Sunday, March 22, 2015 / 15 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. LA Angels)
A pair of three-run home runs by Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz powered the Mariners to an 8-0 win over the Rangers Sunday afternoon in Cactus League play at Peoria Stadium.
The game was played in front of 9,543 fans as the Mariners improved their Cactus League record at 9-8-2.
The Mariners rallied with two outs in the first inning on a Robinson Cano walk and Cruz single in front of a Seager three run home run to left-center. Cano was in the middle of the next rally, following Seth Smith’s one out walk with a single to left before a Cruz three-run shot off the center-field wall high above the yellow line.
Cruz has hit a home run in each of his last two games and now has three home runs on the spring. During Cactus League play, he is hitting .407 (11×27) with 5 runs, 3 home runs and 7 RBI.
Seattle tacked on two runs in the fifth inning on back-to-back doubles by Logan Morrison and Dustin Ackley
James Paxton, making his first start of the Cactus League this spring, earned the win while tossing 3.1 shutout innings while working around five hits, all singles. The relief corps consisting of David Rollins (1.2 IP), Danny Farquhar (1.2 IP), Carson Smith (1.1 IP) and Dominic Leone (1.0 IP) combined to throw the second Mariners shutout of the spring.
Game Video Highlights:
Bloop and a Blast
There’s an old baseball expression, “we just need a bloop and a blast”. The Mariners, and Kyle Seager, demonstrated that in the first inning today. With two outs, Robinson Cano worked a walk, and Nelson Cruz blooped a ball in to short right field. Suddenly, it was two-on and two-out, and when Seager deposited a 1-0 pitch over the left-center field wall Seattle had a 3-0 lead. In the third, it was a walk by Seth Smith, a single the other way by Cano, and Cruz blasting a towering home run off the Blue Monster in center field. Starting pitcher James Paxton said after the game that he’d happily take a pair of 3-run homers in every start he makes this year.
Night Court at a Day Game
Rick Rizzs had a special guest drop by the booth today. Harry Anderson, an actor, writer, director and magician best known for the long-running sitcom Night Court. Harry starred as an eccentric judge in the TV show that ran from 1984-1992. Anderson used to live in the Seattle area, where he became friends with Rick. Anderson also guest-starred on Cheers several times (as Harry the Hat), where he got to know writer Ken Levine. Levine later broadcast Mariners games, as well. Harry Anderson also was a featured guest on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and Saturday Night Live, including as a host.
Saturday, March 21, 2015 / 16 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. LA Angels)
The Mariners made things interesting with a late comeback, but the Chicago Cubs held on for a 12-10 win in a Cactus League slugfest Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 15,323 at Sloan Park.
The Mariners drop to 8-8-2 in Cactus League play with the loss.
With the Mariners trailing 11-7, left fielder Austin Wilson, the Mariners second-round draft pick out of Stanford in the 2013 June Draft, made things interesting with an inside-the-park three-run home run to center field to cut the Cubs lead to 11-10. Chicago added an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th and held on for the 12-10 win.
The Cubs jumped out to a big lead behind four home runs, two by third baseman Kris Bryant. Bryant, the 2014 Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year, hit his 7th and 8th home runs of the spring going 2-for-2 with 5 RBI. Catcher Wellington Castillo and shortstop Addison Russell also hit home runs.
Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez was touched for 6 hits and 6 runs in 2.2 innings, including allowing a pair of home runs. Three runs scored in the bottom of the 3rd inning after a bad throw by shortstop Brad Miller negated a would-be inning-ending double play.
Nelson Cruz reached base in all three of his plate appearances, hitting a home run in the 3rd inning and also drawing a walk and being hit by a pitch. Brad Miller went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles, a sacrifice fly and 3 RBI.
Game Video Highlights – Mariners at Cubs
How About Those Kids
For the second straight day, a Mariners minor league extra player homered. Yesterday, it was 2014 first round pick Alex Jackson hitting a long homer to right-center field…and today, Austin Wilson (the Mariners 2013 second round pick) drilled a 3-run inside-the-park homer, sinking line drive that the Cubs center fielder was unable to handle.
Inside-The-Park Home Run
As mentioned above, Austin Wilson collected an inside-the-park home run today..Seattle’s last regular season inside-the-park homer was hit by Willie Bloomquist on June 25, 2007 at Houston (off Wandy Rodriguez)…records are far from perfect in spring training, but we can’t find the last ITPHR in Cactus League or exhibition play.
Minor League Games Begin
The Mariners minor leaguers began playing games this afternoon with the Triple-A and Double-A teams hosting the Royals minor leaguers and the High-A and Single A clubs traveling to Surprise to take on Kansas City.
By the looks of the AAA lineup today, the Rainiers have a chance to field a solid team for the upcoming season.
- James Jones, CF
- Ketel Marte, 2B
- Stefen Romero, RF
- D.J. Peterson, 1B
- Jesus Montero, DH
- Pat Kivlehan, 3B
- John Hicks, C
- Jack Reinheimer, SS
- Dan Paolini, LF
Tweet of the Day:
The Mariners drafted a high school kid out of the San Diego area with the 6th overall pick in 2014. If you don’t remember much about him, here’s a little refresher on Alex Jackson from Draft Day.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder was primarily a catcher in high school and was rated by Baseball America as the top position player in the draft (4th overall prospect). Jackson was also named to the 2014 Perfect Game First Team All-American and California All-Region First Team after his senior season.
In four seasons with Rancho Bernardo, Jackson batted .375 (150×400) with 156 runs scored, 35 doubles, 6 triples, 47 home runs and 127 RBI in 135 games with the Broncos. His 47 prep career home runs tied him with former Indians prospect Johnny Drennen (2002-05) for the all-time San Diego section record. Jackson had 5 homers as a freshman, 17 as a sophomore, 14 as a junior and 11 during his senior season. Jackson’s team played for California’s San Diego section championship in all four of his high school seasons, including winning the championship during his freshman and junior seasons.
Now, fast forward to yesterday afternoon. After entering the game as a defensive replacement in left field against the Rangers, he scored two runs, including a very impressive towering home run to right-center field.
As Jackson told the Mariners press corps, including Mariners.com’s Greg Johns, “I hit it and it felt good off the bat, but I just put my head down and started running,” he said. “You never know. Sometimes it feels good off the bat and hits the wall, so I just put my head down and started running. And once I started hearing everyone cheering, I was like, ‘OK, we can slow down this sprint a little bit.'”
Even though the game was not being televised, we were able to track down some video of the blast thanks to Mariners Video Coordinator Jimmy Hartley who records every at-bat for scouting and teaching purposes.
Thanks to the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish, here is video of Jackson’s post-game interview about his home run and his experiences thus far during Spring Training.
What did Manager Lloyd McClendon have to say about the young man? As usual, he was quick and to the point.
“Pretty impressive,” said the skipper. “That’s a lot of power to right-center.”
A lot of power indeed.
Friday, March 20, 2015 / 17 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. LA Angels)
Mike Zunino went 2-for-3 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI and 2014 first-round draft pick Alex Jackson hit a game-tying home run in the 8th inning as the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers played to a 4-4 tie Friday afternoon in Cactus League play at Surprise Stadium.
The Mariners are 8-7-2 in spring training play, including a 4-1-2 record over the last seven games.
Zunino hit a solo home run with two outs in the 4th inning to tie the game 1-1 and then connected on a go-ahead 2-run home run in the 6th inning.
The Rangers jumped ahead in the bottom of the 7th inning on a 2-run home run by designated hitter Mitch Moreland off Mariners relief pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen.
Jackson, the 6th overall selection in the 2014 MLB June Draft, crushed an opposite field home run to right field to tie the game at 4-4. The 19-year-old out of Rancho Bernardo, Calif., was the 2014 Baseball America High School Player of the Year.
Starting Pitcher Roenis Elias allowed 5 hits and 2 runs (1 ER) in 4.0 innings while recording a no-decision. The left-hander struck out 4 and walked 2 in his fourth spring outing (3rd start). LHP Charlie Furbush (1.0 IP), RHP Yoervis Medina (1.2 IP) and LHP Joe Saunders (1.0 IP) did not allow runs in their relief outings.
Game Video Highlights (more will be posted as they are available)
Mariners 2014 draft pick Alex Jackson hit a monster home run to right-center today to tie the game. Be sure to check back tomorrow when we’ll have the video shot by Mariners video guru Jimmy Hartley.
Mariners Spring Roster Gets Smaller
The Mariners trimmed the Spring roster this morning by optioning left-hander Lucas Luetge, catcher John Hicks, infielders Ketel Marte and Jesus Montero, outfielders James Jones and Stefen Romero to AAA Tacoma, and re-assigning right-hander Justin Germano, left-hander Rafael Perez, infielders D.J. Peterson and Patrick Kivlehan and outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to minor league camp.
Today’s roster moves leave the Mariners with 39 players in their Major League camp: 30 roster players and 9 non-roster invitees.
Spring #16: Seattle Mariners (7-7-1) vs. Cleveland Indians (6-9-1) | 7:05 pm | Peoria Stadium
Starting Pitchers: RHP Taijuan Walker (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 3.00)
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle will air tonight’s live…also available via mariners.com
TV: ROOT SPORTS will televise the game live in the Seattle market
Live Stats: MLB Gameday will provide a live box score of today’s game
Opening Day is just 18 days away when the Mariners host the Angels April 6 at Safeco Field (1:10 pm). King Felix will be making his 8th career Opening Day start, and 7th consecutive.
Originally posted on Openers:
Seattle’s eight consecutive Opening Day wins represent the longest streak in the Majors since the Reds won nine in a row from 1983-91. Not coincidentally, Felix Hernandez has started seven of those games and is 5-0 with a 1.52 ERA. King Felix will try to extend that streak against the Angels on April 6 at Safeco Field.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 / 19 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 6 vs. LA Angels)
Erasmo Ramirez (4.0 IP), Jordan Pries (3.0 IP), Tyler Olson (1.0 IP) and Carson Smith (1.0 IP) combined on a 3-hit shutout to lead the Mariners to a 4-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics Wednesday afternoon in Cactus League play at Peoria Stadium.
Starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez allowed one hit, a leadoff double in the first inning, in his 4.0 innings of work. The right-hander walked one and struck out a pair in his third spring start (1-0, 2.00 ERA). Jordan Pries added 3.0 scoreless innings allowing just a pair of hits (BB, 2 K) and Tyler Olson continued his dominating spring with a 1-2-3 8th inning. Olson has faced the minimum 21 batters over 7.0 innings (5 appearances) in Cactus League play. Smith fired a scoreless 9th to preserve the shutout.
The Mariners struck first with a single tally in the bottom of the 4th inning. Kyle Seager drilled a two-out double to right field and scored on a single to left by Justin Ruggiano.
With the pitching staff keeping the A’s in check, Seattle added three insurance runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to extend the lead to 4-0. James Jones, Stefen Romero and Patrick Kivlehan each recorded run-scoring singles in the frame.
Nine different Mariners recorded a hit in the win. Kyle Seager and Logan Morrison each tabbed their second doubles of the spring.
The Video Highlights From Today’s Game
If You Missed Today’s Game…
If you were not able to catch today’s game on MLB Network or ROOT SPORTS this afternoon, you can try to convince your boss to let you watch the games during work hours in the future, or you can catch the replay later tonight on ROOT SPORTS at 7 pm or tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm.
Don’t Walk Away During The Commercial Break
As you’re well aware, the Mariners television commercials were released this morning. If you haven’t checked them out already, be sure to check out the blog post from this morning. Or you can check out the coverage from MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, The News Tribune’s Bob Dutton and The Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish.
J.A. Happ Throws Simulated Game This Morning
Starter J.A. Happ threw against mostly Mariners minor leaguers this morning while building his pitch count up to 76. He pitched in five innings but his final pitching line was 4.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 5 K, HR while in a semi controlled environment while throwing 76 pitches, including 46 for strikes. The outing puts him in line to start on Tuesday, March 24th against the Padres in Peoria.
A Seinfeld Reunion
If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you must check out the blog for a blast from the past: “You Traded Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps?!?!”
Speaking of Ken Phelps…
Ken Phelps and Jay Buhner both joined Mike Blowers and Aaron Goldsmith in the booth for part of today’s game. All we can say is that there was a lot of Major League power in the radio booth this afternoon. Let’s recap…Buhner hit 310 Major League home runs, Phelps hit 123, Blowers hit 78 and Goldsmith…well, he never even hit a home run during his Little League career.
And While We’re Talking About Jay Buhner…
Former Major Leaguer Tippy Martinez, who played 14 seasons with the Orioles Yankees and Twins, stopped by Mariners camp to chat with Mariners Hall of Famer Jay Buhner. You never know who might stop by in camp.
The Birthday Boy
Mariners closer Fernando Rodney turned a very young 38 years-of-age today. The arrows will be flying in celebration tonight!
Busy Media Day In The Clubhouse
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal was in camp this morning checking in with various players in the clubhouse so be on the lookout for his thoughts on the Mariners in the next few days. Also in camp were Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette from MLB Network Radio. You can listen to all of their interviews from Mariners camp by clicking the links below.
Robinson Cano discusses the new and improved Mariners lineup
Felix Hernandez discusses the new-look Mariners and his expectations for the season
Lloyd McClendon discusses the high expectations surrounding this years Mariners
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik discusses the team’s improved lineup
Quote of the Day
“There was no acting necessary for that bit. It was just the love of life. I’m really grateful for the Mariners. They’ve given me the opportunity to be a big league pitcher and now a rock star. Two dreams that every kid wants to live.” – Tom Wilhelmsen on his performance during the “Hawt Corner” Mariners commercial.
One of the most famous sports moments in the long history of the award-winning sitcom Seinfeld involves a trade between the Mariners and Yankees – Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps.
Phelps is a resident of Arizona and has been helping out with the radio broadcasts during spring training. Buhner is in town for a few days helping as a guest instructor on the minor league side. And today the two got together to take a picture and chat about one of the legendary sports moments in Hollywood history. Here is The Bone and Digger talking about the famous episode:
In the episode titled The Caddy that debuted on Jan. 26, 1996, Frank Costanza had a legendary interaction with the actor-portrayed George Steinbrenner:
Frank: What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for?!? He had 30 home runs, and over 100 RBIs last year. He’s got a rocket for an arm. You don’t know what the hell you’re doin’!
Steinbrenner: Well, Buhner was a good prospect, no question about it. But my baseball people loved Ken Phelps’ bat. They kept saying “Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps.”
Here is the video clip of the episode:
Phelps and Buhner joined the ROOT SPORTS broadcast during today’s Athletics-Mariners game in Peoria, where they discussed the baseball trade of Seinfeld lore.
With Felix Hernandez scheduled to be the starting pitcher for Mariners Opening Day on April 6th, fans can register for a drawing for the chance to buy tickets in the King’s Court.
There are a limited number of seats available in the special seating section down the left field line. In order to be entered into the drawing, fans have to register at mariners.com/felix.
On Friday, March 27, names of those who registered will be drawn at random. Those selected will receive an email on Monday, March 30, with details on how to buy Opening Day King’s Court tickets. The price for each ticket is $55, including a King’s Court T-shirt and K Cloth.
The Mariners and Dodgers will play in Major League Baseball’s annual Civil Rights Game on Wednesday, April 15, on Jackie Robinson Day. This is the first time that Baseball’s annual tribute to civil rights leaders and figures will be held on the same day as the celebration of Jackie Robinson’s contributions to baseball.
The game, which starts at 7:10pm at Dodger Stadium, will be carried live on ESPN 2, as well as ROOT SPORTS in the Pacific Northwest.
This is the first time the Mariners have played in a Civil Rights Game. The Dodgers played in one in 2012.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson signing his first professional contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1945, which was the first step toward his eventually breaking of the color barrier on April 15, 1947.
During games played on April 15, all players will wear Robinson’s number 42. The number was retired by Major League Baseball in 1997. Ken Griffey Jr. started the tradition when he asked Commissioner Selig if he could wear Robinson’s number. Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow, granted permission. Since then, all players have worn the number on April 15 in Robinson’s honor.