To all critics who think the Mariners don’t have any good fans, or that these fans fill an unwelcoming ballpark, look no further than, “Cheeseburger!” This fastfood taunt was yelled by a Mariners fan sitting behind the camcorder this past Saturday’s game, while Giants 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval (otherwise known as Kung Fu Panda in MLB circles), was batting. It’s little secret that the Panda has struggled lately with eating a bit too much bamboo, and Sandoval can only respond with “I’m workin’ on it,” when questioned about his weight. The Mariners went on to win this game, 7-4, which included 2 home runs from outfielder Casper Wells and Jesus Montero.
The Mariners took 2 from the Giants this past weekend, making their record for the week 2-4. Earlier in the week, the Mariners lost 3 to the San Diego Padres (the team with the worst road record in MLB baseball). Before game 2 against the Giants, the Mariners had a 6-game losing streak going at home, their 2nd longest losing streak of the season. Over this time the Mariners only managed to score 13 runs, and went 15 straight innings of no-run baseball. This sparked talk of Mariners’ bad juju at home, ballpark (outfield) remodels, and all sorts of negativity. But the proceeding wins against one of the National Leagues best ball clubs, along with a couple friendly home runs, nipped those discussions in the bud.
Before game 2 against the Giants, Ron Fairly (former Mariners announcer) summed up the general opinion of what was needed for the Mariners to get some wins, when he said blankly, “Hit better.” So, that is what the Mariners did; they managed to score 7 runs in that game, which included 12 hits, 2 first-inning homeruns, and late inning heroics by struggling shortstop, Brendan Ryan, who had 2 RBIs in the game. In game 2 the Mariners batted 4 for 7 with runners in scoring position. After the game, starting pitcher Kevin Millwood gave Ryan a big bearhug, and Ryan professed in the post-game interview that they were probably “gonna play some loud music in the clubhouse.”
Surprisingly, though, post-game announcers said that no loud music could be heard. What was playing instead was mellow country music, and someone joked that “perhaps Justin Smoak got there first.” That may be the case, as he might’ve needed to relax and focus in preparation for his game 3 heroics in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the San Francisco club. After a diving play in the 8th to save a threatening run, Justin Smoak hit the game-ending RBI in the bottom of the 9th, clinching the series win.
Other highlights of the Father’s Day win came before the game in a fly-over sign that read: “King34, you are the best dad ever. We (heart) u.” Felix went on to pitch 7 innings of 1 run ball which was welcome after a 1-4 record (6.37 ERA) over his past 6 starts. In response to the gift, Hernandez said, “That was amazing. That was the best gift ever.” More pitching highlights came in the form of a beautiful 12-6 curve ball, thrown by Tom Wilhelmson in the top of the 9th with runners in scoring position, that struck out Melky Cabrera, the national league’s best hitter (.360 average).
And on another note, Casper Wells, who pitched 95 MPH in college, now is back in the lineup, and along with his bat, brings a right-handed gun to the outfield. Look for rockets being launched from left and right field, and close plays at home plate next week in away games versus the Diamondbacks and Padres. We love highlights!