Originally written April 30, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
SafeCo Joe first complete game for M’s Seattle 6, Baltimore 2 When: 10:10 PM ET, Monday, April 29, 2013 Where: Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington Temperature: Indoors Umpires: Home – Alan Porter, 1B – Greg Gibson, 2B – Hunter Wendelstedt, 3B – Mike Estabrook Attendance: 9818 Boxscore The Mariners came into Monday’s game full of confidence after winning their first series of the year and have now won three in a row for the first time this season. Things are looking better for the M’s, both in plate production and the final on the scoreboard. Imagine the possibilities if we could beat Houston. Seattle has now won 6 opening series games, and yet winning the series has proven difficult. This series will be a good measuring stick to see where the Mariners are after one month of baseball. Love ‘em 1. SafeCo Joe Please pitch Joe Saunders in SafeCo only! SafeCo Joe is amazing at home, with only one mistake in the 4th (a Matt Wieters two-run home run), Saunders ended up going the distance giving the bullpen a much-needed rest. 9 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s 2. Michael Saunders Yes, he crushed a home run in the first inning off a left-handed pitcher. Yes, he played great in CF, adding something Endy Chavez just can’t (an extra foot of height). But the best part of having Saunders back was the speed. On Kyle Seager’s first triple of the season, Saunders scored from first. The Mariners are last in SB’s so far, hopefully Saunders can steal some bags at the top of the order. 3. Hits Going into the game, the Mariners were 7th in hits in the AL, adding 11 more Monday. Resurgent play from Kyle Seager and a renewed Jason Bay (who added 3 hits and an RBI) has helped get the M’s on base. This team seems to lead the league in leaving the bases loaded, but unlike years past, the team provides multiple scoring opportunities in a single game. Yes, he crushed a home run in the first inning off a left-handed pitcher. Hate (these are less from Monday’s game and more from April as a whole) 1. Stolen Bases Did you know the Mariners were last in the league in stolen bases? Did you know that only 4 players have stolen bases? One of those players is Carlos Peguero. This team is built on power now, and that power has been ok but not great yet. Saunders will help with the speed of the team, but it would be good to get more players into scoring position. 2. 5 Days from now Please, please, please don’t pitch Saunders in Toronto on Sunday. This is a serious plea. Eric Wedge needs to think outside of the box and skip one of his starts and allow him to pitch at home against Oakland May 10, 11, or 12. I would even take a start from Hector Noesi or Blake Beavan than Saunders on the road! 3. Schedule The Mariners have had one day off in April-just one. This makes Saunders complete game so vital for the improvement of the team. Rest goes a long way for both the pitching staff and a young group of players trying to find their way. Thursday is the teams second off day of the year, which should bode well for the team heading east. Notes: Monday’s win was the first game at SafeCo Field with less than 10,000 people in attendance. In AAA, Mike Zunino recorded his first hit at home this season (a triple). CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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