Two hours before their scheduled road game against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners retired to their clubhouse for a vote.
The result was unanimous.
Following the lead of the NBA and the Milwaukee Brewers, the Mariners — who pace the major leagues with 10 Black players on their roster — voted not to play Wednesday due to the shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday in Kenosha, Wis. And the Padres decided to support the Mariners’ stand.
The result was the postponement of the game, setting up a doubleheader of seven-inning games Thursday.
Second baseman Dee Gordon, speaking for the Mariners, said, “There are serious issues in this country. For me, and for many of my teammates, the injustices, violence, death and systemic racism is deeply personal. This is impacting not only my community, but very directly my family and friends.
“Our team voted unanimously not to play tonight. Instead of watching us, we hope people will focus on the things more important than sports that are happening.”
The players got full support from the Mariners organization.
“The Seattle Mariners respect the team’s decision to not play tonight’s game,” began an official statement. “The Seattle Mariners stand with our players as they speak out with their words and actions against social injustice.”
The Padres responded with a statement that said, “We understand the Mariners decision to postpone tonight’s game and we support the players’ efforts to use their platform to bring awareness to the very serious issue of racial injustice impacting our country today.”
Shortly after the Mariner players voted, a half-dozen players returned to the field in street clothes and met with Padres players.
Three hours after Wednesday’s game was postponed, the Padres announced right-hander Dinelson Lamet (2-1, 1.89 ERA) would start the first game with right-hander Garrett Richards (1-1, 3.52 ERA) starting the second.
The Mariners are expected to use right-hander Taijuan Walker (2-2, 4.00 ERA) and left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (0-2, 6.30 ERA) as their starters, but no order was announced. Lamet and Walker were scheduled to square off Wednesday night.
Walker, who missed most of the past two seasons due to Tommy John surgery, is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA, a 0.593 WHIP and a .135 opponents’ batting average against in five career starts against the Padres. He is 2-0 in two starts at Petco Park and has allowed no runs on three hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts in 12 innings.
Kikuchi, 29, is in his second season with the Mariners since coming from Japan. He has allowed 14 runs on 18 hits and 10 walks with 21 strikeouts in 20 innings in his first four starts this season. He faced the Padres once last year, giving up a run on four hits and three walks with eight strikeouts over five innings.
Lamet has been the Padres’ most productive starting pitcher thus far this season. He has given up seven runs on 17 hits and 11 walks with 45 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. Twice in his six starts he has taken a no-hitter into the second half of the game. Opponents are hitting .147 against Lamet this season
Richards will be making his seventh start of 2020. Over his past three outings, Richards has allowed four runs on 16 hits and seven walks in 15 innings for a 2.40 ERA.
–Field Level Media