It wasn’t an auspicious beginning. After being shut out in their last two games, the Mariners’ scoreless inning streak became old enough to drink when Dee Gordon grounded out to end the second inning, stranding two runners aboard. Tonight’s starter, Nick Margevicius, valiantly battled through the murderer’s row at the top of the Dodgers lineup (and this was without an ill Mookie Betts) but couldn’t hold up in the second, when the Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs. A double play, although scoring a run, helped Margarita escape the Master, but those early innings seemingly set the tone for what would surely be a shellacking at the hands of the presumptive 2020 World Series Champs.
But Seattle’s pitching staff was having none of that.
The only other runs than the tally given up by Margevicius (MarJEVicuss, I can seemingly do the spelling or the pronunciation correctly but not both) were surrendered by lefty Anthony Misiewicz, who labored through the third inning, allowing a leadoff double to The Other Seager Brother, walking catcher Will Smith, and surrendering a two-run double to Anthony Garcia. Misiewicz (Mish-ev-itz, a fun night for the speak-n-spell) did collect two strikeouts and cap the damage at two runs. After that, the Mariners pitching staff buckled down and didn’t allow another run to cross the plate. Joey Gerber, a fearsome carnival of arms and legs, posted a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout (of A.J. Pollock, nonetheless):
So did Aaron Fletcher, himself a nightmare of ball-hiding prowess:
Eric Swanson collected himself another two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 inning, and the final two pitchers of the game, Taylor Williams and Scott Boches, each struck out the side. And while those two weren’t facing the Pollocks and Luxes and Seagers, they weren’t exactly striking out creampuffs: Zach McKinstry, Omar Estevez, Jacob Amaya, and Jeren Kendall are all well-regarded prospects in a top-5 system, and all except Kendall are on the Dodgers’ top 30 list.
thanks for coming, tip your server and goodnight pic.twitter.com/CBdxJ4QFnY— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) March 7, 2020
In all, Mariners pitching struck out 17 (SEVENTEEN) Dodgers hitters while walking just three.
On the offensive side, Jake Fraley broke the scoreless streak in the third with this moonshot:
If you read the Moose Tracks today (and shame on you if you didn’t, we work very hard to make you piping hot content to wake up to every morning), you’ll have seen that I was talking about a podcast Jake Fraley appeared on called the “Unofficially Official” podcast. It’s worth a listen for several reasons (including the world’s most on-brand story about Alex Bregman at LSU), but also, Jake Fraley promised the host he’d hit a bomb for him. As you might expect, said podcast host was very excited.
EVEN more exciting was the other big blast of the night. Kyle Lewis has been quiet this spring after tearing the cover off the ball last spring training, but he made a joyful noise tonight with the bases loaded:
Kyle Lewis is having a grand time at #SpringTraining for the @Mariners.— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 7, 2020
Here's our scouting report on the 24-year-old who couldn't stop hitting homers in his #MLB debut last year: https://t.co/yWB8T8MCEn pic.twitter.com/OcUAZHgv2B
That blast would put the Mariners up 7-3, after they had rallied to tie the game in the fifth, again led by a Fraley RBI single, tied up on an Evan White sac fly. Jose Marmolejos and Chris Mariscal would add RBI doubles in the ninth, victimizing Justus’s brother Jordan Sheffield, for a final tally of nine runs, or nine times more than we’ve seen over the past two games. Other offensive heroes include Evan White, who hit the ball hard to left, right, and center in each of his three at-bats but only got a single and a sac fly to show in the box score, and J.P. Crawford, who checked in with two hits including a hustle triple, after which he had to take a little nap:
Dee Gordon also had a double! It was that kind of night.
Special shoutout as well to Austin Nola, who had a single himself but more importantly showed well behind the dish, handling a variety of different pitchers with different styles, from the soft-toss stylings of Margevicius to the lefty curveball-heavy repertoire of Misiewicz to Joey Gerber’s high-heat funk express to Aaron Fletcher’s deceptive lefty ways. Nola showed good receiving skills and blocked well, and also made some good picks when Marge and Gerber, especially, suffered a bout of the Wandering Command. Nola’s catching skills have been a pleasant surprise this spring after seeing him mostly at first base last year.
Tomorrow the Mariners get their first look at Oakland this spring, with a day game that starts at 12:10 PT and will be broadcast on ROOT (as well as 710 ESPN, for the radio-inclined). Kendall Graveman is slated to make the start against his old team.