I improved to 7-5 with a 2-1 series win over Mario last weekend, though the real story involves a blockbuster trade involving the team's disgruntled ace, Felix Hernandez. King Felix had a rough start to the 2011 season (0-3 in his first three starts) and after lasting only four innings in game two vs Mario, the rocket-armed youngster went AWOL on the water cooler, the bat rack and anything else that was bolted down. Rumors are now flying that he landed a bevy of haymakers on the jaw of Les Lancaster, the team's pitching coach, in the locker room later that night. Lancaster was seen on game three wearing shades despite the dreary, rainlike conditions in Seattle. Felix was on a plane, headed east.
Jake Peavy continued to impress in game-one, shutting Mario out through seven strong innings. Nick grabbed the win 2-0, scoring his two runs in the first on a Shin Soo Choo sacrifice and a Brett Gardner single. Gardner worked his baseball jaw to three hits on the day. Big Papi hit a bomb. Ho hum. Daniel Bard locked it down after Peavy's exit, adding two shutout innings. Mario managed just three hits in the game.
NICK 4, MARIO 0
W - Peavy, L - B. Anderson, SV - Bard
Mario battered Felix Hernandez for four runs (one unearned on typical, terrible Betemeit defense) in the second inning and another three in the fourth. The "birther" Luke Scott had a two-run double, a homer and a single in the game. Alberto Callapso hit a two-run single, going 2 for 4. For Nick, Ben Zobrist goes 3X4 in his last game as a Mariner. Mike Napoli hit a two-run double. Andy Pettite earns the win for Mario, pitching seven strong innings of baseball.
Mario 7, Nick 4
W - Pettite, L - Felix
Early season Cy Young candidate Shawn Marcum earned his third win of the young year, going 7 innings of shutout, five-hit ball. Mario's starter Jered Weaver pitched well, but earns a complete game loss. Shin Soo Choo had two homers on the day, half of his team's hits. Bard earned the hold and Neftali Feliz the save, yielding nary a run.
Nick 2, Mario 0
W - Marcum, L - Weaver, SV - Feliz
Nick 2, Mario 1
Now entering the Thome/Papi/Batista chapter...