erik lundegaard


Thursday April 18, 2024

M's One-Hit Reds on a Sunny Afternoon

Bryce, Bryce, baby. 

Well, that's a little better. 

Two weeks ago, I attended my first Mariners game of the season, an 8-0 drubbing at the hands of Cleveland, in which our D kept booting the ball and our O couldn't move a man past second even if he led off with a double. That loss, to a team who did poorly last year but is currently one of the top teams in baseball, dropped the Mariners to one game below .500.

In yesterday's afternoon game, on a super-sunny, mid-50s mid-April day, the Reds and Mariners traded solo shots in the 2nd (Elly de la Cruz for them, Cal Raleigh for the good guys, a no-doubter), then there was nothing for several innings. Immediately after Cal, with two outs, Dylan Moore hit a triple thanks to a misplay by Reds centerfielder Stuart Fairchild, but he was stranded at third. With one out in the bottom of the 3rd,  Julio Rodriguez, off to an abysmal start (sub-.300 everything), ripped a double off the glove of Fairchild but was also stranded at third. Stranding at third seemed our lot. 

Then in the bottom of the 6th, we got another solo shot, this one from clean-up hitter Mitch Garver. Was that our lot? The solo shot? Because in the bottom of the 7th we got another one, from lead-off pinch-hitter Josh Rojas, making it 3-1. Four solo shots, four runs. That inning, though, finally gave way to another way to score. Newbie whippersnapper Jonatan Clase walked, stole second, and scored on a Mitch Haniger line single to left. Fun! Then Reds pitchers couldn't find the plate. Less fun! With two outs, Garver walked, and France walked to load them. Would Cal Raleigh get out the rye bread and mustard? No, he walked, too. Could Dylan Moore hit another triple to clear the bases? No, he struck out. But now we were up 5-1.  

It was my friend Jeff who pointed out that the Reds weren't exactly hitting. Meaning beyond de la Cruz's homer, they didn't have any other hits

“Did they even walk?” I wondered aloud. “I guess they're two over the minimum right now, so they must've walked.” They did: catcher Tyler Stephenson immediately after de la Cruz's homer. Those turned out to be the Reds' only baserunners for the day. Every other inning: three up, three down. Bryce Miller pitched six and got the win. Our first series win of the season was a series sweep, and it raised the Mariners record to .... right, one game below .500. This again. But I'll take the W.

Throughout the game, Jeff and I kept moving to stay in the sun. We began on the first-base side of the 300-level and wound up in shallow left field, but I still felt cold and stiff at the end. Maybe I'm getting too old for this shit? I screwed up the game time, too—thought it was a 12:40 start rather than 1:10—but was rewarded with a Griffey bobblehead doll. I normally say no to bobbleheads but I couldn't say no to that.

Posted at 08:12 AM on Thursday April 18, 2024 in category Seattle Mariners