In early April Darqueze Dennard Jersey , Chris Herrmann was a free-agent catcher sitting on his couch at home wondering if he was going to play baseball again.
Now he is. And the Mariners are glad they found him.
Herrmann hit his first home run for Seattle, and Marco Gonzales pitched six solid innings to lead the Mariners to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
Gonzales (9-5) gave up five hits while striking out seven in a 102-pitching outing. The lone run he gave up was Kole Calhoun’s sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to tie the game at 1.
Considering how rough a first inning the left-hander had, Gonzales gladly took the outcome.
”It was a constant chess game,” Gonzales said.
He had no control over his sinker. His changeup wasn’t getting over the plate. And he was working with a catcher in Herrmann – called up from the minors in late-May – with whom he had no familiarity.
But after regular catcher Mike Zunino was placed on the 10-day disabled list Thursday with a bruised left foot, it was up to Herrmann and Gonzales to figure things out.
”In that first inning, (Gonzales) did not have it. He really didn’t,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. ”I’ve been around a long time, and you see pitchers with six-to-seven years’ experience in this league that panic. They don’t have it, and they throw in the towel.
”It says a lot about his maturity and where he’s at.”
Gonzales escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first by getting Albert Pujols to ground into a double play.
”Give Gonzales some credit,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”He made some pitches and got out of it.”
In the fifth, Guillermo Heredia’s line drive went over Justin Upton’s head in left field for an RBI double gave Seattle the lead back at 2-1.
In the seventh inning, Herrmann’s solo blast off reliever Miguel Almonte carried deep into the right-field bleachers. Not a bad ending for a guy who did not find out he was in the starting lineup until five hours before first pitch.
”I know a lot of pitchers here have a lot of confidence behind Mike behind the plate, and I hope I can gain that confidence from these guys as well,” said Herrmann, who was signed by the Mariners to a minor league deal in early April after being designated for assignment by Arizona at the end of spring training. ”I am trying to do my part and fill in while he is gone.”
Dee Gordon tripled into the right-field corner with two outs, and Jean Segura greeted reliever Cam Bedrosian with a high-chopping RBI single to third baseman David Fletcher to extend Seattle’s lead to 4-1.
Gordon also saved a run in the eighth with his highlight-reel diving catch of Ian Kinsler’s line drive behind second base.
”It was just instincts. I just jumped as far as I could,” Gordon said.
Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth to lock up his major league-leading 34th save.
The Mariners have not lost a home series since May 6, when they dropped two of three games to the Angels. They are 6-0-3 during that span.
Angels starter Jaime Barria (5-5) gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings.
HERNANDEZ BACK `BETTER’
Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez insists he feels much better before his scheduled start Friday against Colorado than he did nearly a week ago.
Hernandez tweaked his back during a workout in Baltimore. It tightened on him before his start Saturday against Kansas City – one in which he surrendered three earned runs before recording an out in a 6-4 victory. With the help of heat and ice packs, and more stretching, Hernandez’s back has felt better this week. He even threw an abbreviated bullpen session.
”I am better today, more loose,” Hernandez said. ”I will be fine.”
What did Japanese star Shohei Ohtani get on the day of his 24th birthday Thursday in Seattle? He got a seat on the bench against Gonzales, a left-hander. With Albert Pujols serving as the designated hitter, Jefry Marte got the start at first base after being activated from the 10-day disabled list earlier in the day.
Ohtani struck out in the ninth inning as a pinch hitter against Diaz.
Angels: To make room for Marte, the Angels sent outfielder Jabari Blash to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Mariners: Left-handed pitcher Ariel Miranda, who started 29 games last season, was granted his unconditional release from Triple-A Tacoma to pursue playing opportunities in Japan.
Angels: Outfielder Chris Young (left hamstring) had an MRI test on his hamstring Thursday. Results weren’t revealed Dre Kirkpatrick Jersey , but he is still expected to be out past the All-Star Break. … Right-hander Nick Tropeano (right shoulder) will pitch Saturday as part of a rehab assignment. He will be limited to 60 pitches, Scioscia said. … Right-hander Jim Johnson (back) threw a bullpen session and is approaching a rehab assignment as well.
Mariners: Zunino (left ankle) was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a bruised left foot. He rolled his ankle late in Seattle’s 7-4 loss Wednesday running the basepaths and was walking around in a boot in the clubhouse Thursday. David Freitas was recalled from Tacoma to serve as the backup catcher behind Herrmann. … Outfielder Mitch Haniger was scratched from the starting lineup because of a bruised right knee. Heredia took his place.
Rockies: Right-hander German Marquez (6-8, 5.14 ERA) faces off against one of his famous Venezuelan countrymen in Hernandez. He has never faced the Mariners, but is 2-0 in
Quarterbacks will rule the NFL’s offseason.
Beginning with Alex Smith going to Washington when the league’s new year starts next month and Jimmy Garoppolo agreeing to a record-breaking deal with San Francisco on Thursday , several quarterbacks will find new riches and many teams will land new QBs in 2018.
Tom Brady may have been denied another championship but not his coordinator, and some believe Josh McDaniels’ sudden change of heart this week in spurning the Indianapolis Colts was related to doubts about Andrew Luck’s health.
Either way, McDaniels is staying in New England to help the Patriots bounce back from their 41-33 loss to Philadelphia in Super Bowl 52 .
The Eagles aren’t just celebrating their first championship since 1960, but also an abundance of talent at the position in franchise QB Carson Wentz and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
Should Wentz’s recovery from knee surgery go well, the Eagles will have a huge bargaining chip to help restock their roster.
Wentz’s injury rehab will be closely watched this offseason, just like Aaron Rodgers ` repaired collarbone in Green Bay and DeShaun Watson `s torn ACL in Houston.
Those teams figure to be contenders for Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta if their quarterbacks are healthy. A dozen other teams will either jockey for their next star or dole out big bucks to keep the one they have.
Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees lead an exceptionally large group of veteran quarterbacks lined up for big paydays and possibly new opportunities that includes the Minnesota Vikings’ trio of Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum and Sam Bradford.
Garoppolo, Brady’s longtime backup, got a five-year contract from the 49ers that will pay him a reported $137.5 million to keep him off the free-agent market without forcing the team to use the one-year franchise tag.
NFL Network first reported the terms of the contract, which is worth $27.5 million per season to top the previous record set by Detroit’s Matthew Stafford last year by $500,000 per year – but presumably will soon be surpassed by Brees or Cousins.
San Francisco acquired Garoppolo from New England before the trade deadline for a 2018 second-round pick. He led the 49ers to five straight wins to end the season, pushing his record as a starter to 7-0.
Teams that miss out on one of the prized free agents can look to the draft, which features Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph.
The quarterback carousel began in the days before the Super Bowl when Kansas City agreed to trade Smith to the Redskins.
The deal, which cannot be finalized until March 14, spells the end of Cousins’ time in Washington and hands the Chiefs’ job to Patrick Mahomes III, the 10th pick in last year’s draft out of Texas Tech.
So, Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, moves on to his third team just as he’s coming off the best season of his 13-year career.
”I think Washington is getting a phenomenal player Geno Atkins Jersey , a great leader,” Rodgers said last week while discussing the league’s current quarterback commotion.
”Now you’ve got Kirk Cousins, what’s going to happen with him? You’ve got probably five guys that are going to get drafted in the first round, Jimmy Garoppolo and his situation.
”There’s a lot of moving pieces.”
In the not-too-distant future, Rodgers could find himself one of them.
Rodgers, 34, has two years left on his contract and if he stays healthy in 2018, he’ll be in line for a mega payday that could obliterate any of the deals that will be signed.
Rodgers told the AP last week that he wants to play well into his 40s and might have to finish his career in another team’s uniform as Brett Favre did.
”I think you have to be humble enough to realize if it could happen to Brett, it can happen to you,” Rodgers said.
Among the teams looking for an upgrade are the Denver Broncos, who haven’t been back to the playoffs since Peyton Manning retired a champion two years ago.
Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller said he trusts general manager John Elway to fix that in the next few weeks: ”We have a Hall of Fame quarterback running the show who’s going to get the right guy,” Miller said.
Miller has a tip for his GM, too.
”No disrespect to Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch, but I would love to play with Kirk Cousins,” Miller said. ”When Peyton came to Denver, we just took off. Kirk’s an elite starter, too. I could roll with that.”
With eight trips to the Super Bowl and five rings, Brady is the gold standard of quarterbacks.
Yet, this time he was outdueled by Foles, who showed just how important it is for teams to also have depth at the position.
”To get in a shootout with that guy on the other team is probably not ideal for anyone – ever,” Eagles tight end Zach Ertz said. ”The guy is the best quarterback to ever play the game. That team is phenomenal. They are coached amazingly.”
Yet, the Patriots were beaten by a journeyman QB who contemplated retirement not long ago after he kept losing his starting job with his employers in perpetual search of a better option.
Foles turned into a flawless fill-in after Wentz got hurt in December, stepping in to deliver Philadelphia its first Super Bowl title.
Foles has one year left on his two-year deal, and his Super Bowl performance bumped his name up on the long list of coveted quarterbacks.
”He’s amazing,” Ertz said. ”The past three weeks he’s been playing out