Coming into Monday night as losers of the last six games, the Mariners were once again looking to find a stopgap or anything to right the ship.
Fortunately, they had eluded playing over the weekend against the unstoppable Indians due to two rainouts in Cleveland, allowing them to recuperate their spirits and head into the homestand ready to take on the Twins.
And plus, it was (my self-invented) Happy Pineda Day and at the end of the night, as the stat sheet would suggest, indeed it was Happy Pineda Day.
There’s only so many embellishing adjectives to praise a pitcher with, and I’m pretty sure I’ve used most of them. The Twins hitters were completely fooled by his "diabolical" slider and just could not figure out his high 90’s fastball.
It was yet another dominating performance for Michael Pineda, who went seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits while striking out seven. Pineda’s ERA in his rookie season now stands at a ridiculous 2.45 as he continues his—yes, I said it—Cy Young caliber season.
And even after the light offensive output by the M’s offense for the past several games, one would expect that even they could take advantage of one of the worst pitching staffs in the majors.
All Pineda needed was a few runs to have the win in the bag, and that was precisely what the offense did.
The highlight of the night for the Mariners offense was undoubtedly the back-to-back home runs by Adam Kennedy and Carlos Peguero. Peguero is 24, while Kennedy is 35, but to me both of these players need to gain more playing time.
Of course, Peguero is still learning on the job, but fans can’t help but ogle at his raw power as displayed by his line drive home run tonight.
And as for Kennedy, I’m a strong believer that the Mariners need to find ways to get Kennedy’s bat in the lineup.
Simply put, he’s a professional hitter with a bit of pop, but most importantly good things tend to happen when Kennedy is contributing.
After a short hot streak, the Mariners made a resounding crash back to reality with the six straight losses. The win tonight helps soothe the team’s confidence a bit, but the M’s will need to show a lot more consistency—a team can only be so good if half of its lineup is hugging the Mendoza line.
Tomorrow, the M’s send out King Felix and take their chances against Francisco Liriano—who, despite his no-hitter, still sports a 7+ ERA.