In Ichiro’s Final Hour, the Mariners Defeat the Athletics 9-7 on Opening Day in Japan

    Early yesterday morning, actual meaningful baseball was played 6,000 miles away in the land of the rising sun.

Yes, the inaugural game of the 2019 season began in grand fashion at 2:35 in the morning. THE PINNACLE OF THE SPORT, PEOPLE!

While the whole idea of opening the season in Japan is a tad bit gimmicky and I’m personally indifferent to the whole thing, we actually got blessed with a great game to start the 2019 campaign off. The Mariners defeated the A’s in a high-scoring, home run riddled game by a final score of 9-7.

The Athletics opened the scoring in the bottom half of the first with a towering solo shot to dead centerfield from Stephen Piscotty off of Marco Gonzalez.

After a pair of RBI singles traded by Marcus Semien and Dee Gordon, newly acquired Mariner Domingo Santana came to the plate with the bases full in the top of the third and did not miss, belting an opposite field bomb down the right field line to push the lead to 5-2. It was the first grand slam in a game played in Japan since Benny Agbayani (legend) did it all the way in 2000.

In the bottom half of the frame, last years home run leader Khris Davis came up with the bases empty and started his journey to repeat as the home run king.

Soon after, Ichiro, potentially playing in his last professional baseball game ever, was lifted in the bottom of the fourth inning to a resounding ovation from his home country. Already this is going to be a top moment of the year, and we’re only in March. No, I’m not crying. There’s just alot of onions here. 

And then, in perhaps THE moment of the game, Tim Beckham, the soft-hitting infielder who wasn’t even good enough to hack it with the lowly Orioles, came to bat in the top of the 5th inning with a man on. Beckham LET LOOSE on this baseball and hit it to Okinawa.

This is the bat flip of the year. Everyone else has to politely place their bats on the ground for the rest of the year simply out of respect for our overlord, Tim Beckham. I mean seriously, the BALLS on this guy. Beckham has 48 career home runs in over 1,300 career at bats, but feels he’s earned the right to pimp the shit of a home run in March. I absolutely love it, don’t get me wrong but tone it back, Tim.

Anyways, Matt Chapman homered in the Seventh to cut the lead to 9-7, but that’s as close as the A’s would come. Mariners new closer and certified insane guy Hunter Strickland came in and set down the side in order to secure the win for the Mariners. In what could be Ichiro’s last game ever, he went 0-1 with a walk. What a legend.

Photo by MasterClass/ Getty Images


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