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The Anaheim Angels of California and greater Orange County came into T-Mobile Park against the hottest baseball team in America. The Mariners who had back to back series wins against the Athletics and Red Sox by virtue of an offensive barrage, found pitching to the key to win a couple of close ones against the Angels of Southern California and Rancho Cucamonga.
APR 2 v LA Angels W 2-1
Pitcher Marco Gonzales was rather unfairly put in place to be the Ace of the Mariners staff. Rather than shrinking like a flower, he has made the best of it and earned his 3rd win of the season. He was almost perfect and quite honestly had to be as the offense didn’t give him much help with just 2 runs scored.
Marco went 8 1/3 innings with just 4 hits allowed and a run. He didn’t have much pizazz but when he allowed a power house like Mike Trout or Jonathan Lucruoy on the bags, he came back to shut down the Halos at every opportunity.
DH Daniel Vogelbach got the call tonight and made it count with a double and game winning homer in the 8th inning. The 412 ft solo shot off Luis Garcia propelled the M’s to a 3rd straight series win creating quite the buzz in here in Seatown.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 3, 2019
APR 1 v LA Angels W 6-3
King Felix (Hernandez) showed that he isn’t completely out of juice as he reached into his hat of old tricks and earned a win on Monday night. After starting 11 of the past 12 opening days, the King had to settle for being allowed to remain on the staff. It would be 7 games into the season before he would get a start, but it turned out to be a pretty decent effort.
Felix found his form in 5 and 1/3 innings to put the M’s on firm ground allowing just 1 earned run. Last season was a bit of a nightmare for the King as he found the ravages of age catch up to him. While just 32, he has the mileage of a baseball player twice his age as he started his career at just 19.
No Mariners team has ever been better through seven games.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 2, 2019
The King allowed 7 hits but something strange happened, he actually pitched from a lead! For the last decade of his existence he had to be perfect to earn a win. In the 1st inning Domingo Santana and Tim Beckham would get timely hitting to put the M’s up by a score of 4-0. Felix then took control.
Former Mariners pitcher Ryan Roland-Smith would say the following:
“I love the fact he pitched inside a ton, threw his fastball – that fastball percentage was up, he threw that in bigger counts, he was attacking hitters, he was sticking that chest out, that body language was back. All the little things that he can snowball with, I thought he looked good. Look, pitching into the sixth inning, I’m not sitting here saying he’s an ace again by any means, but it’s definitely something to build off, especially after what he did in spring (training).”
SSU Player of the Series
Let’s have co-players of the series with the Mariners starting pitching. Marco Gonzales and Felix Hernandez went 13 2/3 innings with just 2 earned runs allowed. While many expect a regression to the mean, True to the Blue fans should enjoy what we are watching—the future of the M’s (Marco) and the past (Felix) put on a show this week and it needs to be noted that that we are watching a passing of the torch so to speak.
Also, big ups to Mariners SS Tim Beckham who earned the American League Player of the Week award last week. Beckham hit .435 (10-for-23) with two doubles, three homers and six RBIs in Seattle’s first six games.
“It’s been fun,” Beckham said. “I’m not the only who is playing good ball around here. The whole team is playing really good. I’m sure you could have given the award to two or three other guys in here. I think we should get the Team of the Week. I think that’s more important than me getting Player of the Week, how we’re gelling as a ball club. Our team camaraderie around the locker room goes a long way.”