M's 1, Astros 2
at least Denizens have each other in their despair



Lance McCullers came out breathing Smaug-fire in the first three innings.  In fact Krueger compaed his curve to Nolan Ryank's mid high 80's curve, and against a located 94 MPH there's another three innings you're not going to do anyhing.

Reminded you of the first 2 Mariners games ever played, where Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana pole-axed the expansion M's by 2-0 and 7-0 or somesuch.  The M's won the third and my dad shrugged, "well, the Angels have two pichers."


Iwakuma was on his game too, however, and he allowed only strange off-field HR.  After the first three innings, we had a 1-0 playoff game tension.


Innings 4-5-6, all of the crackling curves seemed to leave McCullers' arm thrown out.  He missed lots of spots, the M's stranded 3-2-2 sunners in those three innings, and generally McCullers had reverted to a "mediocre Nate KKKarns" mode.  Unfortunately the M's could only cash in one run for the tie.

The Astros got another off-field HR to take the lead again -- were 4 of their 5 runs scored on solo LF shots -- and it was down the bullpen.


Innings 7-9, both teams' bullpens knocked down the lineups like tenpins.  +2 Astros +0 Mariners, and Zeus gets his shot to be a Stopper.  Not much of an excuse if the M's lay down to Charlie Morton on Wednesday; Morton has a deserved lifetime ERA about 4.50.

Your opinion may vary.  Me?  I'm not concerned about the fact that two star pitchers can lock you down on their best days.  More interested in the fact that Felix and WBC-san threw the ball well.  The M's ERA is what, 2+ against a tough lineup in their park.  If they continue to pitch tough, and keep their hitters' strike zones as tight as that, I'm good.



Mitch Haniger was calm after the game, busting out the phrase "we're staying within ourselves."  Opened his accout with a seeing-eye double down the LF line in the middle innings.  Rock on, Maniger.


Been more than 10 years since the M's started 0-2.  Dr. D has written them off to a couple of pitching performances by the Astros and re-set the enemy's hand to a 4-3 against the M's, where James Paxton evens it up at 4-4 next Monday.

Wednesday could be a Real Mariners game.


Dr D




I don't get to watch the games 95% of the time, so this analysis is what I've got. One of my brothers wrote me yesterday thinking that the Mariners were Marinering again... everything's harder to endure at the beginning of the season, when hope has run high without restraint of petty reality.

I tend to agree with ya, Doc - a game or two like this happens, frankly there hasn't been TIME for it to mean much yet (aside from, hey look! Felix and Kuma can still shut a game down pretty well). Even if we lose tonight, however, I just hope it's a 'double digits on each side' kind of barn burner. Too many scars from years past, when the run was scarcer than civility in modern politics.


 Almost 4, so got to be getting about that time…   Don't you worry king Corran  The victories will be plentiful, as will be the post game shtic win or lose… keep on talking that dealer in the flushes will start showing soon enough ...

-jemanji mobile (oodles of typos)


Agreed that our pitching has looked pretty good. I desperately need an AL West opponent to charge the body-builder Altavilla. Muscles on top of other muscles. I'm guessing the sliders from Giles are above avg., but dang Hanny looks Zuni no bad on those TWO nights in a row. Seager for 2 hole if he doesn't show improvement. We,re really a couple clutch hits from opening both of these games up. Guys are on base, kinda, just not getting the 'timed' hits. A little too much hype train has the boys lookin nervous. WHEN they bust out, it's going to be fun cos this lineup is fun to watch cycle through. Sorry for blip blap. 


I remained concerned about the very real possibility that we have two glove first (even if speedy baserunners) guys in CF and LF, guys who aren't bringing much of a bat.  That just feels like expansion Padres stuff to me.  We've good bats elsewhere, but it puts more pressure on their performance.   Granted, Dyson did have a double yesterday, but in the end, I am not yet confident that those two guys don't hamstring the offense significantly.  

And I want my Vogs.

As always, I'm hoping I am wrong. But I am tickled pink that we heisted Segura and Haniger for T. Walker.

Got to love the arms, however.  Felix/Kuma AND the BP, which could have been a weakness.


...I hold out a higher degree of hope that Haniger has a plateau leap in him. And we can always return to platooning Dyson should it prove necessary; his production in that usage is well documented.

I heard (radio-only access here) a couple nice defensive runs and some legwork on the bases which were a breath of fresh air. Hopefully that becomes a theme... can't take the easy stuff for granted against these guys, not this year...


It's hard to feel comfortable with speed and defense in traditional power positions. Not only does it negate the positional scarcity addition we made in a $250 million dollar 2B that can hit when we're just going to cancel that competitive advantage by getting a left fielder that hits like a second baseman.

But when your left fielder steps to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, down by a run, the best outcome you can hope for shouldn't be a double. You want a guy there who can tie it up with one swing. It's why 1.4 WAR from Mark Trumbo feels so much more valuable than a soft-WAR center fielder. These are positions (LF, RF, 1B) where you put guys who can tie the game up with one swing, because several times per year, it happens.

When a guy like Dyson comes to the plate, you have to look at who's up next because he isn't going to tie the game up on his own. That's not the bat I'm slating for LF. No way, no how. Dyson should be CF, Martin 4th OF, or traded.


Move Cano to LF and Dyson to 2nd.  Perceived problem solved, others created.  Let's wait to see the hitters that should be producing do so before complaining that the ones we don't expect much from not doing much.  I just can't see blaming the lighter hitting players for an entire lack of offense by everyone.  No need for a scapegoat yet.  Only Cano, Valencia and Seager have even decent slashlines through the first 2.  Everyone else can be blamed, if we're pointing fingers at all yet. 


It is hard to be patient with an offense that has not hit even one ball to the wall yet after 2 games, and half the hits are infield squibbers that were accidentally put in play by players that were lucky to get a piece of a pitch they were fooled on.

Where is control the zone... stalking your pitches... hitting to the opposite field... using the whole field... bunting away from the shift... how about a hit & run??? Yes, it is just 2 games but they were 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position... there was no time good to try anything different than station to station baseball???


That's what Earl would do.  His club would go through a week of 2-1 games and that's when he'd lean the outrigger over to tack into outrigger games.  Bust out of a run.

Would have been nice to see a couple of bat-only players avaialble to step up in the 7-9 slots on Tuesday.  +1   Not sure we have any.

So we controlled the AB's when they were up, and they controlled the AB's we we were up.  Classic coach's feeling of being in control via defense.

Nathan H's picture

The pressure is ratcheting already. Those two games against the division favorite aren't games you're gonna get back. No need for panic, no need for despair. Just the need to bear down as the pressure begins to build.

Success is a function of expectation; I revel in the gnashing of teeth accross the NW. That means they expect something this year. Investment. There have been worse reactions to better starts.


-2, +0 vs Houston with 17 to play

-0, +0 vs Texas with 19 to play

Hopefull Zeus plays stopper tonight, and Diaz is rarin' at the bit with no appearances in 3-4 days...

Anonymous's picture


YAW......N. Wake me up when the advertised bats show up. For sure it's just a couple of games which in the grand scheme of things don't mean much. For sure the M's ran into two pitchers who brought their A game. But tell all that to my psyche, which is weary of making excuses for the M's over the years. "Whatever it takes," right? 



Jet's picture

You guys are being too reactive...when your #9 hitter gets up in a big spot all teams pretty much concede that it's bad timing that the #9 hitter is up..don't care what position he plays

Way too much attentire right now on Dyson and Leonys..and not enough in these first 2 games on Cano, Cruz, Seager doing nothing at the plate..Segura did nothing yesterday as well

Stop trying to replace the #8 and #9 bats and focus on the money makers who havent shown up in these first 2 games


I have a comment in the Anonymous queue. It wasn't that brilliant, so no big deal.

The thrust of my comment regarding the first two games was this:  Yawn.


            I will say I was pretty happy with our opening day roster when it was set. 

That was until last night with Martin at the plate in his last AB. 

"Why don't they Pinch hit for him.........oh that's right.......there isn't anyone........."

I'm sure the roster flexibility from the players we have. The abilities they have. Motter is great. He can play everywhere. Heredia did a great job this spring too. Do you want either those guys to be your only option off the bench late in the game? Maybe it wouldn't have changed a thing if you were running a 1B platoon with Vog and Valencia and had one of them available for those late game Pinch hitting situations. Just seemed a little disconcerting to me


Leonys was facing a righty. You've got Heredia on the bench to protect him from murderous Loogy's, but if he has the advantage we're kind of stuck with him. This is where Gamel would be nice, but replacing Heredia with Gamel just creates different problems. Every team's gonna have some bad hitters, and no bench is big enough to protect them all.


If they'd rather have a RHH vs Leonys we'll take it.  Can't PH Heredia or Motter against a RH.  It's not like they're Gates Brown.

There, there's a shadowy name from the past to Google fer ya :- )


Rick, your whole riff on "fun" and "joy" and "happiness" is priceless.

Thanks for posting, you've made my day.

And I will steal, er...borrow...your brilliant riff with apologies, but liberally as well!


Guate Dave's picture

So I was musing on something earlier. And maybe it's been talked to death somewhere else. But humor me. 

Why the insistence on starting M's pitchers in the 1-2-3 order we've rolled them out? What I mean is, why did Felix have to pitch Game 1, besides pride and the honor of being Opening Day Starter? The reason I say it, is that the beginning of the season is the one time essentially that you can choose your pitching matchup. And, as the Mariners started the season on the road, you said it yourself, Doc, 2-2 in Houston would be fine. So why not throw out a meatball to eat some innings against Keuchel in Game 1, and slot your 1-2-3 guys in for the next ones? Added bonus you could have gotten the first game of Gallardo out of the way earlier ;) 

Maybe it's all moot, as the M's could still start 2-2, and Paxton is the number 1 anyway, so perhaps the M's already have done this! Just wondering what better baseball minds than mine will say. 




Felix goes Opening Day as long as he's a Mariner, and then becomes a bronze staute outside.  And then is elected Prez of Venezuela.

He's the one with a $1,000,005 direct deposit to his account every two weeks and he's the one who has the lead in the clubhouse chatter, like the guy on your HS hoops team who had a scholarship to a 4-year school.

He'll be treated as the #1 whether he's second-best, or third, or what.


From a chess standpoint, if you've got an unbeatable Super-GM going against you on Board one, you "sacrifice" your worst player to lose to him and then all your other 3 guys have an advantage...  Not that Keuchel is always an automatic loss, but Monday he was...

Chessically it is working out all right now as we have an overmatch on 3rd board and a real good shot at the "chaotic" 4th board...

Guate Dave's picture

The chess analogy. My favorite. 

And I guess that ultimately was the question. How much of it is behind-the-scenes/clubhouse/intangibles/veteran privilege? And would changing the order for a better matchup make enough of a difference to outweigh that? Answer being, probably not. 

Why'd you have to bring up the bi-weekly $1,000,000? Here I am in Guatemala living on quetzales... 

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