"First Game of The Year."
If that isn’t enough to get you excited, I don’t know what is. I have made the huge sacrifice and have stayed up till 3 AM to watch the M’s play live and I’m not sure what I‘ll write. Depends on how tired I get but I’ll try to give some play by play and notes of stuff I noticed.
Here is the lineup
And His Majesty will be gracing the hill
They are showing highlights of Brandon McCarthy, the starter for the A’s, he made Ichiro and Michael Saunders look silly. But this is 2012. That won’t happen again right? There also is not a radar gun on TV so the pitch types are my guess. Also Yoenis Cespedes is playing for the A’s, he should be fun to watch.
This is weird watching Chone Figgins lead off. And he grounds out to short in two pitches. So does Dustin Ackley. I hope he is not trying to emulate Figgins. Ichiro steps up and the Tokyo Dome goes crazy. He works a full count before getting an infield single. Smoak strikes out on a low curve that he tried to check his swing on. 0-0
McCarthy looks like his sinker is working, which isn’t great news for us.
Bottom 1 (Felix time)
I’ll point out here that Felix looks skinny, but gives up a single to Jemile Weeks on a 2-2 curve; he wasn’t fooled for a second. Cliff Pennington flies out the Saunders in center. One down. Weeks steals second on a low and away pitch. Coco Crisp grounds out to second, moving Weeks to third. Seth Smith strikes out on what looked like a changeup. At this point Patrick realizes he has no way of watching the game from Milwaukee and is going back to bed. Rookie mistake.
Anyway, Felix doesn’t look awesome but he took care of business without any damage.
Jesus Montero rolls over on the first pitch he sees. One down. Carp grounds out to first. Two down. And Olivo grounds out to second.
I’ll point out here that every ball that has been put in play by the M’s has been an infield grounder. It’s hard to score when that happens.
Felix makes Kurt Suzuki look ridiculous with a K looking on a circle change. That was an awesome pitch. Josh Reddick grounds out quickly. First pitch to Cespedes almost hits his thigh. Message sent, don’t mess with America, commie bastard. Felix K’s Cespedes on a pitch in the dirt, looks like he is locked in.
Saunders singles to right, splitting Weeks and Allen. It’s gotten to the point that every time Ryan moves, I worry for his health. Saunders steals second, barely beating Suzuki’s throw. Ryan then hits a ball to the right of the shortstop who catches Saunders trying to take third. Stupid play by Saunders, could’ve had two men on. Ryan now on first but then gets erased trying to steal second. Figgins sees a few pitches before grounding out to second.
Wedge is definitely trying to be aggressive today, but Suzuki is a pretty good catcher and that backfired on him there. Once again, all groundballs. That inning was a showcase of what happens when you are not smart on the base paths.
Brendan Allen is a big dude, but strikes out swinging on a high fastball. Eric Sogard wears glasses, like not even rec specs or anything but traditional glasses. It’s a bold move, Cotton, but he grounds out to second. Weeks hits a hard line drive to Saunders who makes the grab.
Felix now has 4 K’s in 10 batters and has retired 9 in a row. Yeah he’s pretty good I guess.
Dustin Ackley goes bomb dropping off Brendan McCarthy. Yeah I said that, and yeah he is on one of my fantasy teams. 1-0 M’s. Nice little opposite field power. Ichiro hits another infield single, this one in between the SS and 3B. Looks like he really wants that lead off spot back. I don’t even need to look at Ichiro; whenever he steals, the crowd gets really loud, kind of a disadvantage for us. Smoak grounds out to second. One out, Ichiro on second. Montero flew out to right after being jammed and Carp flew out to left. End of inning, but fewer ground outs which is nice.
Pennington doubled off Felix on a pitch up. Coco Crisp grounds out to first, moving Pennington to third. I would love another K of Seth Smith right now, just so his walk up music would seem weirder. It’s like strange, slow techno something. I would not be pumped up if I were him. Smith grounds out to first, but Pennington stays at third. So pretty much a K, just not as cool. Suzuki hits a line drive double that was about half a foot from Carp’s diving glove. Too bad, 1-1 game now. Not to judge but Josh Reddick looks super douchey, like weird chinstrap and goatee thing that is only seen at Ultimate Frisbee tournaments as a joke. He pops out. 1-1
A’s were a little more aggressive there and it paid off, hopefully Felix and Olivo make an adjustment. Also, pretty sure any other left fielder besides Milton Bradley makes that play that Carp missed.
Olivo gets on first with an error on Sogard. The official call may be different but that play should be made. Saunders grounds out 4-6-3. McCarthy missed his spot and still got away with it, damn. 2 outs. Ryan grounds out to short.
More groundballs. That is not good for the M’s.
Cespedes up again, sees two curves then gets hit by an inside fastball. Serves the Communist right. Probably trying to tell Smoak of how the capitalist pigs are ruining baseball. Allen just got ripped apart by Felix, painted the corner like Van Gogh (Sorry, the 3AM is catching up to me), one down. Sogard hits a slow roller to Smoak, Cespedes will now try to corrupt Ryan and Ackley. Hopefully Ackley is stronger than that, but Ryan would probably love the healthcare system. Weeks gets called out looking and was pissed, like throw his arms up and slam down the bat pissed. 6 K’s.
I’ll point this out now, Felix loves throwing inside to lefties and letting his ball tail back over the corner. It’s a ballsy pitch that can get rocked if he misses over the plate but is super effective right now.
Figgins squeezes a grounder past Weeks and gets his first hit of the year. Remember this event fans, it is rare. I am really envious of Dustin Ackley’s beard, the perfect mix of bushiness and coverage, infinitely better than Josh Reddick’s. He strikes out looking on a nice pitch from McCarthy. Ichiro grounds one up the middle for a single. Smoak slices a fly ball to left that is caught. Montero tore a batting glove, that may be the first time I’ve seen that . Doesn’t do much though, grounds out to end the inning.
Woah! Hold on here, more groundballs? And we don’t score? Weird how that works. Montero has not looked great and neither has Smoak. But Ichi looks awesome. As per Jeff Sullivan, 16 of 21 balls in play have been on the ground.
Pennington singles hard to right. He has been hitting the ball hard today. Ball in the dirt while Pennington steals means that Olivo can’t get a throw off, Felix isn’t doing a good job of varying his timing. Pennington was in there no matter what. Carp makes a running grab on the warning track against Coco Crisp. Pennington goes to third. I really don’t like you Cliff Pennington, you’re the new Eric Chavez. Seth Smith gets hit on a 2-2 curve. Felix is not looking as sharp as he did earlier. Hey Suzuki, I could use a little 6-4-3 action right now, channel your inner Rob Johnson please. A shallow fly to Ryan works as well. Felix now at 79 pitches for those who care. Two outs, guys on first and third, douche beard up. Hard line drive hit at the Starfish. Inning over.
At this point I would like to say of all the no very good M’s who I miss, Charles Gipson is pretty high up there. From what I remember, all he could do is run, but he also was really fast so I thought he was awesome. So yeah, I miss you Charles, wherever you are.
Carp pops out quickly, at least he didn’t hit a grounder though. Olivo swings for the fences, which is weird right? Not like he does that a lot. He flies out to right center. Saunders strikes out swinging, swung at all 4 pitches he saw, hit two of them.
This offense looks TURRIBLE. Like really bad, like last year bad. Small sample size and all but we are getting shut down by Brandon McCarthy, a sinker baller who has not won more than 9 games in his career.
Cespedes finally hit a curveball to deep center for a double. More communist propaganda will be spread to Ryan and Ackley. Hopefully Figgins believes it all and goes to Cuba. Allen pops up a bunt to Figgins. Any baseball coach would be super pissed off about that, but Bob Melvin just looked confused and pleasantly surprised. Felix snags a hard linedrive from Sogard, which wasn’t very impressive. I could do that. Not. Weeks grounds out to second and doesn't make it halfway down the line. Love the hustle Jemile, enjoy the bench on my fantasy baseball team. Still 1-1 going to the eighth
I swear they just showed Munenori Kawasaki cheering form the stands in the World Baseball Classic. New pitcher for the A’s, Ryan Cook, whose ERA was over 7 last year. Should be easy right? Not for Brendan Ryan who hits a 5-3 that almost caught Brendan Allen by surprise. It looked like he didn’t expect a throw, which is weird since he is a first baseman and is thrown to often. Figgins strikes out, wooo! They just showed a clip of the ball girls and boys, they were rocking some sweet Velcro shoes. I miss Velcro, tying shoes is really annoying and I am really lazy. Ackley gets to a full count, then flies out to left.
Apparently, Brandon McCarthy isn’t the only one who has the number of our offense, Cook does too. Maybe we should get a new number because it seems that everyone has it.
Felix still in, Cliff Pennington is hitting. He grounds out to Ryan who made a very nice play behind second. Dave Sims just said "that Woods guy" in reference to Tiger Woods. At this point of the night, I can’t tell if he was being sarcastic. Felix looks to be getting tired, two 3 ball counts in a row, but gets Crisp to fly out to Carp. Seth Smith is up, that’s a very boring name. He had a boring at bat that culminated with a fly out to Carp. To the ninth.
Felix seems to be getting tired, Wilhelmsen and Sherrill were up in the bullpen. Hopefully we see some Brandon League action, I really don’t want to stay up later than I have to. Sorry, but I am doing this again tomorrow.
Rally time everyone, get excited, do the Rally Jig or whatever the M’s do to score runs. Do some crazy voodoo stuff with Peguero’s hair. Ichiro, Smoak and Montero are up against Grant Balfour, formerly of the Rays. A game winning home run is a great way to endear oneself to a fan base, just saying Montero or Smoak. Ichiro hits a hard fly ball to left, caught by Crisp. Smoak grounds out off of first base, Weeks fields and throws to Balfour covering. Smoak is so slow, that ball hung up there forever, literally, that ball is still up there. Montero looks a little hesitant, drives a ball to the right center track. Was caught by the communist.
Wow, I really did not want extra innings. Now I am really hoping for them. This offense is really bad, wahhhhhh.
Felix is out, 8 IP, 1 ER, 1 No Decision. The bartender (Tom Wilhelmsen) is in, may the bartending jokes begin. Serves up a nice martini to Kurt Suzuki, shaken, not stirred with 5 olives. Suzuki unsure how to react to drink being made for him by opposing pitcher, flies out to center. Gets Reddick to fly out deep to left. I swear that wasn’t Mike Carp who made the catch though, he was way too athletic looking. Probably got 5 inches on his vertical. Now the Communist is up, I wonder if he likes his rum and coke? Apparently Cespedes was also caught off guard by the bartending skills of Wilhelmsen and was made a fool of. Swung at two pitches in the dirt for a swinging K. Commie pig.
Brian Fuentes is now in for the A’s, he used to be on the M’s, maybe he will feel bad for us and let us win. His pitching motion is also super duper weird, I could describe it better if I had slept but just know its super weird. So weird that Carp pops out to the catcher. Olivo also can’t handle it, grounds out to SS. Saunders! Do something cool! A routine flyball to right is not cool, unless you’re a hipster, but then only if you did it first. Sorry Michael, someone else already flew out to right, so that was not cool. Also, Geoff Baker is ignoring my tweet, I would like to know how many K’s Felix had. The sun is coming up in an hour. All of these things are so not cool.
Wedge leaves in the bartender, a decision probably influenced by the Tom Collins Wilhelmsen made him in-between innings. Ackley bobbles a ball, then pulls Smoak off the bag with the throw. Allen on first, no outs. Ackley now regrets shotgunning those 4 beers that Wilhelmsen gave him in-between innings. All of you tired of the bartender jokes, too bad! I am having way too much fun right now thinking of these. Olivo throws out the runner trying to steal, Ryan got cleated on the slide. Really? I feel like I am taking crazy pills! He stays in the game though and Wilhelmsen gets Sogard to fly out to center. Then sympathetically listens to Sogard’s insecurities about wearing glasses and flying out to center a lot. And I would assume that the Bartender has closed up shop for the night. Throwing all the drunks out, like Jemile Weeks who strikes out again.
New pitcher for A’s, Carnigan, who gives up a double to Ryan. That sucks for Carnigan who left that breaking ball out over the plate. Good for Ryan for not hitting it at somebody though. I think he is finally learning the strategy for hitting. Figgins now up, will try to bunt. He succeeds! Huzzah for Chone. Ryan gets to third and Ackley is up. He singles to center and drives in Ryan. That’s two RBI’s for him, and two for my fantasy team. Carnigan is done and will be replaced by Blevins. Blevins is super skinny, just pointing that out. Ackley steals second, racking up those fantasy points! Ichiro nearly decapitates Blevins with a liner up the middle and drives in Ackley. Ichiro then gets caught in between 1st and 2nd on the cut off from the throw home, two outs, 3-1 M’s. Smoak pops out.
That actually wasn’t super depressing offensively; at least we scored more than one run. Brandon League time. Ichiro is also 4-5 today and Smoak and Montero are hitless. I’m currently meh about that.
I forgot how not straight League’s fastball is. Cliff Pennington doesn’t care. He hits a warning track fly out to Casper Wells who replaces the Starfish in left. Crisp strikes out looking on a borderline call. I guess I’ll take it. Seth Smith up again, Mr. Boring. League’s splitter is craz;, that thing dives like a peregrine falcon. Yeah I said it, but I don’t stand by it. Smith nearly beans League with a liner back up the middle, probably taking out his frustration of having a boring name. Suzuki up, Smith goes to second on defensive indifference. That’s how boring you are Seth Smith! We are indifferent to stopping you from taking a base. Suzuki goes fishing and strikes out swinging.
Mariners win 3-1 in 11 innings. Ackley had 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB and two hits. Ichiro went 4-5. Felix was awesome, League was awesome, I made way too many bartender jokes for Tom Wilhelmsen who was also solid. I am very tired now and will see you all tomorrow morning for the second game. 1-0, best team in the league suckas! Go M’s.