Mariners avenge perfect game loss a year later, defeat Astros 3-0

Suck on that Philip Humber!

You walked Brendan Ryan last year in the 9th!

Seattle 3, Houston 0
When: 10:10 PM ET, Monday, April 8, 2013
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington
Temperature: 56°
Umpires: Home – Tony Randazzo, 1B – Manny Gonzalez, 2B – Wally Bell, 3B – Larry Vanover
Attendance: 42589

For Seattle, the new scoreboard won’t be the only thing worth celebrating after the home opener. The red carpet gave the fans reasons to cheer, watching Felix Hernandez come out alone was awe-inspiring, followed by the AL leader in home runs (Michael Morse) and the amazing Jamie Moyer throwing the first pitch, the stage was set.

2009 was the last home opening day victory for the M’s. Perhaps as a gift, the baseball gods presented the hapless Houston Astros to SafeCo field, and a 3-0 win followed.

The Astros came into Monday’s game averaging 12 strikeouts per game in the young season, but not the good kind. The Rangers and Athletics pitching staff’s had field days on the swing-happy lineup.

So, two questions remain:

  1. Was Joe Saunders performance a sing of things to come?
  2. Was Phillip Humber’s perfect game the biggest anomaly ever by a starting pitcher?

1. What does Joe Saunders performance mean?

Lowering an ERA from 9.00 to 3.48 is always a good sign, and usually an indication of a small sample size. The contrasting performances less than a week apart are confusing.

Game 1: 4 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K

Game 2: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

Last season, Saunders finished with a 4.07 ERA and 1.340 WHIP between Arizona and Baltimore. Inconsistently is the man’s game, in 4 April starts he went 2-1 with a 0.90 Era and followed it in May with a 6.12 ERA.

For Seattle, the new scoreboard won’t be the only thing worth celebrating after the home opener.

For Seattle, the new scoreboard won’t be the only thing worth celebrating after the home opener.

I had zero desire to see him in the rotation after seeing the Spring Training games he pitched in, finishing with an ERA over 11. A night like tonight gives fans hope that management made the right decision.

Hopefully, that is the case, but in all reality, Saunders benefited from a terrible Houston lineup and will be replaced by Danny Hultzen or Erasmo Ramirez by June.

2. Will the new dimensions ever yield a Mariner home run?

Wait, that wasn’t supposed to be the question. Still, it was disappointing to not benefit from the new digs.

Real #2. Is Phillip Humber the worst pitcher to throw a perfect game?

Humber’s stats Monday night were not terrible, pitching 6 innings and allowing 3 runs on 5 hits. Since his last game in Seattle, Humber has been nothing short of disappointing and his desire to start ended with him in Houston.

No, Humber is probably not the worst (A’s Dallas Braden comes to mind), but it was frustrating to see him in Seattle again.

It was a tough thing for Seattle to swallow, but hopefully that will be a distant memory behind Felix’s and the future success of the Mariners.

M’s Game Notes:

Kendrys Morales is in need of some props for his performances since the Oakland series.

In his last 4 games, Morales is 8-16 and hitting extremely well with RISP, adding a HR and 5 RBI for the M’s. Nice night for the pen. Relievers Carter Capps and Charlie Furbush bridged the gap to closer Tom Wilhelmsen, who pitched a perfect ninth inning for his third save.

The Astros have struck out 82 times, including eight Monday. Houston pitching has recorded 37 strikeouts. The Mariners went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position Monday after going 0-for-7 in each of their last two games.

Cheers and go M’s!


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