Mariners home run record fuels hot start to the 2019 season
Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
It’s what every Seattle Mariner fan has hoped for in the past decade: The Mariners were red hot to start the season. Sure, it may be way too early to predict what the future holds for this ball club. Yet, the past couple of months have brought such joy to Mariner great Ichiro Suzuki, and even newcomers Domingo Santana and Tim Beckham. The season started at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, and marked the final time Suzuki would throw on a jersey and run out to his hometown crowd. The ball club managed to get two wins against the Oakland Athletics, and a lot of tears were shed after the retirement of Suzuki. He leaves the organization as the record holder for most hits in a single season with 262, along with numerous other records he holds within the Mariners and the MLB. After coming back home to Seattle, the team saw themselves start the season red hot with a 13-2 record through their first 15 games, and even saw a six-game winning streak during that period.
Another huge milestone that the Mariners have surpassed is their streak of 20 straight games with a home run. Whether it was a solo home run, or even multiple solo home runs, the team managed to hold the streak long enough for the MLB record. The streak finally came to an end on April 17, when they were held scoreless for the first time this season.
The acquisitions of infielder Tim Beckham and Domingo Santana have proved to be the two best pickups of the off-season. Beckham only signed a one-year deal, but he has started the year off with a bang. Through his first six games to start the season, he was backing a high .435 average with 10 total hits, three home runs, and six RBIs. For those that are not necessarily familiar with meticulous baseball statistics, these are outstanding numbers, especially for a player that was projected to play in the minor leagues. Santana has also provided pop in the middle of the Mariners lineup that saw him collect eight hits and a .419 on base percentage in six games. Also noteworthy, is the signing of Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnacion.
The start is simply what every Mariner fan has dreamed of for quite some time. To put this into perspective, anyone under the age of 18 has not been alive to see the Mariners make the playoffs. The last time they made the playoffs was back when two all-time Mariners greats, Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez, were playing. For a team that is also playing in the newly renamed T-Mobile Park, they are not disappointing fans and will not be if they keep up the hot start. Safeco Field had never made it to a playoff series, but the change of name could possibly be the mojo that the team has needed.