May 1 per Brad Adam. He came out strong and extremely crafty and pitched a relatively drama-free seven innings. He gave up one run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, but otherwise cruised with six strikeouts and two walks.
But then came the dreaded eighth inning, before which my dad and I had this text exchange:
Well shit, indeed. Sorry Dad, I must now retire in shame from the baseball blogging business. It’s been an honor and a privilege, y’all.
So, yes, Tim Beckham fielded a hard-hit grounder and bobbled the transfer, so David Fletcher reached base ahead of Mike Trout. Trout, who had looked rather pedestrian in his prior three at-bats (a strikeout, a line out, and a broken bat weak comebacker to the mound), came to the plate and capitalized on his apparent long-con by sending a pitch just below the zone well beyond the center field fence. It was a Muhammad Ali-approved rope-a-dope (the dope being me).
And so continued the mini-me version of last night’s game, except it was the starter blowing the lead instead of the oft-scapegoated bullpen. Whoops.
But, Tim Beckham had amends to make, and make them he did in very short order in the top of the ninth.
Followed right away by Omar Narváez’s second absolutely GOLFED home run in as many days.
The Mariners took the lead 5-3 and Roenis Elias came in to shut things down in a drama-free fashion for his fourth save of 2019. Neat!
Other Friday Night Notes
- This is the first Friday night win for the 2019 Mariners. Feels good to start the weekend off right!
- In the second inning, Jay Bruce hit his ninth home of 2019 and this came across my Twitter feed:
this keeps popping up on my Netflix recs with exceptionally high reviews pic.twitter.com/N3a9bciRUt— Lydia Cruz (@TheLydiaCruz) April 20, 2019
I mean, Lydia is not wrong!
- It’s no secret that I am long time booster of Daniel Vogelbach, so here is his crucial 2-run shot from the fourth inning in all its glory:
- In the bottom of the seventh, Marco was absolutely rolling and got to feast on the soft underbelly of the bottom third of the Angels lineup. A long flyout by Kole Calhoun to center field was followed by a weak pop out in foul territory by Peter Bourjos, and then Marco came in for the kill with this strikeout of Zack Cozart:
- The bottom of the eighth was quite an adventure. There was the previously discussed Trout game-tying dinger, which prompted the Mariners bullpen into action. Cory Gearrin, who pitches like he’s trying to avoid being seen by a Tyrannosaurus Rex, got Simmons to pop out, but then hit Albert Pujols with a pitch. Zach Rosscup came in to face real-life Homer Simpson look-alike Justin Bour, which resulted in this:
You’ll note that Dee Gordon notices that Bour has chosen to NOT to run to first base on a pop-up, so he directs traffic during this entire play and tells Ryon Healy to let it drop, then throw it to Beckham at second, who then non-chalantly throws it to first for the double play. Here’s Healy on his thought process during this play:
More Healy on Dee Gordon's help: "I felt like he was playing MLB the Show and just controlled me on a little controller. But it was awesome."— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) April 20, 2019
"I looked at first, first. I almost threw it there and I would've ruined the whole entire thing. Luckily I had Dee there to help." https://t.co/XMB9anb4bO
God bless us, everyone.
The Mariners take on the Angels tomorrow at 6:07 PM in game three of the four game series. Yusei Kikuchi looks to bounce back from his last rough start and notch his first MLB win, but the Mariners will have to solve the mystery wrapped in an enigma that is Trevor Cahill to make it happen. Go Mariners. Hit dingers.