In a turn of events that should be shocking to absolutely no one, the Seattle Mariners won an Opening Day home game to start the 2020 season. In a week or so they’ll be 6-2, and fans will be saying “weeeellll? Mayyyybe?” But they know better. The answer is no, despite whatever fancy meal the Mariners may choose to put on your plate at the beginning of the year.
The Mariners won 4-3 over the Rangers on the strength of a solid Marco Gonzales start (7 IP, 6 K, 2 ER), some timely hitting, and some suspect Rangers defense. Rangers Opening Day starter Corey Kluber had a fine outing, with 8 strikeouts over 6 innings allowing just 2 runs. Those runs came on a Kyle Lewis solo HR (1-4, 3 K) and a Kyle Seager RBI single (1-3, BB) in the fourth inning.
After Kluber left the game, things got interesting for the Rangers’ defense. In the 7th inning, Jose Leclerc spiked a fastball about four feet in front of home plate on a ball four to Seager, and it sailed past the catcher Chirinos. JP Crawford took off for third base. Chirinos then apparently forgot where the ball needed to go, or where he was, or something. He launched the ball towards second base, and it glanced off the brim of Rougned Odor’s cap, who was busy trying to figure out how and when he had dribbled spit on his jersey when he hadn’t even been chewing anything. Crawford raced past third and turned toward home, while Willie Calhoun went as fast as his little legs could carry him towards the ball slowly rolling into left field. Crawford scores, and the Mariners take a 3-2 lead.
Seager had safely advanced to second and Vogelbach (0-2, BB) came up to bat. On an 0-1 count he caught a pitch off the end of the bat and it bounced wildly toward Todd Frazier, who was intently trying to remember whether or not he was good at baseball. The answer came soon enough, as the ball shot through his legs towards a still-breathing-heavily Calhoun. Frazier threw his hands up and looked at the dugout as if to say, “why am I even out here?” as Kyle Seager, yes that one, rounded third and headed home.
That Mariners 4-2 lead would hold until the top of the ninth when Joey Gallo sent a baseball through a patron in the Hit It Here Cafe. No word yet on the condition of said patron, but it’s probably not good.
Aside from all that, it was your standard Opening Day material. Lots of red carpet, fresh new hype videos on the gigantic screen, Scott Servais smirking at things that ought not be smirked at. Dee Gordon (yeah he’s still here. Wild, right?) put a bubblegum bucket on his head. People laughed. The internet did memes. He’s so fun, that Dee Gordon. Anyway. The Mariners will play again on Friday, unless something catastrophic alters the landscape of professional sports as we know it. See you then.