Happy Opening Day No. 1!
The Mariners played the official MLB season opener earlier this morning in Japan, beating the Oakland A’s 9-7 at the Tokyo Homer Dome. For those of you who didn’t stay up to watch this game, the ball was jumping off the bat like it was being played in Albuquerque or Reno. There were five home runs, including a grand slam by Domingo Santana – the Mariners first opening day grand slam since Jim Presley in 1986.
The second and final game in Japan is tonight/tomorrow at 2:30 AM. Once again, it will be televised live by ESPN.
Meanwhile, spring training continues – and I’m off to Arizona in the morning. The Rainiers will be playing Cactus League exhibition games on Thursday and Friday nights, and we’ll have full reports here on the blog. Look for updates from Arizona on Friday and Saturday late mornings, and another on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
The M’s made two more roster moves prior to the game today, re-assigning LHP Tommy Milone and catcher Jose Lobaton to minor league camp. These are veteran major leaguers who will provide depth for the M’s, and give the Rainiers some needed experience.
- The Mariners won the game this morning, but it was really all about Ichiro. He acquitted himself nicely, working a walk in a long plate appearance in his second and final at-bat.
- Domingo Santana‘s grand slam highlighted the win. Ryan Divish has his thoughts on the opener.
- Relief pitcher Shawn Armstrong – the 2018 Tacoma Rainiers Pitcher of the Year – strained his oblique and was placed on the ten-day injured list by the Mariners. Unfortunately, it sounds like he could be out for a while. The M’s have four relievers on the injured list who could have prolonged rehabilitation stints with Tacoma.
- Larry Stone doesn’t expect the Mariners to win much this season, but he does think it will be interesting.
- Good post by marc w at USS Mariner on what a successful 2019 Mariners season would look like.
- Parting with Ichiro and Felix Hernandez is not going to be easy, Larry Stone writes.
- The Rainiers Copa de la Diversion alter-ego is… La Familia de Tacoma.
- Lookout Landing posted its annual Tacoma Rainiers preview.
- In Arizona yesterday, Kyle Lewis doubled and homered in a 6-4 loss to the Cubs. Looks like I’l get to see Justin Dunn start tomorrow.