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Felix is ours.

Updated: 2018-04-21T16:15:08-07:00


4/21/18: Open Game Thread



Big Maple vs. Big Sexy

The Mariners won the opening game of this series, but it took an eighth-inning Mitch Haniger homer to tie up a game where they trailed and a ninth-inning rally off the Texas bullpen to do it. Mike Minor looked very hittable, but the Mariners were unable to convert their visits on base to runs. Today they’ll face off against Bartolo Colón, fresh off his almost-perfect-game performance against the Astros. As Jake wrote in his excellent series preview, Big Sexy “relies completely on guile, pitching smarts, and veteran savvy™, commanding his fastball in and around the zone.” A young and aggressive Mariners lineup might struggle against the wily veteran, and it’s easy to feel like this game could go one of two ways: they pounce on Bartolo’s offerings early and pound the ball all over the field, or we see a lot of hopeless swings-and-misses and weak contact like the Astros produced against Colón last time out. “Feast or famine” has been the key phrase to describe these early 2018 Mariners; let’s hope for a Texas-sized serving of runs from the Mariners’ lineup, finally at near-full-strength.

  • Marc Rzepczynski struggled again, and I think the collective patience of the fanbase is wearing thin.

All in all, it was a whole lot harder than it needed to be, but they got the job done. We’ll see you tomorrow at the same time.

Go M’s.

10-8: Chart



That was... harder than it needed to be


Rock and roll: Jean Segura (0.292 WPA)

Stone and scoot: Robinson Canó (-0.282)

The Mariners won

The Angels are going to lose

The Twins lost

The Yankees lost

Cleveland lost

Happy Friday.

4/20: Open Game Thread



The one where it’s all about the love, man

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Friday Night Baseball! Fresh off of a tough series defeat against the vaunted Houston Astros, the Mariners will look the feast on the proverbial flesh of some teams that are worse than them. First up: the Texas Rangers. As Jake outlines in his excellent series preview, the Rangers have been hit hard by injuries and also by being mad. After this series defeat against the ‘Stros, I don’t think there’s any reason to panic. If the Mariners can’t at least take two out of three against the Rangers, I might change my tune.

Today's Lineups

Dee Gordon - CF Shin-Soo Choo - DH
Jean Segura - SS Jurickson Profar - SS
Robinson Cano - 2B Nomar Mazara - RF
Nelson Cruz - DH Adrian Beltre - 3B
Kyle Seager - 3B Joey Gallo - LF
Mitch Haniger - RF Ronald Guzman - 1B
Mike Zunino - C Robinson Chirinos - C
Daniel Vogelbach - 1B Drew Robinson - CF
Guillermo Heredia - LF Isiah Kiner-Falefa - 2B
Felix Hernandez - RHP Mike Minor - LHP

Just in the nick of time, Mike Zunino, who is Good, is also back! The Mariners now have their entire projected Opening Day lineup save for Ryon Healy. If this lineup has trouble scoring runs now, especially against Mike Minor... I’m just not sure what to say.

Game time: 5:10 PST

TV: Root Sports NW

Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle

How I Learned To Let Go and Embrace Shohei Ohtani


I love [REDACTED], and here’s why. It was a brisk December day on Long Island. I was sitting on my couch, curled up in a blanket and consuming every bit of information I could find on a Japanese phenom named Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani was reportedly finished meeting with his seven finalists and a decision was on the horizon. I scanned the web pages and came across a headline on MLB Trade Rumors that caused my heart to drop: “Shohei Ohtani to sign with the Los Angeles Angels.” I nearly threw my laptop halfway across the room in frustration. My housemate cautiously glanced over at me, but decided it was better to not engage. I don’t get angry very often. Even some who know me well have never seen me truly enraged. But in that moment, I was more mad than I had ever been as a sports fan. A player who could have transformed the Mariners’ fates chose to play for a division rival? What we once dreamed of was instead theirs, and the M’s would have to be reminded of it nearly 20 times a year. So I sat there, blank-faced and silent for a long time. Like many, I had psyched myself up to believe that Ohtani was a perfect fit for Seattle. How could he choose anywhere else? The team is on the west coast, has strong ties to Japan, could allow him to DH, and is in the perfect state of competitiveness for his needs. Instead, he went to the Angels. “Anywhere but the Angels, and I’ll be OK with it,” I had told my friends at school, many of whom had tuned out the whole ordeal after Ohtani spurned the Yankees early in the process. The decision shocked the world, and had some ramifications for the M’s. Instead the team would have to battle against the sport’s most enticing athlete. His demise would assist in Seattle’s success. And so far, he’s delivered. Ohtani has been everything that even his most optimistic fans had dreamed of. And surprisingly, I’ve found myself in a slim minority of Mariners fans who are thrilled with his performance. Somehow, I had learned to enjoy it. What could be more fun than a player who can not only throw 100 miles per hour, but also locate his pitches exactly where he wants to? A man who has a splitter that seems to manipulate gravity. A player who can not only hit 400-foot home runs, but can also contort his body to slice a ball that nearly came in on his hands and nail it into the gap for a stand-up triple. When it comes down to it, I’m a baseball fan and a Mariners fan by extension of that. I love this sport. To me, Ohtani represents something incredibly special. He’s a once-in-a-generation talent. We might never see a player again in our lifetime who can do what he does. To refuse to accept how unbelievable he is because he plays for a rival would mean I’d be choosing to suffer while everyone else in the world enjoyed it. But the even more fascinating thing about him is that if he succeeds, he could change the sport. Two-way players are becoming more common in MLB drafts, but teams have been reluctant to allow these players to try actually doing both. If Ohtani is successful with his experiment, organizations might be more willing to give their talented prospects the green light. Hunter Greene with the Reds and Brendan McKay with the Rays could be next in a wave of two-way players. To me, that’s thrilling. And Ohtani’s failure might mean teams will never try such an experiment again. Some Mariners fans insist that rooting for Ohtani is impossible considering he plays for a rival, but I disagree. Ohtani having a successful career isn’t mutually exclusive with the M’s winning a World Series during his tenure with the Angels. It might make a marginal impact on the M’s chances, but the two teams will largely succeed or fail outside of what Ohtani produces. That’s true in baseball where it might not be true in other sports. If Ohtani flops or gets hurt, the M’s will still have to win games on their own. That will always be true, and 146 of the M’s games this season will be[...]

FanPost Friday: Who is your favorite obscure Mariners player of all time?



All right, baseball nerds. Who is your “I really only liked the demo” of Mariners players?

It’s Friday! You’ve made it. Let’s celebrate with a fun lil’ FanPost Friday prompt, shall we? This is a good one, I promise.

Who is your favorite obscure Mariners player of all time?

I won’t do a concrete definition of “obscure” for this, but obviously we’re talking players who were only around a few seasons or less, or maybe hung around longer but were completely forgettable anyways. I’m talking players of the Greg Briley, Luke French, Odell Jones, and Bob Kearney variety. Go deep, folks. Let’s hear about your favorite weirdo Mariners players and why you’ve held a torch for them through the years.

Submit your responses via FanPost and we’ll front page the best submissions throughout the weekend. Shout out to the two hat nerds who replied to my prompt last weekend. You da the real MVPs.

Note: My apologies for forgetting to close the comments! Whoops! Please do submit in the form of a FanPost and have an awesome weekend.

Ranger Blood—Mariners at Rangers Series Preview


The Mariners close out the month with a ten-game road trip beginning in Texas. It’s probably best to just forget about that series against the Astros and look forward to this ten-game road trip. The Mariners will visit another division rival this weekend and then continue their tour of the AL Central with stops in Chicago and Cleveland. With that four-game series in Cleveland looming at the end of their trip, banking as many wins as possible against the Rangers and White Sox will make the rest of this month much more palatable. Luckily, they’re both playing pretty poorly right now. These are the series the Mariners absolutely need to win if they want to compete with the best in the American League. Heading into the season, there were a few comparisons drawn between the Mariners and the Rangers. Both teams looked like they were gearing up for another run at the playoffs despite flawed rosters. The Rangers, however, were even more desperate for pitching than the Mariners. They went out and added three starting pitchers to their rotation, though none of them seemed like they would make much of an impact. To make matters even worse, they’ve suffered some extremely bad injury luck in the first few weeks of the season. Their double-play duo, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor, are both slated to miss significant amounts of time and their starting center fielder, Delino DeShields, has been on the shelf since the opening week. With so many replacements gaining substantial playing time, it’s no surprise the Rangers have stumbled out of the gate. Even though the Rangers lineup is filled with injury replacements, there are still a few dangerous hitters that form the core of their offense. Joey Gallo was finally given a chance to play regularly and rewarded the Rangers patience with an offensive explosion. He hit more home runs than singles last year because he hit almost 60% of his balls in play in the air. With such an extreme batted ball profile, he’s prone to some streakiness if the balls aren’t flying over the walls regularly. Adrian Beltre lost the first few month of the season to a calf injury but he returned with a vengeance. He posted a 138 wRC+, his highest mark since 2014, and accumulated 3.1 fWAR in just 94 games. Probable Pitchers Mike Minor lost more than two seasons to a labrum tear but returned to the mound last season, albeit as a reliever. He made 65 appearances out of the Royals bullpen and accumulated 2.1 fWAR in the process. Like you would expect, his velocity spiked on all of his pitches—he added around 4 mph to his fastball—and he relied pretty heavily on his slider. So when the Rangers signed him this offseason and announced their intent to use him as a starter, many were curious if this rejuvenation could translate to the rotation. We’re three starts into this season and we’ve got a pretty good idea of who Mike Minor, starting pitcher is. His velocity has fallen across the board, unsurprisingly, though it’s sitting higher than it was prior to his injury. He’s also mixing in his changeup more often at the expense of his slider. But despite the reduced velocity, his offerings each sport impressive spin rates giving him the effectiveness needed to thrive in multi-inning outings. Bartolo Colon, the ageless wonder. He’s been in the league long enough that he made two starts against the Mariners the last time they made the playoffs. His career stats go back far enough that we don’t have batted ball stats for the first five years of his career. After posting a 6.48 ERA alongside a 5.21 FIP in 28 starts last season, many thought it would be the end of the line for Colon. Yet he managed to land a deal with the pitching starved Rangers and rewarded us with seven perfect innings against the Astros his last time out. He relies completely on guile, pitching smarts, and veteran savvy™, commanding his fastball in and around the[...]