As you’ve come to expect at Lookout Landing dot com, we’re here with a game recap so that those of you who didn’t catch the game live can relive it after the fact. We wouldn’t want you to miss the Real Experience (™) of following this game closely and soaking in all the available coverage! Tonight, that means you get a running account of the topics discussed on the broadcast, no images, and very little specific info about the play on the field. You’re welcome.
In all seriousness, with no TV coverage, no Statcast/Gameday, and the radio broadcasters barely talking about the game, the baseball-related takeaways are few. But if you wish you knew what Aaron Goldsmith, Gary Hill, and (guest in the booth, Mariners GM and Executive Vice President) Justin Hollander talked about over the course of a three-hour Spring Training game, boy are you in luck.
The lineups are starting to resemble the Opening Day lineups, and for as long as that held true, the Mariners absolutely dominated. Former Mariners’ pitching prospect Brandon Williamson had trouble locating this evening, walking Julio Rodríguez and Kolten Wong to start the first inning. Then the hits started to flow, and hard ones at that. There was much talk of exit velocity on the broadcast, though of course we don’t know the exit velocity of a single ball from this game. A Teoscar Hernandez single, Eugenio Suárez double, and an RBI groundout from Jarred Kelenic gave the Mariners a 3-0 lead after the first.
During this inning, the broadcasters discussed: the merits of soft serve ice cream, their most memorable taxi rides, dog names and nicknames, their favorite Jake Fraley moments, and outfielders’ belly buttons.
The second and third innings were home run showcases for the M’s. First Sam Haggerty hit what Goldsmith said was “the farthest home run I’ve ever seen him hit not down the line.” Then in the third, after hard hits by AJ Pollock and Kelenic, Tom Murphy crushed what was apparently an extremely impressive three-run homer that none of us will ever see. Hernandez got in on the party, too, with a home run over the batter’s eye that inspired the broadcast to call him “a Statcast dream.” After three, the Mariners led 11-0.
Where Hollander watches games from at T-Mobile, eating carbs, pretzel toppings, which Reds players Hollander will snatch for the M’s next, Revenge Games, the 2020 alternate site, Ryan Langerhans, catcher preparation, a lengthy bit about Hollander making mid-game management decisions, new foods at T-Mobile, Mariners Director of Major League Operations Jack Mosimann’s Wildcats fandom, Hollander’s marriage, immaculate innings, people in Arizona who have dune buggies, rain in Arizona, fancy ice cream, and the death of Cincinatti.
The Mariners scored four more runs in the fourth inning, during which the broadcast let two at bats go by without talking about them. By the middle of this inning, every Mariner had reached base in the game, and Julio had four times as many at bats so far as many of the Reds (his fourth at bat being a home run to right center).
Chili 3 way 4 way and 5 way, dissing on beans, how many chili cans can feed the family, St. Louis style pizza, Ohio style pizza, what if we got a cycle and an immaculate inning tonight, the definition of batting around, watching baseball on tv as a kid, meeting Ken Griffey, Jr., having dinner with Ichiro, Ichiro’s dedication, Julio and Ichiro’s relationship, and how to notate a strikeout resulting from a pitch clock violation on one’s scorecard.
After scoring an additional run in the top of the fifth on a Suárez home run, the Mariners swapped out all but two players for folks you’ve barely heard of, Senior Night style, and the broadcast fully gave up trying to cover individual pitches (and in some cases at bats).
Developing new players, businesses onboarding plans, Paul Sewald now, Paul Sewald a bunch of years ago, the Cactus League Hall of Fame, hiking Camelback, weird things people carry while hiking, we can’t tell the difference between Brash’s pitches, we won’t stand in on bullpen sessions because we might get hit and die, “This one time Jarred Weaver…,” John Olerud and Jay Buhner hitting for the cycle, what if there’s an immaculate inning that ends with a pitch clock violation strike, and Edwin Diaz’ Cactus League immaculate inning.
On the pitching side, Flexen went four innings, reaching the innings range the team hoped to stretch him out to today. He gave up five hits and two runs, with two strikeouts and two walks. Like Williamson, his command wasn’t stellar, but it’s Spring and we didn’t see any of it, so there’s nothing to conclude. Muñoz, Sewald, Brash, Topa, and Benitez each got in one inning of work, with Muñoz giving up three runs (only one earned), Sewald one, and Brash looking (sounding?) sharp. We did get the treat of a pitch clock violation triggering a walk, so that was fun.
Justin Hollander predicting what Justin Topa is going to throw, Luis Castillo fitting in well with the Mariners, when DeGrom had long hair and hit Haniger in the face, George Kirby’s bored face when doing all sports, immaculate innings, George Kirby’s cold tub, and at what score a team is too far behind to say “here in the 9th, it’s the last chance for the Reds,” because they don’t actually have a chance.
They decided that tonight the answer was 17 to 6, and they were right.