Morse code: Mariners show new power dimension
This was exactly what Jack Zduriencik hoped to add when he traded John Jaso away in a three-team swap that brought the big outfielder back to Seattle.
A three-run opposite field shot in the third inning changed the game, then a towering solo shot in the ninth put the exclamation mark on it.
Here’s video of the second bomb, though it was hit so high and far that the ROOT Sports cameras didn’t track its final landing spot. The ball hit high off the massive center field wall behind the center-field fence at the Oakland Coliseum, then deflected almost straight down onto the field.
We got a better view of the first shot here in this video on a ball that was just laced the opposite way.
Impressive stuff on a night that showed what power can do. The pitching was there again, with Hisashi Iwakuma strong in six innings of two-hit ball. But this one became a no-doubter because of the offense on a night when Kyle Seager reached base five times (3-for-3 with two walks) and Morse did the big damage.
One fun thing. I asked Iwakuma afterward if he was aware of Yu Darvish’s near-perfect game, which Darvish lost with two out in the ninth in Houston. Iwakuma said he heard about that effort during the Mariners game.
“It’s always great to go that long, 8 2/3, so you’re always proud,” he said through translator Antony Suzuki. “That’s Japanese.”
But the Mariners had plenty to be proud of on their own end in this one as they improved to 2-0 for just the eighth time in franchise history. And Morse was a big reason why, with manager Eric Wedge noting how he changed the game with one swing with his three-run blow.
What is Wedge seeing from his big man?
“Tenacity,”Wedge said. “He’s up there hungry. He’s a hitter first. He’s a big strong guy, but he takes a lot of pride in being a good hitter first. You saw right there a great example of now having a veteran guy up there.”