From Cliff Lee to Erik Bedard to the 2008 season to Chone Figgins, not a lot has gone as the Seattle Mariners had planned over the past few seasons.
Big prospects have disappointed, rebuilding plans have gone awry and the specter of Felix Hernandez and Ichiro Suzuki finishing their runs in Seattle without a trip to the World Series hangs over the team.
Yet last night, for one wonderful night, it all seemed to click with their young line up.
In one glorious night against the two time defending American League Champion Rangers, the young Mariners flexed their muscles and looked exactly like the team they wanted to build.
24 year old Dustin Ackley, the second overall pick in the 2009 draft? He went 2-5 with a homer and 3 RBI. His OPS went up to .691.
Ackley’s teammate at UNC, Kyle Seager, went 4-6 with a pair of doubles and two RBI.
22 year old Jesus Montero, the prize of the Michael Pineda deal, reached base 5 times, drove in 4 runs and launched his 7th homer.
25 year old Justin Smoak, the key of the Cliff Lee trade, collected 3 hits and a walk, crushed a pair of homers and drove in 6 runs.
25 year old Michael Saunders, their super prospect from 2009 and 2010, went 3-6 with a pair of doubles.
It looks so easy when it is done right. If those five (plus Ichiro who sat out last night) could do that on a regular basis, the Mariners would be a contender and Felix Hernandez would win 25 games every year.