LHP Marco Gonzales talks Opening Day ‘jitters’ in Mariners’ win over A’s

Mar 20, 2019, 11:06 AM | Updated: 2:16 pm
Marco Gonzales, Mariners...
Mariners LHP Marco Gonzales broke down his opening day start Wednesday. (Getty)

Fresh off his first-ever Opening Day start, Mariners left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales joined Brock Huard and Mike Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle to break down Seattle’s 9-7 win over the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo.

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“Throughout the day today I was kind of expecting to be a little overwhelmed emotionally,” the 27-year-old Gonzales said of his start. “And leading up to the game I felt great, I didn’t feel any of that. I was locked in and ready to go. The moment I stepped on the mound in the first, I was very aware of where I was and what I was doing. And so I was jittery, excited and just trying to embrace all those emotions and use it and try to make something out of it and go pitch.”

Gonzales pitched six innings Wednesday. He struck out four and allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and one walk, leaving his ERA at 4.50. All four runs scored on Gonzales came in the first three innings, and he settled down in the fourth, allowing no runs and just one hit over the final three frames of his outing.

“I was really, really happy to bounce back (after that) and put up some zeroes,” Gonzales said. “And just be on the aggressive, go out and attack and get guys swinging and miss a few barrels there, too. I think more importantly giving my team a chance to win, keeping the momentum in our favor, just the main goals of every game that I try to go out and pitch.”

Trip to Tokyo

The Mariners opened the regular season in Tokyo – with a game that began at 2:35 a.m. in Washington state – and will close out their two-game series against Oakland Thursday.

The team’s decision to start 45-year-old Ichiro Suzuki drew plenty of fanfare at the Tokyo Dome. Manager Scott Servais said Ichiro will make an appearance in the second game.

“He’s kind of a ghost and I don’t blame him, because the attention he gets is something that I’ve never seen,” Gonzales said. “For him to be able to step on the sidewalk here would be impossible for him. So he stays pretty low-key. But from what we’ve seen at the field, it’s been really, really special. That’s something I’ll never forget. And I’m truly honored to be on the field with him, too, because he’s such a legend in so many ways but he’s an unbelievable man and I’ve been very honored to have known him.”

Download a podcast of Gonzales’ interview with Brock and Salk here

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