A star-studded cast threw out the ceremonial first pitch to kick off the Seattle Mariners 2023 season. Not that the crowd needed any more enticement. Before the introduction of Kasey Keller, Gary Payton, Jewell Loyd , Marshawn Lynch, and Ken Griffey JR the crowd was bubbly with anticipation of a possible start to another playoff run. When some of Seattle’s sports royalty was introduced, the crowd went bonkers.
As for the game, it was a pitcher’s duel with the Mariners starter Luis Castillo out dueling the Cleveland Guardians Shane Bieber. The workhorses showed their worth and why they are the gems of their pitching staff‘s respectively. In the third inning, Castillo was in the head by a Will Brennan line drive. After a mound visit from Manager Scott Servais and a couple of warm-up pitches, the Mariners Ace hunkered down.
Castillo pitched six innings allowing just one hit struck out six. The Guardians Shane Bieber also went six innings struck out three batters and allowed six hits.
The pitchers dual continued with Matt Brash and Trevor Stephan taking over for their perspective sides. Both pitched one inning. Brash gave up one hit and struck out two. Stephan struck out one batter and gave up no hits. Paul Sewald took for Brash in the eight innings and took care of business with a strikeout and kept the Guardians off the bases.
CRAZY BOTTOM OF THE EIGHT
The Guardians made another pitching change in the bottom of the eight and one could argue it was one too many or the wrong pitcher was called. Guardian reliever James Karinchak ‘s number was called, and it was then that the game took a turn. Karinchak never seemed comfortable when stepping up to the mound and the home crowd cheering their side on.
The Guardian reliever was given an infraction for going past the allotted time to deliver the pitch to J.P. Crawford. A rattled Karinchak surrendered a walk to Crawford, induced a Rodriguez fly out to the center field, hit Kolten Wong, and watched Ty France take his pitch over the fences for a three-run homer.
SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED
Closer Paul Sewald made things a little interesting in the top of the ninth inning .Sewald induced back to background out and it all looked like it was going to be a textbook three up and three down. An Amed Robinson single was followed up with a Jose Ramirez line drive that moved Robinson to third to make things a little interesting. A quick mound visit settled Sewald’s nerves, and he was able to induce a Josh Bell ground out to seal the win.
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