I’m back up and a couple of cups of coffee into my day after a little post-opening day nap. So what did the the Mariners 3-1 extra inning win over the A’s teach us?. Well in all honesty, not a ton. Seattle does, after all, have 161 games left, including another one in Japan at 2 a.m. Pacific Time.
But hey, what’s the point in being sensible? Instead, let’s overreact and read way too much into what happened. So what did we learn this morning?
King Felix is ready to dominate again. Actually, this is one thing we can take away from the game that isn’t a complete knee-jerk reaction. Hernandez was dominant over eight innings, allowing just one run and five hits while striking out six and walking none. In other words, he picked up right where he left off the past two years. Unfortunately for Hernandez, this was also a vintage performance for him because it came with a serious lack of run support, meaning another no decision that should have been a victory.
Ichiro is back. OK, one four-hit game does not mean Suzuki is ready to go back to being a .300 hitter, but it’s certainly an encouraging start after a tough 2011. One thing that was clear is that hitting in the No. 3 spot won’t change much about the way Suzuki approaches the game, as was evident in his two infield singles. Classic No. 3 hitter, right?
The offense will probably still be an issue. Until the Mariners picked up two runs in the 11th, they had one run on six hits, two of which didn’t leave the infield. For a team with a history of hitting, that would just be an rough day at the office, but for a team that has been dead last in nearly every offensive category for two straight years, it’s a concerning start.
Dustin Ackley can rake. No, he won’t get two hits and hit 430-foot homers every day, but after tantalizing fans with his bat last season, Ackley is showing no signs of slowing down in his first full season in the bigs.
That’s all for now. And a big thanks to those who joined our live chat at 3 a.m. Between that, the people chiming in on Twitter, and the fans who were at Safeco Field for the viewing party, it’s impressive how dedicated some fans can remain even after years of struggles. Hopefully this is the year you’re rewarded for your loyalty (after all the M’s are on pace to win 162 games).