Today the Mariners played a Very Spring Training Game and lost to the Rockies, 5-0. This game was sloppily played by the Mariners and also not a ton of fun to watch, so here’s what happened in easy-to-digest bullet points style:
- George Kirby made his first spring start and, well, looked like he was making his first spring start. He had a strong first inning, sitting 95 and carving through the top of the Rockies’ lineup 1-2-3, but in the second, left some pitches in the fat part of the plate first to Michael Toglia, who doubled, and then to Cesar Trejo, who hit a two-run homer.
- The Rockies scored another two runs in that second inning, but it wasn’t entirely Kirby’s fault, as Ty France made back-to-back costly errors, first getting eaten up by a ground ball and then whiffing on an attempt at a diving play to his right. The Raleigh-Kirby battery also had a passed ball/wild pitch in what was a sloppy inning all-around for the Mariners.
- Today also marked the debut of the new splitter Kirby is learning this off-season. He said the splitter isn’t coming as easily as the two-seamer, which happened to work perfectly with the natural supination of his wrist, and he threw “one good one, and one really bad one.”
- Kyle Freeland stymied the Mariners offense over three innings of work; the only real damage against him was a Julio double that came off the bat at 112 miles per hour and just missed being a home run.
- Trevor Gott had his best inning of work this spring so far. He pounded the zone, mixing his slider and fastball all over the plate, and struck out Toglia (it looked like a two-seamer, or maybe a front-door slider? Something with some late movement).
- J.B. Bukauskas also pitched well despite giving up a run (more on that in a second). The slider showed a lot of nice late break; it almost moves like a curveball. He struck out the side, getting Nolan Jones swinging through a slider, Brian Severn looking as he spotted a two-seamer perfectly on the inside corner, and Ezequiel Tovar swinging on a pitch running away from him. He should have had a clean inning except for more Mariners sloppiness, as J.P. Crawford sailed a throw on what should have been an easy groundout.
- Although to be fair there are no “easy” groundouts with Zac Veen, who is an utter menace. Veen stole three bases, two of them in that inning as he swiped second and third, single-handedly manufacturing the Rockies’ fifth run of the day. I do not think the Monforts deserve Zac Veen, but Rockies fans certainly do.
- Germán Márquez, despite my constant attempts to trade him to the Mariners, remains with Colorado and shut down the Mariners over his two innings of work.
- Penn Murfee befuddled the Rockies with his sliders, which looked especially dastardly today. If Murfee wanted to grow a villainous Snidley Whiplash-style handlebar mustache, I wouldn’t be opposed.
- The Mariners got their only run of the day when Jake Scheiner leaned into a Luke Bard fastball and deposited it over the left-field fence.
Schein bright like a diamond #SeaUsRise pic.twitter.com/tgySCoIHCF— Mariners Player Development (@MsPlayerDev) March 4, 2023
- Easton McGee also showed off a good slider, striking out the first batter he faced on it, and spotted his 93-94 mph fastball well. However, he gave up a hit to Rockies catching prospect Drew Romo and then an RBI triple to Cole Tucker, who almost left the yard. In his second inning of work, he hung a breaking ball for an RBI double (in fairness, the runner on second shouldn’t have been there but Alberto Rodríguez lost the ball in the sun) (also in fairness, Robert Pérez Jr., primarily a first baseman, was manning left field).
- In summation, the tl;dr version of today’s game:
Tomorrow’s game is against Milwaukee and will be televised on MLB TV, if you have that. Game time is 12:10 PT.