Mariners play a clunker, fall to Guardians 9-4
Published in Baseball
SEATTLE — Over the course of baseball’s 162-game season, a game in which nothing seems to go right — whether it’s on the mound, in the batter’s box, in the field or some combination of all three — is going to happen. It’s unavoidable over that many games.
Managers have an assortment of labels for these forgettable performances. “Clunker” is a favorite of manager Scott Servais.
And while such lackluster performances are expected if not willingly accepted, it just looks and feels a little worse when one comes in the second game of the season.
A night after a crisp and exciting victory on opening day, which delighted a sellout crowd, the Seattle Mariners offered up a sloppy showing of inefficient pitching and inadequate defense that left the sizable, but not sellout, crowd of 31,516 grumbling and irritated after sitting through chilly temps Friday evening to see a 9-4 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.
The Mariners made three errors, allowed four unearned runs and walked eight batters, including Mike Zunino twice, which isn’t exactly aligned with their ethos of run prevention and controlling the strike zone.
The problems started with left-hander Robbie Ray, who looked nothing like the pitcher that dominated in spring training with a mid-90s fastball and better-than-average command.
Instead, Ray seemed to be fighting to find a rhythm with his delivery that was never found in an outing that never made it out of the fourth inning.
Ray’s struggles with his command were apparent when he walked Jose Ramirez and Josh Bell with two outs in the first inning but got out unscathed.
Seattle gave Ray a 1-0 lead after Julio Rodriguez led off the bottom of the first with a double and scored on Kolten Wong’s single to right. But it didn’t last.
Ray gave up a leadoff single to Oscar Gonzalez and then watched as no one fielded Andres Gimenez’s bunt single. A walk to Zunino loaded the bases for Cleveland.
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