The Mariners did not play on Sunday. We’ll go ahead and mark that as the first week of the season coming to an end. Right now the Mariners are sitting at the top of the division with a 3-1 record, half a game above the Ranger who are 2-1 after their series with the Chicago White Sox.
I’m sure there are those of you that will remain pessimistic and say something along the lines of, “it’s just four games” or “it’s only April. The games don’t mean anything right now.”
I’ve never understood that logic. A win in April is just as good as a win in any other month. If the Mariners miss or make the playoffs by one win, doesn’t that win on April 7th mean just as much as the win in the last week of the regular season? But that’s a topic for another day.
Right now I want to talk about the first four games of the 2012 season.
Biggest Surprise: Chone Figgins
It has to be Figgins, right? Seattle fans wrote him off even before manager Eric Wedge showed confidence in the guy, naming him the leadoff hitter and stating third baseman. After the announcement, blogs and other publications were speculating how long he would last as a starter as well as how long it took Jack Zduriencik to just outright release him, eating the two years left on his contract.
After these last two games, I’d bet on never. Figgins is batting .412 and leads the team with 4 RBI. He’s also proven to be quite useful as a super utility guy, playing the outfield while Franklin Gutierrez recovers from a torn pectoral. His seven hits have been pretty solid as well. Nothing cheap about them. If Figgins can keep this production up and show us he’s the player we signed from the Angels in free agency, the Mariners could start making people do a double take when they check out the standings.
Biggest Disappointment: Justin Smoak
Smoak has two hits in his 17 AB’s, one being a HR. Now as much as it’s ridiculous to think that Figgins can hit .412 for the entire season, it’s crazy to put “most disappointing” on a guy with less than 20 plate appearances. But, after week one, someone has to hold the title until next Sunday. Let’s hope the Mariners cleanup hitter doesn’t repeat.
Random Fun Felix Fact:
Felix Hernandez gave up six earned runs in his victory against the Oakland Athletics this week. What’s amazing is that so many times Felix has pitched lights-out and come away with a loss or no decision. It was nice to see him pitch poorly but have the offense pick him up.
After a bit of research I saw that in 2011, Felix got a victory when he allowed more than four runs only three times. Twice the wins came when allowing four runs. By some miracle, King Felix even got a win against the Blue Jays after being shelled for seven earned runs. The Mariners scored eight runs for him that day.
* The Mariners begin a four-game series against the two-time AL champion Texas Rangers in Arlington. After that the Mariners come home and play the Oakland Athletics, again, resulting in seven of their first eleven games coming against the A’s.