M's up 9-4 in the middle of the 5th as we type this.
All Dr. D wanted for his baseball birthday? was nine hitters who would look at the wall the same way he looks at Olive Garden's potato soup. For five innings, they definitely served up refill after refill of peppery goodness. They being the M's, that is, not OG's cooks.
To be fair, Mike Fiers looked like it was his first game of spring training. If I recall correctly he spiked two or three pitches in the first couple innings, grooved fastballs and generally swatted at the catcher's return throws like he was his own least favorite person.
Liam Hendricks, their "opener," has a long ways to go to GET to first game ST form, and the pitch Ryan Dull threw to Tim Beckham looked 87 MPH, centered, letter high and generally 100% worthy of drawing a backup shortstop's pinwheeled bat flip.
In general there's no such thing as weaker pitching than that in a big league game. Just the same, the M's hitters looked sharp as tacks to me. Even Ichiro battled 8+ (?) pitches for his walk, appeared to be seeing the ball great (taking pitches early, holding up easily, etc).
On Slack you can catch a half game's worth of chitchat and most the Denizens there are talking big things for Sunday Santana. Bases juiced, the RH Santana ripped a screaming meemie down the FIRST base line to clean 'em off, and those +4 runs weren't even half the runs the M's had by the time I had to retire to post yer up here.
In the comments, a coupla you guys might fill me in what it is you love so much about Santana? Not challenging yer, just seeking clarification.
Dee Gordon led the game off with a "CRACKKKK!" line drive right at the RF for a fly out, and his next up was a clean single followed by an oh-so-easy swipe of second. A return to form in Dee Gordon's case would signal ... well, it would signal a healed toe, prolly. Ryan Healy smacked a clean double into the corner with a nervous, careful half-swing, perhaps signalling that he's happiest when he's a starting player.
Our catcher is lefty and swings out of his shoes at everything, despite a high .342 career OBP, and by the fourth inning they had Eduardo Perez going "This is a rebuild?! Looks like way too much offense to me" or something pretty similar.
Was a victim of circumstances, if you count two hanging curve balls as "circumstances" in this case. The first IP was a clean string of located fastballs, and even the rolling curve for Piscotty's HR shows on Game Day as low-in. The second IP was (1) a high can of corn that flared in for a cheap single followed by (2) a DP ball thrown into LF, so the A's got a second run there.
Making a long, sad (for Dr. D) story short Marco looked like he'd only thrown 10 inning in ST; he had fair command of a fastball, solid-to-good command of a changeup and a worthless curve ball. When he doesn't have his 30-30-30 game rolling, he can't afford DP balls thrown down the line, so the Orcs landed some arrows in his backside.
Ah well. Dr. D is a big fan of arenaball and where are we now ... Bottom of the 6th, still 9-4 good guys. Potatoes in the pot always welcome. :- )
Haven't seen the 5th and 6th yet. As you know, we live ta serve.