Game One Recap

Dave · April 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I’d suggest that the M’s won that one for Dave, but he’s worthy of a better win than the one we just saw, so we’ll save that for when the team isn’t handed a gift by their opponents. We’ll just get this out of the way quickly so we can move on to the positives from an opening night victory for your first place Seattle Mariners – the A’s played as bad a baseball game as you can play. They were officially charged with five errors, and it probably should have been six, given Pennington’s lousy throw home on the Olivo collision play. That was a rather embarrassing defensive performance from Oakland tonight.

But, credit to the M’s, they took advantage of some of the opportunities they were given. After stranding a bunch of runners early, Ichiro had a classic Ichiro base hit to score Brendan Ryan (and he stole two bases), Jack Cust did what he does and drew a bunch of walks, Justin Smoak ripped a double into the gap (off a lefty, no less), and Chone Figgins hit a home run. The M’s got some help from the A”s, but they also created a few rallies.

It was frustrating early when they couldn’t get anyone in, but if you keep putting men on base, you’ll eventually come away with runs, and the M’s essentially won by attrition tonight. We know this team isn’t the ’27 Yankees, but if they can draw walks and get a few extra base hits per night, they’ll score enough runs to not be a laughing stock.

As for Felix, well, this is why he’s The King – that wasn’t his most dominating performance ever, but he knew he was going up against a mediocre line-up, so he pounded the strike zone and let them hit the ball right at his infielders. He pitched to contact because he could, and while he elevated a few fastballs early, he was able to get the groundouts he wanted for most of the game. You won’t look back at this start like his one-hitter in Boston, but it was an efficient, workman-like performance from a guy who has figured out how to pitch.

There will be nights when Felix needs to strike everyone out, or his stuff is so ridiculous that opposing hitters just can’t touch him. Tonight was not one of those nights, so instead, he just got a bunch of ground ball outs and took a complete game victory. That he can do stuff like this now is one of the reasons he’s so great – the strikeout ability is still there, but he also knows how to back off when facing a weaker offense, and that’s exactly what he did tonight.

Mature Felix is a lot of fun to root for. Long Live The Grownup King.


23 Responses to “Game One Recap”

  1. Gregor on April 1st, 2011 10:01 pm

    So, is Larry going to start tomorrow?

  2. smb on April 1st, 2011 10:06 pm

    We’ll take it…always a joy to watch the King do his thing.

  3. msb on April 1st, 2011 10:06 pm

    He is definitely the King now.

  4. Sports on a Schtick on April 1st, 2011 10:06 pm

    Mariners batters struck out, what, 14 times tonight? Flip side is the seven walks. 184 pitches by Oakland. Make those suckers work!

    Loved the aggressiveness on the basepaths. Infield defense looked all right aside from Figgins’ high throw. Nice win but the A’s basically gave this one away.

  5. IwearMsHats on April 1st, 2011 10:08 pm

    This game was a lot better than game 1 of last season. This team just looks better than that team. Of course we haven’t seen the bullpen yet though…

  6. EthanN on April 1st, 2011 10:14 pm

    I’m loving what I saw today. Sure it was ugly, but it was a win dammit!

  7. Adam B. on April 1st, 2011 10:46 pm

    The offense tonight felt like the Mariners “out A’d” the A’s.

    It’s an dramatically different brand of baseball then what we showed when Lopez, Betancourt, Beltre and Johjima were in the line-up, and it’s going to take me awhile to get used to the idea that the M’s in general are not going to get themselves out in 3 pitches.

  8. eddie on April 1st, 2011 10:51 pm

    It was a road win! And they came from behind. Figgins with his annual home run, you can’t beat a victory.

    It seems like a better lineup than last year, with more strengths so that individual players don’t have so much pressure to perform. Put Gutierrez in for Langerhans and you may have something cooking.

    I thought the infield defense looked good, and Brendan Ryan looked good.

    They beat the A’s ace!

  9. earinc on April 1st, 2011 11:05 pm

    All I can say is, Felix has got it goin’ on, and that is priority #1. Swagger, baby. That struck me as a ballsy move by Wedge, leaving Felix in for the CG, until I realized that riding Felix as much as he possibly can is probably in his best interests, more than anyone’s. But frankly, Felix seems up to the task, so go for it, gentlemen. Let bromance bloom.

    Chone’s opening day HR has to merit some kind of Jayson Stark Useless Info entry.

    Ichiro seems ready to go; with it, the world seems more right. Here’s to Japan.

  10. Jar on April 1st, 2011 11:10 pm

    Wait, wait, wait. So, you are telling me, that if a batter gets 4 called balls in an at bat, they can just walk on down to 1st base, no questions asked?

  11. wabbles on April 1st, 2011 11:19 pm

    “Wait, wait, wait. So, you are telling me, that if a batter gets 4 called balls in an at bat, they can just walk on down to 1st base, no questions asked?”

    Well, the key is that the batter must not swing at any of the pitches that otherwise would be judged as balls. Then yes, the batter can simply “walk” down to first base.

  12. shortbus on April 1st, 2011 11:29 pm

    Sure the A’s made a lot of mistakes, but the M’s scored 4 earned runs today, and that’s what the projections said they’d score on average. When Felix pitches scoring 4 runs should be enough and today, it was.

    This game came off just like they drew it up.

  13. Jack Howland on April 1st, 2011 11:42 pm

    The Mariners only had four games last season where they drew at least seven unintentional walks. Interestingly, one of those four games last season was also opening night in Oakland.

  14. shortbus on April 2nd, 2011 12:09 am

    And Kotchman had 4 RBI. So what you’re saying is that it might be possible that tonight isn’t indicative of what the M’s will do the rest of the season.

    Except Figgins who will hit 162 home runs.

  15. MrZDevotee on April 2nd, 2011 12:13 am

    This was a good win, beyond the A’s ugliness. The fact that we got a kid who was outpitching our Cy Young ace OUT OF THE GAME before he even had a chance for a decision is what won it for us. Patience all over the place. As his pitch count went up, Felix’s went down per inning… Felix did exactly what was needed– when he realized he wasn’t getting the top of the strike zone, or the corners, he simply let them put the ball in play, keeping everything down. Bunch of outs followed. Textbook baseball on our side. This was what we THOUGHT we could do last year– bunch of guys doing little things that add up to a solid win.

    Go M’s!

  16. jordan on April 2nd, 2011 5:23 am

    Dont expect a repeat today… Brett Anderson is just nasty, and we don’t got the king on the mound. Might be a long night…

  17. sexymarinersfan on April 2nd, 2011 8:04 am

    I really liked the way our defense looked tonight. I hope Saunders gets the start tonight. I’d really like him to start getting some regular playing time, whether Langerhans was hot or not. I don’t mind him starting here or there just as long we know that he’s not the future. Overall a solid win all around, and we took advantage of their mistakes. It’s early, so we just need to play fundamental baseball right now. Felix was Felix and the best thing about tonight was I thought, our infield defense. Now that is a sharp good looking group of defenders. Ackley will have plenty of mentors when he gets the call. The thing about our infield is that they actually have room to improve as well. This could be the defensive unit JackZ has been talking about contstructing, plus I really like seeing Jack Wilson at 2nd base. We needed a veteran presence there. He just makes it look like he’s been playing there for years.

    Go M’s!

  18. rjjunior on April 2nd, 2011 9:14 am

    As others have said, yes Oakland’s D sucked, but they didn’t hand the M’s a gift. Mariners had the lead before the comedy of errors. It was just gravy.

  19. Slippery Elmer on April 2nd, 2011 9:32 am

    Wedge’s nose appears to be allergic to his moustache.

    Good win.

  20. Westside guy on April 2nd, 2011 10:29 am

    If game one is an indication of things to come – I’m going to mostly enjoy watching this team take at-bats, but Olivo is going to drive me nuts when he’s at the plate. He got some hits last night, but he’s obviously been studying at the Jose Lopez school.

    Also, I really hope Langerhans hasn’t changed his approach, and all the strikeouts from last year and spring training aren’t indicative of what we’ll see him do this year!

  21. McD on April 2nd, 2011 11:51 am

    It might actually have been a good thing for Felix to give up 2 runs last night. Now we won’t have to hear about how he hasn’t given up any runs or any home runs to start the season. It will help keep some pressure off him. There’s already enough on him. We forget sometimes that he’s still shy of his 25th birthday.

  22. jordan on April 2nd, 2011 3:08 pm

    I don’t mind that Olivo hits like Lopez. It’s still better that Rob Johnson.

  23. Andrew34 on April 2nd, 2011 3:18 pm

    I agree with jordan. Even if he is somewhat Lopez-esque its still a whole lot better than what they had last year. Add in the veteran presence (which will be key with the younger rotation) and Olivo is a much better option than last years offensive blackhole.

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