What we learned from the sweeping of A in Japan by sailors


Mariners teammate Mitch Haniger got on his first home run of 2019 on Thursday. (Getty)

The weirdest start of the sailors' season (this is the first time the regular MLB season has started before the NCAA tournament, has not it?) Is in the rearview mirror and we do not let's not forget so soon.

Drayer: Ichiro, breaking the barriers, puts the bat back

A two part series in Japan, with a moving start for the future first Hall of Fame member, Ichiro? Yeah, it's a first series that falls into the "memorable" category of seafarers' history.

While the news of Ichiro's retirement and the incredible reception of fans in the Tokyo Dome drew attention – and rightly so – the season is moving forward for the M without the 45-year-old legend. Not only that, but they are coming back to the United States with a 2-0 lead over the rest of the Western American League. Not a bad place to be at all.

Here are some elements that stand out after the trip from Seattle to Japan.

Mitch Haniger seems ready for a monster year.

Guys are the sailors who are lucky to have this guy.

In a season where there is so much new, that it's about the composition of the team, the list of the best hopes or the apparent resemblance of certain areas of his native stage with Pepto-Bismol, it is reassuring to be able to count on an All Star Championship player to stabilize the batting order.

Especially when he does things like that.

Haniger did not really have a good time in Arizona (.185 average), but when he hits the ball this spring, he's gone. he homer in his first game appearance of the league Cactus. He absolutely crashed a ball at an exhibition against the Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome earlier this week. And when connected, there is no doubt.

Haniger set the bar high for himself last year, reaching .285 with 26 homers, 93 RBIs and a .859, but he seems determined to prove that his cap goes even higher. And although Seattle made a good impression of the mid-90s Mariners (playing a long ball in a dome) by throwing four home runs in both games against the A's, I would not be sure if that will continue at T-Mobile Park.

Haniger, though? It has proved so consistent and always on an upward trajectory that it's no exaggeration to imagine it by keeping the Mariners in games where they would not be competitive throughout the 2019 season.

The first starts of Hunter Strickland have given good results. interesting.

The Mariners were used to opening and closing lockers during backups last season. So it was nice to find Hunter Strickland closer, where Edwin Díaz had left the first two rescues of the year in Japan.

Strickland looked pretty dirty Wednesday, going to his slider with two shots to hit a pair in a ninth perfect run. On Thursday, the Mariners again turned to the right-hander after taking the lead in 12th place, where he scored another strikeout in a new round to lock a win in Seattle.

Strickland, 30, joined the Mariners as a free agent after the San Francisco Giants decided to let him enter the open market rather than offer him a contract for 2019. And while Strickland had a tough term in his five seasons with San Francisco, who lost his closest job and finished last season with a worst performance of his career of 3.97 after an unfortunate (and self-inflicted) hand injury, n & rsquo; Is not very far from an impressive number of lifters. Strickland opened 2018 with 13 saves on 15 occasions, and his ERA was 2.01 in mid-June, after 33 appearances and 31 1/3 shots.

If sailors get a version of Strickland this year close to the one that was presented to the Giants early last year, they will be in shape at the back of their paddock.

The rest of the pen is interesting.

Nobody expects the pitching pitch to be a Mariners' force this year, and this point has been stuck in Tokyo, even with the strong start of Strickland, M.

Two Mariners helpers had uncertain exits, one each game against the athletes.

Nick Rumbelow, who was the first to leave the office of director Scott Servais after Wednesday's opening match, was qualified by Marco Gonzales after six innings on his first start in the opening day. The A would apparently have welcomed the passage of left-handed Gonzales to right-handed Rumbelows, as they jumped. Rumbelow scored a single goal, giving up three runs on a walk and two hits (including a home run Matt Chapman) before Seattle turned to veteran Cory Gearrin to put out the fire.

Thursday, Dan Altavilla had some trouble. Taking over in the seventh inning with two allers and two left, he walked the first batter he faced, then gave a two-point single to Khris Davis who tied the match.

Rumbelow and Altavilla will probably have more moments like this this season, and they will certainly have better moments, but their performances in Japan are indicative of the kind of wind the Mariners have. They hope that many low-cost veterans will train and that a number of younger nurses will have a lot to learn on the job. Consumer prices are hard to predict and the patchwork pattern sometimes turns out better than expected. But for the moment, there is no reason to believe that it will be anything other than a big question mark.

Drayer: Braden Bishop becoming more than a fourth player


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