Found June 18, 2013 on
NorthWest Sports Beat:
The future is now
Mike Zunino has been making an impression for the last year in the Mariners fans heads, and now we get to see what he actually brings to the table.
In his first week he has made veteran catcher Kelly Shoppach expendable, taking over the every day catching duties leading to the DFA of Shoppach.
Earning the respect of a pitching staff has got to be one of the hardest things for a young catcher making his Major League debut mid season, but ever since his call up, the Mariners have lost only two games.
I don’t know if I want to give all of the credit to Zunino, but it is kind of ironic that we started winning as soon as he arrived at Safeco.
So this week is devoted to him, of course.
Not only did he gain his first hit, in what should have been an RBI single, but he also knocked his 1st career homerun too.
Milestones trump most things in baseball, and as they have all year here, I will continue with the trend. Zunino’s 1st homerun is this weeks POTW.
The moment of his life
As I said back in my piece here about Nick Franklin’s 1st career dinger, this is the moment that every kid in America dreams of: their 1st career home run.
Mike Zunino nails his first career dinger. (Photo: king5.com)
In just his third game in the bigs, Zunino got a chance to be the hero every one of us dreamed he would be.
On a 1-1 count, Zunino saw the pitch he wanted, turned on it and sent it to center field.
The shot broke the tie ball game, and ended up putting the A’s in the loss column for the first time in 11 games at home.
Not only did we beat the division leading A’s, but we did it against Tommy Milone, who has been pretty darn good against us over the past few years.
Is this the beginning of the turnaround?
We did win four out of six on the week. And against division rivals which are the most important ball games to win.
If Zunino can continue to corral the pitching staff the way he seemed to in his first week on the job, I think we will be in pretty good shape.
Sure the loss on Sunday was pretty uncharacteristic of Hisashi Iwakuma, but even the best teams get rocked every now and again.
Am I calling for a division title this year? Not at all.
But this week looks like the start of the finish we were promised coming out of Spring Training.
Back to the POTW though, this video I found on YouTube is pretty cool. It breaks down Zunino’s homerun swing in slow motion.
This is a really cool view of such a special moment in both Mike’s life, and all of ours as well. I hope you all enjoy it.
Video courtesy of YouTube.
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