Today was a stressful and chaotic day for many of us, but in the way that it so often does, baseball provided a respite this evening for Mariners fans. And thanks to a bases-loaded Jose Marmolejos double in the 6th inning, the teal-and-green-clad fans in Peoria left happy, if also rain-soaked, with a 4–2 win over the San Diego Padres.
Marco Gonzales, the likely Opening Day starter, took the hill hoping to ramp up towards a game-ready state. Despite a Juan Lagares grounder off his foot, Marco said he accomplished that goal, throwing 60+ pitches across 3.1 innings and just one earned run, striking out five.
Taylor Guilbeau, Carl Edwards Jr. (who really is super skinny), and Scott Boches combined for 3.2 scoreless innings of relief, albeit with just one strikeout.
On offense, the Mariners were somewhat stymied by Pads starter (and proud member of Kate Preusser’s #TeamFun fantasy baseball squad) Dinelson Lamet. The 27-year-old righty made his MLB debut for San Diego back in 2017, recording 139 strikeouts in 114 innings, before undergoing TJ surgery in March 2018. He didn’t make his return to the bigs until the Fourth of July last season, but when he did pitch, he was still electric, this time boosting his K/9 from 10.94 to 12.95. Lamet had three Ks against just one hit allowed in four innings, and his replacement (closer Kirby Yates) had a similar result.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning, against uber-prospect Mackenzie Gore, that the M’s got things rolling. Tim Lopes (more on him later!) laced a single into center field on a 1–2 pitch, followed by a Shed Long strikeout and a pair of walks by Evan White and Vogey. After Kyle Lewis struck out swinging, Marmolejos came to bat with the stage set and quickly fell behind 1–2.
Next pitch: an inside fastball that jammed him a bit, but our Dominican delight fouled it off to stay alive.
Next pitch: curveball, high, and Marmo laid off. Gore missed his spot here, and with 30 pitches in the inning, a mistake pitch would be just what the doctor ordered.
Next pitch: curveball, high, but over the plate. And the rest, as they say, is Peoria history:
The 27-year-old might still be a longshot to make the club (as a non-roster invitee, his chances of nabbing a 26-man and a 40-man roster shot seem low, especially since he’s not going to be manning centerfield any time soon), but this was a nice hit for any batter. The fact that it came off a fellow southpaw, and a top-five prospect in all of baseball, makes it even more impressive.
From there, the M’s added an insurance run in the 7th largely thanks to poor defense from the Padres — with fellow top-100 prospect Luis Patiño flubbing the throw to first off a literal comebacker and shortstop Tucupita Marcano flubbing a catch on what could have been a double play. Given the pouring rain, which is very obviously visible in the highlights above and which shortened the game to just seven frames, it’s hard to blame the youngsters too much.
The other major news of note on the diamond today was in the race for the Mariners’ Opening Day utility infielder, where Patrick Wisdom lost some (more) ground. In the 7th, with two runners on base and nobody out, Wisdom struck out. This at-bat — his only of the game — ran his numbers this spring to just three hits in 22 at-bats, with 14 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Tim Lopes is out here doing stuff like this:
While ST numbers are fairly meaningless, Lopes has looked much better than Wisdom this spring, and given the minimal commitment the M’s made to Wisdom when they signed him in November, I’d be surprised to see Patty Dub make the big club on Opening Day.
That’s about all the news that’s fit to print from today’s Arizona action. With luck, we’ll see you here tomorrow, when the M’s are set to take on the Royals in an afternoon contest.