Saturday’s Game 33 recap: Rockies 2, Mariners 1
Player of the Game: New starter Chris Young threw 4 2/3 shutout innings with four hits, no walks and two strikeouts in his Mariners debut, a nice introduction for the veteran who will slide immediately into the fifth-starter role to open the regular season. Young just signed a one-year deal Thursday after being released by the Nationals.
Stat of the Game: Robinson Cano went 0-for-2 in the spring finale, but still finished Cactus League playing hitting .412. He just nudged out Brad Miller for the team’s spring batting title, with Miller going 0-for-1 with a walk to finish at .410.
Storyline: This Cactus League finale was all about getting Young ready as he never pitched more than four innings for the Nationals this spring, that coming in a 75-pitch Minor League outing almost two weeks ago. He threw 63 pitches in his 4 2/3 innings and appeared to be tiring a bit in the fourth, but righted himself and got a pair of outs in the fifth before giving up a two-out single and being replaced. Young then threw another 15-20 pitches in the bullpen. He’ll get the start Friday in Oakland in the fifth game of the regular season.
Worth noting: Corey Hart saw his first Cactus League action in nine days as he returns from a sore forearm. He went 0-for-3 at designated hitter, finishing the spring with a .132 average. Manager Lloyd McClendon said the big man swung better on Saturday and didn’t sound concerned about his tough camp while coming back from a year layoff following two knee surgeries. But it’ll be interesting to see how much Hart plays initially. It appears he’ll split time at DH with Logan Morrison, who likely will get the Opening Day start against Angels right-hander Jered Weaver.
Quote of the Day: “He did a great job today. He learned what I wanted to do, we got on the same page very quickly. I couldn’t have been more impressed with how easy he made it for me today.” – Young on working with catcher Mike Zunino for the first time.
Next: The Mariners open their regular season on Monday in Anaheim with Felix Hernandez making his club-record seventh Opening Day start. First pitch will be at 7:12 p.m. PT and the game will be televised by ESPN2 and ROOT Sports and also be available to MLB.TV subscribers. The Mariners have won a franchise-record seven straight openers. The last Major League team to win eight straight or more Opening Day games was the Reds with a nine-game streak from 1983-91. Hernandez has much to do with that streak as he’s 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA in six Opening Day outings.
Here’s today’s boxscore.
And here’s today’s notebook with all the news from camp.