Welcome to the regular season, folks.
The silver lining in an 0-2 start is that there is still a chance to end the season 160-2, and that the Mariners always seem to start off hot and win their first few games before self-destructing and looking like the team we all knew for the last sixteen years. Perhaps these few losses to start the year means this year is different.
The M’s were shut down again at the plate, but managed to score their first run of the season, and got a solid performance out of Hisashi Iwakuma, who desperately needed to forget all about Spring Training.
Haniger Scores, Canó Doubles, Mariners Lose
Mitch Haniger had his first hit and scored his first run as a Mariner and the first Seattle run of the year on Danny Valencia’s infield single in the top of the fourth. Robinson Canó added a double in the first inning, but apart from the the M’s were kept pretty quiet at the dish. The Astros pitching has been phenomenal to start the season, as has the Mariners’, but the Astros’ run support has made the difference. Call it home-field advantage, blame it on the short porch in left, whatever, the Astros have just been that much better over the first two games, and that’s all they’ve needed.
The M’s need to chill out and Control the Zone like they did in Spring Training. Leonys Martin alone has four strikeouts over the first two games, and the whole team is striking out way more than they should be. Perhaps tomorrow’s game against Houston’s third starter Charlie Morton, a new signee this offseason. He’s never faced the Mariners, a chance for the high-powered lineup to get some shots in.
Kuma Sheds Off Awful Spring
Hisashi Iwakuma had an awful Spring, no question. He was thinking too much, not focusing, and didn’t look like the stellar second starter we’ve had over the last few years. Today, he stepped up and looked like the old Kuma. Like Felix yesterday, he turned in a great start but was saddled with the loss due to lack of run support. Kuma gave up only four hits, two of which were home runs, the only two Astro runs of the day. He did his job and ate up six innings with quality pitching, and the ‘pen locked down the seventh and eighth innings. We can’t ask for more from the mound, the bats need to come to life and back the stellar outings the pitchers are having.
James Paxton gets his first start of the regular season tomorrow against Charlie Morton.