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Fan reaction: Michael Pineda wins first career start at Safeco Field
The fans that were in attendance to see this game were given a nice treat, as Pineda actually had a shutout heading into the seventh inning. He struggled in that inning and was pulled, but the bullpen held on to the lead to give Pineda is first career win in the major leagues.
Pineda ended up throwing 103 pitches (74 strikes) in 7 1/3 innings of work against the Toronto Blue Jays. He struck out seven and only gave up five hits on his way to the victory. For the first seven innings, he was absolutely dominant on the mound, and he imposed his will upon the opposing hitters. That is the type of pitcher he could become, and this might have just been our first glimpse of impending stardom.
For the Mariners, this was the second straight win over the Blue Jays, and an important game to win after what happened Monday night. That Monday night comeback was one for the record books, and it was good to see the team build upon the momentum that it had created. Now if they can just have another great game against the Blue Jays on Wednesday as well.
The Mariners did all of their scoring in the third inning Tuesday night, with Ryan Langerhans(notes) hitting his third home run of the season to give them the lead for good. The odd stat of the season belongs to Langerhans, as he only has four total hits now, and yet three of them are home runs.
Back to Pineda for a moment—it was good to see that he was able to win this game even though it wasn't his normal spot in the rotation. In order to get Felix Hernandez(notes) an extra start, the Mariners had bumped Pineda to Tuesday rather than his normal spot on Monday. He showed that it didn't matter, out-dueling the complete game performance tuned in by Ricky Romero(notes) on the other side of the field.
With performances like this, Pineda is definitely going to be a dark horse candidate to win the American league Rookie of the Year in 2011. If he can keep pitching this well and the Mariners offense can stay awake, it could lead to some great things from this team in the 2011 season.
It's still not too late to turn things around, and they just need to build on this winning streak.
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*Ryan is a lifelong Seattle Mariners fan who never misses an opportunity to attend a game at Safeco Field. He has been attending games since 1985, and has fond memories of The Kingdome, Edgar Martinez, and the historic 1995 team. Sodo Mojo!
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