Mariners Observations: Marco Gonzales sharp against father’s Rockies

Mar 13, 2021, 4:18 PM
Mariners LHP Marco Gonzales...
Mariners LHP Marco Gonzales had five strikeouts in four scoreless innings. (Getty)

But not for the setting and the fact that his father was sitting in the opposing dugout, Marco Gonzales’ start Saturday afternoon at Salt River Fields against the Rockies looked like it could have been just about any midseason outing for the Mariners No. 1 pitcher.

Mariners Notebook: Dunn, Margevicius make strong cases for rotation spot

As it was, Frank Gonzales, pitching coach for the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate Hartford Yard Goats, got the rare opportunity to see his son pitch from the other side and what he saw was four scoreless innings and 5 strikeouts, something that should draw favorable reviews in the family post game debrief.

“It’s always very special,” said Marco of the rare opportunity to pitch against his father’s team. “I think I have pitched against his team one other time in spring training and in high school for one year (when he) coached at another high school in my hometown. That didn’t go well for him either.”

Ultimately it was the elder Gonzales’ team that came out on top as the Rockies took the 2-1 win over the Mariners on a walkoff home run off the bat of Greg Bird. A tough ending to an otherwise well-pitched game for the Mariners that started with Marco’s performance, an outing where he was able to be effective while getting work in on a pitch he believes will be big for him in 2021.

“I’ve been feeling really confident with my curveball,” he said. “It’s a pitch that’s going to take me deep into ballgames. I’m going to be able to lean on it a lot to both lefties and righties.”

Gonzales credited catching prospect Cal Raleigh with his game calling and going to the pitch in big situations, including a strikeout of Garrett Hampson to end the third inning.

“It’s a really valuable pitch for him,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “It’s the best pitch he’s got to get them to put the ball on the ground. You saw some more changeups from him than you normally see, he got a chance to get all of his stuff in play today.”

While it was good to see all of his pitches play, Gonzales said that he is still building arm strength and that there was still a lot of work to be done before leaving Arizona. From where the skipper sat, it was a performance he would be happy to take into the season.

“It was one of those days where if he had pitches, just let him go,” said Servais. “He was locked in today, there’s no question about it.”

Mariners Notes

• Mariners pitchers recorded 12 strikeouts and just one walk in the loss, with Casey Sadler striking out the side in the sixth inning and Will Vest striking out two in the eighth.

• Jake Fraley appeared to be fooled on a ball off the bat of Chris Owings in the fourth inning and paid for it crashing into the left field wall. He was checked out by the trainer on the field following the play and stayed in the game, but came out after his next at-bat. According to Servais, his removal from the game was precautionary and he is expected to be in the lineup Sunday.

• While he doesn’t have much to show for it, Julio Rodríguez has been putting together some nice at bats the last few days. He did come up with an infield hit, but his 111 mph lineout to left against Kyle Freeland was some of the loudest contact in the game.

Follow Mariners insider Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

Mariners Notebook: Servais reacts to Minor League Baseball rule changes

Shannon Drayer

Mariners Robbie Ray...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: How does the Mariners’ rotation compare to rest of division?

The Mariners added a big arm in Robbie Ray, but how does their current rotation stack up vs the AL West? Shannon Drayer breaks it down.
3 days ago
Mariners Brandon Williamson...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Mariners start Dominate the Zone pitching camp with notable prospects

Even though MLB remains locked out, there is activity for the Mariners with their "Dominate the Zone" pitching camp getting underway.
8 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger Ty France...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: How does heart of Mariners’ order stack up with rest of AL West?

With the MLB lockout ongoing, Mariners insider Shannon Drayer breaks down how Seattle's best hitters compare to the rest of the AL West.
11 days ago
Mariners Scott Servais...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: How Mariners plan to get the most out of their coaching staff

Shannon Drayer talked to Mariners director of player development turned MLB coach Andy McKay about how their 12-man coaching staff will work.
14 days ago
Mariners 3B Kyle Seager...
Brandon Gustafson

How will Mariners franchise great Kyle Seager be remembered?

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer joined Mike Salk to discuss the career, legacy and impact of now-retired third baseman Kyle Seager.
19 days ago
Mariners Kyle Seager...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Kyle Seager’s Mariners career a good story from the beginning

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer breaks down Kyle Seager's career and legacy after the longtime M's third baseman announced his retirement.
20 days ago
Mariners Observations: Marco Gonzales sharp against father’s Rockies