Mariners 3, A’s 1: Opening Morning! Gotta say, for all of my bitching about this yesterday, it was kind of nice to wake up at 5:52 AM, roll over, fire up the laptop and watch some baseball. At least until my kids woke up. Then I had to take precious time away from the game to tell them that breakfast will be later and to go play video games because Daddy is watching baseball. My parenting is already in midseason form.
As for the baseball: it was pretty classic Seattle Mariners for a while as Felix Hernandez just didn’t know how to win, giving up one run on five hits while striking out six in eight innings. He should just pitch to the score more or something. Brandon McCarthy was good himself, giving up one run — a Dustin Ackley homer — and a boatload of grounders in seven innings. Some jokers were saying that the M’s and A’s would give us a 0-0 game for 19 innings. Nonsense. But for a while it felt like it would be 1-1 that long.
Dustin Ackley struck again in extras, singling in Brendan Ryan in the 11th. Ichiro added some insurance, knocking in Ackley on his fourth single of the game. Just Ichiro being Ichiro. Home cookin’, yo.
We do this again tomorrow morning. Then some time off. Then back next week. But hey, baseball.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.