There is no place like home

9 Apr

Tonight as we entered Safeco field for the Seattle Mariners 37th home opener we notice that this year was going to be different. When we get into the seating area the first thing we notice is the mammoth screen that has been added showing us larger than life images. Then we notice there is something about the field itself that looks different. We take a second look and see that the fences have been moved in by a few feet in hopes of more home runs.

Once we look around at the field we sit down to watch all of the opening day festivities. We aren’t disappointed as there are fireworks, a short concert by a local band and introductions of the player, coaches and the clubhouse staff. Once that hoopla was over it was time for the national anthem. A children’s outreach choir from the capitol city of Olympia did a very nice rendition of our National Anthem.

Next came the ceremonial pitch that saw the return of two fan favorites in Jamie Moyer and Dan Wilson. The 50-year-old Jamie Moyer took to the mound and threw a low and outside pitch to Dan Wilson. Then as the two former Mariners walked off the field it was finally time to start the game.

The Houston Astros are up to bat first. Seattle Mariners’ pitcher Joe Saunders takes to the mound and threw a strike. The first batter ended up flying out bringing plenty of cheers from the fans. The next batters walks into the box and hits a single. Joe Saunders doesn’t let having a runner on bother him as he strikes out the next two bringing the top of the 1st to an end. Now, it is The Mariners turn as Michael Saunders steps into the batter’s box. He hits a single and then quickly steals second. Franklin Gutierrez steps up next and flies out. Kendrys Morales walks up to the plate next and gets a single bringing Michael Saunders home. Then Michael Morse and Kyle Seager both fly out ending the firstwith a 1-0 lead for the Seattle Mariners.

The second starts with Joe Saunders getting two quick outs before giving up a single. He gets the next batter to hit a ground ball to end the top of the second. The Mariners half of the 2nd goes quick as Justin Smoak and Jesus Morales both fly out. Then Dustin Ackerly steps in and grounds out to end the 2nd.

The Houston half of the 3rd goes quick as Joe Saunders gets them out in order. In the Mariners half of the inning Brendan Ryan hits a fly ball for the first out. Michael Saunders steps up next and just as he did in the 1st he gets a single. He steals second again as Franklin Gutierrez strikes out. Once again Kendrys Morales comes through as he hits a double to make it 2-0 Mariners. Michael Morse hits a fly ball to end the 3rd.

The 4th goes quick as both sides go in order.

In the top of the 5th Joe Saunders gives up a bases hit. The next batter hits into a double play to erase the runner. Then a walk and a single gets Saunders into his first jam of the game. With two runners on base Saunders gets the next batter to ground out to end Houston’s half of the inning. Now, it is the Mariners turn at bat. Dustin Ackerly and Brendan Ryan both get singles. With two runners on Michael Saunders flies out. Franklin Gutierrez gets a hit bringing Dustin Ackerly in to make it 3-0 Mariners. Kendrys Morales walks to load the bases. Michael Morse continues having a bad day as he hits into a double play to end the inning.

The 6th goes quickly despite Houston getting a single. The Mariners go 1-2-3 in their half of the inning.

The 7th starts out with Joe Saunders giving up a single. He strikes out the next batter before he is pulled for a relief pitcher. Carter Capps comes in and gives up a single before getting the next two batters out ending the top of the 7th. The Mariners half of the ending goes fast despite Michael Saunders reaching base by an error.

In the top half of the 8th carter Capps strikes out the first two batters. He is then pulled for Charlie Furbush who comes in and gets a strike out to end the Houston half of the inning. In the bottom half of the 8th the Mariners go in order.

Tom “the Bartender” Wilhelmsen comes in for the 9th. Unlike his last time this outing he has his usual good stuff and promptly gets three outs to end the game. The Seattle Mariners win their home opener 3-0 over the Houston Astros earning Wilhelmsen another save.

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