Top 2015 Mariners story lines
The Mariners’ 2015 record was 76-86 as they limped to the finish with a patchwork pitching rotation, an unproven and inexperienced bullpen, and two ailing stars. Instead of playing meaningful games in the final month of the season — which had been expected when the season began — they played out the string, which has happened nearly every September since 2001. Here are the Mariners' top 10 story lines, in chronological order, from 2015:
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#1: Cano's baserunning blunder
Dodgers at Mariners: In a season filled with team-wide baserunning mistakes, Robinson Cano made the most memorable when he thought the bases were loaded and jogged home on Logan Morrison’s walk, only to be thrown out at third base after realizing what was going on. “I felt in that situation the dumbest guy in the game,” he said afterward.
#2: Wild walkoff win
Rangers at Mariners: Down 10-5 going into the seventh inning, the Mariners scored six runs over the next three innings to pick up a wild, 11-10 walk-off win over the Rangers. Nelson Cruz beat his former team, singling home Seth Smith with the game-winning run. Cruz was 3-for-6 with two homers.
#3: Stingray dinger
Mariners at Tampa Bay: The Mariners reached .500 for the last time in the 2015 season when Nelson Cruz crushed a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to break a 0-0 tie off Rays closer Brad Boxberger. The prodigious homer landed in a stingray tank in deep right-center and completed a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay.
#4: Trade for Trumbo
After being swept by the Yankees in a three-game series at home in the midst of an awful homestand, general manager Jack Zduriencik traded for Arizona first baseman Mark Trumbo and pitcher Vidal Nuno, sending catcher Welington Castillo, pitcher Dominic Leone and minor-leaguers Gabby Guerrero and Jack Reinheimer to the Diamondbacks.
#5: Monty makes it two
Mariners at Padres: Rookie left-hander Mike Montgomery threws his second consecutive shutout, beating the Padres, 5-0, at Petco Park. Montgomery allowed one hit with four walks and seven strikeouts to improve to 3-2. He had shut out the Royals, 7-0, at Safeco Field in his previous outing. He was the 12th rookie since 1980 to accomplish the feat.
#6: Rare triple play
Blue Jays at Mariners: In the fourth inning against the Blue Jays, the Mariners recorded the 11th triple play in team history and the first since 2010. But this one might have claim to being the strangest of all. It was the first 3-6-2-2 triple play in the majors since 1955 and only the second in the history of the game.
#7: Iwakuma throws no-hitter
Orioles at Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma became the fifth player in Mariners history to throw a no-hitter. The veteran right-hander held the Orioles without a hit, walking three and striking out seven. The last three American League no-hitters all came at Safeco Field, with Felix Hernandez’s perfect game and the seven-pitcher combined no-hitter each coming in 2012.
#8: Rodney DFA'd
After a tumultuous season that saw him go from All-Star to unwanted, Fernando Rodney was designated for assignment. Rodney lost his closer’s job in mid-June and found no consistency in a setup role. He had a 5.68 ERA and six blown saves in 54 appearances with Seattle in 2015.
#9: Zduriencik fired
With the team struggling and heading for another losing season, Mariners president Kevin Mather flew to Chicago to inform general Jack Zduriencik that he was being fired. Zduriencik replaced Bill Bavasi after the 2008 season and had just two winning seasons (2009 and 2014) in his tenure.
#10: M's turn to Dipoto
Mariners president Kevin Mather completed his search for a general manager, announcing the team had hired former Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto to replace Jack Zduriencik. Dipoto was the runner-up when Zduriencik was hired.