Mariners All-Stars going strong

DSC_0746The annual All-Star game marks the halfway point of the Major League Baseball season. The Seattle Mariners are sending four team members to the American League team. These are the most players the team has sent to the game since 2001. This is a testament to the strength of the Mariners’ roster over the past years. All four Mariners made an appearance in the game whether it was as a starter or a replacement and all of them made an impact.

Felix Hernandez was given the honor of being chosen to be the starting pitcher for the American League team. This honor is usually given to the player who is regarded as the best pitcher in either league. Felix went only one inning, as he gave up one hit to Andrew McCutchen and struck out both Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig and Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Felix showed why he was the starting pitcher by striking out two of the National League’s best hitters and not allowing a single run.

Robinson Cano was selected as the starter at second base and batting third in the batting order for the American League. Cano went 0-2 with two strikeouts in two at bats. While he did not record a hit, he played solid defense and got a final chance to make a double play with his old friend Derek Jeter. He was replaced by Astro Jose Altuve in the top of the fifth.

Kyle Seager was a late addition to the team as a replacement for an injured player. He came into the game in the bottom of the sixth as an offensive replacement for Oriole Nelson Cruz. He went 0-2 with two ground outs. While he never recorded a hit in both of his at bats, he stayed in the rest of the game as the designated hitter.

Fernando Rodney was also a late addition to the All-Star squad. He was one of five closers that were selected to the team along with Athletics closer Sean Doolittle, Royals closer Greg Holland, Twins closer Glen Perkins and Red Sox closer Koji Uehara. Rodney came into the game in the top of the eighth inning with two outs and a runner on first base to replace Doolittle. Rodney walked Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier to start his appearance. He then went on to strike out Daniel Murphy from the Mets to end the inning. Although this was not a save for Rodney, he proceeded to do his signature move of “shooting the imaginary arrow” that Mariner fans have come to know.

With the first half of the baseball season coming to a close, the Mariners have some All-Stars that can help lead the way through the second half of the season.