By Gary Hill
The Mariners landed a wicked right hook square on the nose of the Angels in the opening series of the season. The blow has sent panicked fans scrambling to the life rafts of the Good Ship Angel. The hopes for a strong start for the Angels were crushed under an army of steamrollers wearing Mariners blue.
The rest of this post will be a celebration through numbers of the broom job the Mariners just performed on the Angels.
• The Mariners have scored the most runs in MLB with 26. That's seven more than the next closest teams and more than the Cardinals, Reds, Yankees, Cubs, Brewers, Royals, Orioles and Pirates have scored combined.
• The Mariners have scored 10 ninth-inning runs, which is more runs than 18 teams have scored in all.
• The Mariners are second in batting average (.309), first in on-base percentage (.389), first in slugging percentage (.591) and first in on-base plus slugging (.980)
• The Mariners have blasted six homers while five teams are waiting to hit their first.
• Felix Hernandez, Erasmo Ramirez and James Paxton combined to toss 20 innings while allowing 12 hits, four earned runs and three bases on balls and fanning 26. Their ERA is 1.80.
• Paxton has started his career 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA through five stats. He has struck out 30 hitters in 31 innings.
• Justin Smoak has crushed two homers, ripped two doubles, driven in seven runs and is batting .462. In the entire first month of last season, he hit one home run with four doubles, five RBIs and a .237 average. He collected his seventh RBI on May 21 of last season.
• Smoak is currently leading MLB in six different offensive categories.
• The Angels' pitching staff features a hefty 8.33 ERA.
• The Mariners have faced two lefty starts and have scored 10 runs in 10 2/3 innings. They only hit .227 with a .660 OPS against lefty starters last season.
• Robinson Cano is tied for the MLB lead in walks and sports a lofty .600 OBP.
• The 1927 Yankees scored 27 runs in their first three games.
• Hernandez owns the second-worst ERA on the club at 3.00.
• Mike Moore, Mark Langston and Mike Morgan were the winning pitchers the last time the Mariners performed a series sweep to start the year.
• The last time Seattle swept the Angels in Anaheim was 2006. Hernandez hurled a complete-game gem to beat Jered Weaver in the series finale.
The task becomes tougher starting tonight as the Mariners travel to Oakland to take on the two-time defending American League West champion A's.