Archive for the ‘ Japan Opening Series ’ Category

Mariners vs. Yomiuri Giants, March 26

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Mariners Game Central (March 26)

The Mariners (12-8-1) play tonight in Japan vs. the Yomiuri Giants at Tokyo Dome. Here is game information for today’s game vs. the Giants:

Opponent: vs. Yomiuri Giants
Site: Tokyo Dome
Pitching Match-up: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma vs.  RHP Dennis Houlton
Time: 7:04 p.m. in Japan/3:04 a.m. in Seattle
Radio: The game will air live on Mariners.com (subscription) and on ESPN 710 Seattle.
Live Stats: Live pitch-by-pitch coverage will be provided on Mariners.com via the Gameday feature.
Game Information:  | Mariners Game Notes  | Gameday Roster | MLB Gameday |

Mariners lineup vs. Yomiuri Giants, March 26

Japan: Mariners vs. Hanshin Tigers (March 25)

Here is a recap of the Mariners first day in Japan playing an exhibition game vs. the Hanshin Tigers. The Mariners dropped the game to the Tigers 5-1.

An early morning for the Mariners traveling party, with 8:00 am bus times to head to the stadium.  Once the players got to the Tokyo Dome, it felt like the regular season once again (though we’ll get that true feeling on Wednesday when Felix Hernandez takes the mound against the Athletics).

The Tigers had the early batting practice time slot and it was interesting to walk out and see the side-by-side batting cages on the field.  Two former Mariners were on the field for the Hanshin Tigers, Kenji Johjima was all smile as he took his swings in the cage, and pitcher Randy Messenger made the rounds greeting former teammates and friends. Both Johjima and Messenger are entering their third season with the Tigers.

Hanshin had two cages on the field for BP.

The crowd started pouring in early and the stands quickly filled up as the pre-game ceremonies approached.

Pre-game introductions.

All of the coaches and players for both teams were introduced, Guillermo Quiroz sat behind the plate for the first pitch but he didn’t actually need his glove to catch it. The pitch came in and it sailed way over Quiroz’s head and hit the backstop, nearly hitting Mariners team photographer Ben Van Houten.

The game got underway and the flashing cameras filled the Tokyo Dome when Ichiro stepped up to the plate. Ichiro promptly rewarded the fans for their support with a single to left field.

Ichiro steps in for his first at-bat.

Right-hander Hector Noesi got the start and had a solid performance, retiring the side in order in the first frame, allowing three runs in the 2nd and bouncing back to toss three more scoreless frames.

Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez relieved Noesi and retired the side in order in the sixth, striking out the first two batters he faced.  Munenori Kawasaki got a rousing ovation when he entered the game in the bottom of the sixth.

Erasmo Ramirez congratulated after a shutout inning.

After Brandon League pitched a scoreless eighth inning, Casper Wells put the Mariners on the board with a long home run to center field on the first pitch he saw from the right-hander.

Casper Wells congratulated after his home run in the ninth.

Something a little different that is done in Japan that isn’t the norm in Major League Baseball is the in-game quotes. Twice during the game assistants came around with quotes from Hanshin Tigers players. Since Casper Wells hit a home run in the ninth, we had to gather a quote from him post-game.

Casper commented, “I assumed he was going to try to get ahead so I went up there trying to be aggressive and I got a pitch that I could handle.”

These games in Tokyo are being handled like they were MLB postseason games. After the game, the losing team is made available first while the winning side comes in right after.

Eric Wedge, Munenori Kawasaki and Miguel Olivo in the post-game news conference.

The clubhouse was a chaotic after the game with 60-70 people in there at one time trying to grab quotes from players. The clubhouse in the Tokyo Dome is tiny, with the only one on the same level being the Fenway Park visiting clubhouse.

We’ll have more tomorrow with a few players making appearances in the area, but we’ll leave you with a slideshow:

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Mariners vs. Hanshin Tigers, March 25 in Tokyo

Pictures will be added at the game progresses.

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Mariners Game Central (March 25)

The Mariners (12-8-1) play today in Japan vs. the Hanshin Tigers at Tokyo Dome. Here is game information for today’s game vs. the Tigers:

Opponent: vs. Hanshin Tigers
Site: Tokyo Dome
Pitching Match-up: RHP Hector Noesi vs.  TBA
Time: 12:04 p.m.
Radio: The game will air live on Mariners.com (subscription) and on ESPN 710 Seattle.
Live Stats: Live pitch-by-pitch coverage will be provided on Mariners.com via the Gameday feature.
Game Information:  | Mariners Game Notes  | Gameday Roster | MLB Gameday |

Mariners vs. Hanshin Tigers, 3.25.12

Photo of the Day

Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge, left, pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma of Japan, center, and pitcher Felix Hernandez pose during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, Saturday, March 24, 2012. The Mariners will meet the Oakland A's in their season-opening games of the Major League Baseball season in Japan, at Tokyo Dome on Wednesday and Thursday. (AP Photo)

Japan: Getting Back In The Swing of Things

The Mariners had the morning off before heading to the ballpark so some players took advantage of what the area had to offer. Several players including Kyle Seager and Blake Beavan wandered over to the Esplanade Akasaka area to check out the small shops and others tried to catch up on their sleep (unfortunately some woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep).

Right around noon, a crowd of fans swarmed the sidewalk just outside the team hotel and one quickly found out why. Felix Hernandez emerged from the crowd after taking pictures and signing autographs, and right behind him doing the same was Alex Liddi.

Liddi later remarked, “they only asked me for autographs because I was with Felix.”

Getting to the stadium is an easy experience when traveling with the team, but if you’re adventurous like ESPN 710’s Shannon Drayer, you take the subway. Shannon, along with members of the MLB Productions group got to the Tokyo Dome with the help of Hide Sueyoshi, the Mariners Director of Minor League & International Administration. There was some trouble trying to purchase a ticket to the subway but after some poking around, tickets were printed (if only the “English” button was spotted earlier!).

The Mariners team bus left the hotel at 2:00 pm and after getting to the stadium, the players got on the field for the first time since Wednesday in Peoria .

Quick team meeting before taking the field.

Players began to trickle out half an hour before the 3:30 pm workout and started taking in the atmosphere that the Tokyo Dome provides. Players observed the end of the Athletics workout and soon they were on the field themselves.

There was a large crowd of photographers just in front of the dugouts and while they were snapping pictures of all the Mariners, they were clearly waiting for Ichiro. At one point Miguel Olivo tried to fake out the Japanese press by making it sound as if Ichiro was already on the field.

Photographers wait for the Ichiro to emerge from the clubhouse.

After stretch, players began taking BP and they soon began making trips to the stands. Mike Carp felt right at home, launching several baseballs into the seats. While plenty of players went deep, the home run of the day came from Carlos Peguero, who hit one off one of the billboards above the bleachers, specifically off the cheek of Shigeo Nagashima, the Japanese legend who teamed with Sadaharu Oh to capture nine straight championships in Japan.

Carlos Peguero hit Shigeo Nagashima's billboard cheek with a drive to right-center.

Jason Vargas and Blake Beavan both pitched simulated games today and had an interesting defensive alignment behind them. Munenori Kawasaki was at his usual spot at shortstop but his double play partner was none other than than Ichiro.

Jason Vargas throws to John Jaso during a simulated game.

In their simulated games, Vargas tossed 3.0 innings and made 64 pitches, while Blake Beavan tossed 2.0 frames and made 31 pitches.

On Tap  For Sunday (Seattle times in parenthesis)
9:00 am (5:00 pm Saturday): Mariners bus departs for Tokyo Dome.
7:00 pm (3:00 am Sunday): Mariners vs. Hanshin Tigers

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Arriving in Tokyo in Style

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Mariners Japan TV & Radio Schedule

A lot of people have been asking, so here are some specifics on the schedule in Japan and how you can follow the Mariners four games in Japan. MLB.com will also provide live statistical updates for each game, including the exhibitions, via their Gameday feature.

Here is the media schedule for the games in Japan:

710 ESPN SEATTLE (radio coverage)

March 24 (PT)-25 (Japan) Mariners exhibition game vs. Hanshin Tigers

  • LIVE GAME BROADCAST: Short pregame at 7:55 pm PT, with first pitch at 8:06 pm PT (March 24)

March 28 Mariners vs. A’s (Season Opener)

  • LIVE PREGAME SHOW: 2:00 am
  • LIVE GAME BROADCAST: first pitch at 3:04 am
  • GAME REPLAY: immediately after the live broadcast, the game will be replayed in its entirety
  • POSTGAME: after the replay, the Brock and Salk Show will serve as a de facto postgame show

March 29 Mariners vs. A’s

  • LIVE PREGAME SHOW: 1:00 am
  • LIVE GAME BROADCAST: first pitch at 2:04 am
  • GAME REPLAY: immediately after the live broadcast, the game will be replayed in its entirety
  • POSTGAME: after the replay, the Brock and Salk Show will serve as a de facto postgame show

The Mariners game on March 26 vs. Yomiuri will not be broadcast on radio.

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ROOT SPORTS (TV coverage)

March 28 Mariners vs. A’s (Season Opener)

  • ALL-ACCESS: MARINERS IN JAPAN: 2:30 am
  • LIVE GAME BROADCAST: air time 3:00 am, first pitch at 3:04 am
  • GAME REPLAY: 7:30 pm
  • ALL-ACCESS: MARINERS IN JAPAN: 10:30 pm

March 29 Mariners vs. A’s

  • ALL-ACCESS: MARINERS IN JAPAN: 1:30 am
  • LIVE GAME BROADCAST: air time 2:00 am, first pitch at 2:04 am
  • ALL-ACCESS: MARINERS IN JAPAN: 7:00 pm
  • GAME REPLAY: 7:30 pm
  • ALL-ACCESS: MARINERS IN JAPAN: 10:30 pm

ALL-ACCESS: MARINERS IN JAPAN shows will also air:

  • March 25 at 6:00 pm and 10:30 pm
  • March 26 at 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm (prior to and following Mariners Monday)
  • March 27 at 7:30 pm and 10:30 pm
  • March 30 at 7:00 pm
  • March 31 at 6:30 pm

The two exhibition games in Japan will not be televised by ROOT SPORTS.

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MLB NETWORK (TV coverage)

MLB Network will televise both contests vs. the A’s on tape delay, with the first game airing on Wednesday, March 28 at 9:00 a.m. ET/6:00 a.m. PT and the second game on Thursday, March 29 at 9:00 a.m. ET/6:00 a.m. PT. In addition, each game will re-air the same day at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.  MLB Network will televise ROOT Sports’ feed of both games, which will be available on MLB Network in the Athletics home television territory.  The games will be blacked out on MLB Network in the Mariners home television territory.

- JE

Mariners Have Arrived in Japan

The team gathered at the Peoria Sports Complex early Thursday morning with travel bags in hand and ready for an experience that will not be soon forgotten.

Brandon League boarding the Mariners flight to Japan.

The group left complex around noon Thursday and were in the air shortly after 1:00 pm.

The Mariners plane  touched down at 5:33 pm local time (1:33 am in Seattle) and after a long 12 1/2 hour flight, all most people wanted to do was sleep. Unfortunately, with the time difference the traveling party was advised to stay awake for a few more hours to help fight jetlag.

The flight itself had a little bit of everything to help pass the time, some played cards, others watched movies, and if you’re Munenori Kawasaki, you showed off your dance moves to Felix Hernandez in the back of the plane.

The plane was full of energy as the excitement of finally being on the way to Japan was setting in.

While some in the traveling party have already been to Japan (Chone Figgins, Jaime Navarro) with the MLB All Star Tour, this will be the first visit for the vast majority of the players.

After landing and going through customs, the team went out into the airport concourse where they were greeted by 50-60 photographers who gave everybody the Hollywood red carpet treatment.

MLB.com's Greg Johns gets the red carpet treatment at Narita International Airport.

It was a very warm welcome that was much appreciated by all.

The team then took a one hour and forty five minute bus ride to the hotel where plenty of tired travelers will quickly meet their beds for a good night of rest.

This is just the beginning of a fun week as we get ready for Opening Day on March 28 against the Athletics so check back often as we’ll keep you updated on what the team is up to each day.

 On Tap  For Saturday (Seattle times in parenthesis)
2:00 pm (10:00 pm Friday): Team bus departs for workout at the stadium.
3:00 pm (11:00 pm. Friday): Mariners Press Conference.
3:30-5:30 pm (11:30 pm – 1:30 am): Mariners workout at Tokyo Dome.

 On Tap  For Sunday (Seattle times in parenthesis)
9:00 am (5:00 pm Saturday): Mariners bus departs for Tokyo Dome.
7:00 pm (3:00 am Sunday): Mariners vs. Hanshin Tigers

 Pitching Probables in Japan:
RHP Hector Noesi vs. Hanshin Tigers
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Tokyo Giants
RHP Félix Hernandez vs. Oakland Athletics
LHP Jason Vargas vs Oakland Athletics

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