Saturday’s Game 33 recap: Mariners 4, Rockies 3
Player of the Game: I’m going to close out the spring by giving this one to young infielder Brad Miller, who is going to get sent down tomorrow when they announce final roster cuts. But the 23-year-old continued impressing right up to the end, going 2-for-2 with a double and making a great snag at third base in the game at Salt Lake City. Miller started slow this spring, but wound up hitting .255 and outlasting other top infield prospects like Nick Franklin, Carlos Triunfel and Alex Liddi. The 2011 second-round draft pick is expected to start the season in Double-A Jackson, but he caught the attention of some important people this spring. Here’s video of his eighth-inning double and some words of praise from the ROOT announcers.
Stat of the Game: Two more home runs — by Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak — as the Mariners just never stopped hitting bombs this spring. They finished with a club-record 58 in 33 games, the second-most by any Major League club in the past 20 years behind only the 62 of the 1999 Cubs (when Sammy Sosa hit 12). Here’s video of Morales’ homer and here you can see Smoak’s bomb.
Storyline: Brandon Maurer made his final start before his Major League debut on Thursday. And while he gave up his first two home runs of the spring, one was a line drive that probably doesn’t go out of most parks. He wound up allowing four hits and three runs in four innings, finishing his spring at 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA.
Worth noting: Jason Bay played the last few innings in right field and it’s a mere formality now before he’s given the last outfield spot when the club announces its final 25-man roster before Sunday’s noon deadline. Nobody got hurt, nothing went wrong, so expect Casper Wells to be either traded or released at the deadline. Wells was left behind in Peoria to play Minor League games while Bay accompanied the team to Salt Lake City and now on to Oakland for Monday’s regular-season opener.
Quote of the Day: “It’s time to get things going.”– Eric Wedge.
Next: The Mariners will work out Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Oakland Coliseum in preparation for Monday’s 7:07 p.m. opener against the A’s, with Felix Hernandez starting against lefty Brett Anderson.
Here’s is the link to today’s boxscore.
Here’s my story on Opening Day starter Felix Hernandez and his outlook on the upcoming season.
And here’s my notebook with all the day’s Mariners news, including a very cool Opening Night viewing party at Safeco Field on Monday.