Mariners Overcome Another Cuban Missile Crisis to Beat the A’s 8-7
The Mariners completed a sweep of the Oakland Athletics in a two game mini-series tonight by holding on to a 8-7 lead in a game that looked like it was going to be a blow-out, but developed in to a nail-biter thanks to another long ”Cuban Missile” homer by Yoenis Cespedes. Felix Hernandez managed to get through six and a third innings before leaving in the seventh with a couple of runners on did not look his usual over-powering self on the eve of his 26th birthday. King Felix appears to be pacing himself this year relying more on finesse and the movement on his pitches much like the aging veteran Bortolo Colon who got the start for the A’s tonight.
However unlike Colon who is also a Cy Young winner, Hernandez received a ton of run support early from his shipmates who collected 13 hits again tonight. None other than Chone Figgins lead things off with a triple in the first and scored on a grounder to second by Ackley to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead which held up until they exploded for six runs in the fourth inning. Ichiro had a pair of hits tonight as well, including a triple in the fourth inning on a ball that Yoenis Cespedes misplayed badly though he seems to make up for his iffy defense at the plate. It was also nice to see Munenori Kawasaki get his MLB debut tonight at short due to Brendan Ryan‘s sore neck. Kawasaki looked good in the field and also had a RBI single himself in the fourth. Apparently Kawasaki bowed to the third base umpire when he took the field out of respect! He is definitely a refreshing and fun addition to this club of no-names that is playing the game like it is intended to be played so far and having fun doing it!
Before the night was over Chone Figgins had three hits and now is batting .412 to lead the club. While I realize it is super early in the year I am just happy for Figgins after the last two dismal seasons he has had, forcing almost everyone in town including myself to turn on him. I suppose in honor of Easter you could say Chone Figgins is being resurrected from the dead right in front of our eyes and it is a real Miracle!
Speaking of miracles it is also nice to see another guy Michael Saunders who I have been down on at this Mariners Blog over the past couple seasons come back to life as well. Saunders looks much more aggressive at the plate and confident as well. Tonight Saunders delivered a solo homer in the top of the sixth that at the time didn’t seem that important but ended up being the difference in the game. Hats off to you Michael Saunders! I was wrong and I’m sorry for disrespecting you…..
Of Course the pesky Athletics playing in front of 16,612 of their loyal fans had no intention of going down without a fight tonight and once Yoenis Cespedes slammed his third homer in four games against us in the seventh to cut our lead to 1-run things didn’t look so great. But thanks to great relief work from our set-up man Tom Wilhelmsen, and a big out by Lucas Luetge who came into get one batter the Mariners were able to get to their closer League in the ninth who shut down the A’s to preserve the win.
So the Mariners are now 3-1 and will enjoy Easter Sunday off tomorrow before opening up a 4 four game series against a much tougher opponent in the Texas Rangers. This next series will be the real test to see if we can keep scoring runs and not revert to the anemic offense that has been on display for the past couple years. I’m still not sure whether I’m going to battle the crowds and head down to Safeco next Friday for our third ” Opening Day” of 2012, but I plan on hitting a couple of games of the home stand, hope to see you there! GoM’s! http://jeffsmariners.com
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