The practice of incense — or sage burning — has been around longer than all of us, our grandparents, our great-grandparents, and even our great-great-great-… *four hours later* great-great-great-grandparents have been alive. The purpose of incense is to cleanse a person or space of negative energy, promote healing, wisdom, and longevity.
While some might dismiss this ritual as somewhat bull-honky, smudging has been found to improve cognition and mood, as well as aiding in sleep.
After an 11 a.m. to 10 a.m. season start in May from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Mariners look to June as the month to get the ship in order. Since the month started with a 9-game road trip and series in Houston (where the Ms have gone 4-26 together since 2018), it wasn’t going to be easy.
In case you haven’t heard, the Mariners have turned to an unlikely source to shake off the bad luck at Minute Maid Park.
Arriving at the Mariners clubhouse, I found Mike Cameron burning sage to clear the bad energy.
— Jen Mueller (@JenTalksSports) June 6, 2022
Not for nothing, but back on May 29th when I tweeted from the Lookout Landing Twitter Account, Mike and I had this lovely exchange.
“Caps” bringing that grounded steady energy balances all emotional cancers!! I like this…
— MIKE CAMERON (@_mcameron44) May 29, 2022
Yes, Mike, YAAAAS! So I’m here to balance the energies.
Not only was that a fun blurb to read about before the series started, but it seemed to have worked?
As Mariners fans, we’ve grown accustomed to pairing great pitching performance with a supporting offense once in a blue moon as a special treat. It’s almost as if the stars had to be aligned for both to happen at the same time.
One beautiful thing about Logan Gilbert is the way we’ve seen him grow as a pitcher since his MLB debut in May 2021. After that, check out Mariner’s Twitter. a loss and you’ll get a glimpse that our fanbase isn’t the most patient bunch – and I understand we’ve had to wait a langgggg Time to feel like we’ve made progress towards becoming a successful team. Gilbert, on the other hand, seems to have embraced the process and in 2022 has shown how staying the course can pay off (even with a few bumps here and there). At this point it’s almost like we’ve started to trust our pitching again and can count on a solid start from this guy week after week.
Despite not having his best stuff tonight (he only managed to log 3 K’s, walk 3 batters and give up 7 hits), Gilbert was able to contain the worst part of the damage within the first 3 innings. Put an inexperienced pitcher in that role and he could have lost his focus and continue to give up runs. Not Logan, not our type Logan.
After tonight, Gilbert leads MLB with most starts with 100+ pitches.
Update: Logan Gilbert (still) leads @mlb with most starting with over 100 pitches
Most games with 100+ pitches in 2022:
7 – @logangilbert22-SEA
6 – Tyler Mahle – CIN
5 – Sandy Alcantara MIA
Fresh knowledge straight from the @alexmayer34
— Ryan Rowland-Smith (@hyphen18) June 9, 2022
There’s a lot to be said for being inefficient, but that’s how I see it: 100+ pitches gives plenty of opportunity for a meltdown and staying calm for so long shows mental toughness.
Was this Gilbert’s best start? Not by a country mile. But was that a solid start and did he do his job? Absolutely.
OK, the second The part about balancing a solid pitching performance with a supporting offense is, uh, the offense part. We know we got the first part out of the way, so how did our 1-9 play out?
with determination, that’s how it goes. I mean, they had to. In an age-old tale, the Mariners went down 1-0 after the 1st inning and then squandered a double, leaving Abraham Toro stranded like a lost boy in the 2nd.
Leading the third winner, Seattle did what Seattle does best (and I’m not talking about that coffee) – they scored with 2 outs on the board. After Jesse Winker and Julio Rodríguez both went for a walk, JP Crawford sauntered over to the plate and telepathically told Winker, “I got you bro.” After the ball was smashed into left field, the game ended 1-1.
Bottomed in the 3rd came and went and the Astros – apart from Jose Altuve being substituted on home plate for the second time today – looked like an impressive team that might give our boys a chance. But that only lasted until the Mariners moved on.
Step 1: Beef Boy 2 Run Home Run
Step 2: I see London, I see France…
Step 3: ??? (as in how is that so adorable???)
Step 4: Profit
The Crawford Boxes are now French territory.
Ty France Solo Homer, #Sailors take a 4-3 lead.
— Brent Connector (@Brent Connector) June 8, 2022
As it turned out, that was all the Mariners needed to win tonight’s game. But don’t tell Adam Frazier, who scored JP in the 5th with a sacrifice flight, and Winker, who scored Taylor Trammell in the 8th.
Like I said, it doesn’t always feel like the Mariners are doing everything right. But when pitching and offense work in harmony to secure a win – giving us our 4th straight win – it’s not hard to recall what it looks like when the pieces come together.
I love baseball with (almost) every cell in my body. There’s even a note on the fridge that says, “Ways to make Shay happy: 1. everything and everything Mariners, 2. cats.”
I said almost didn’t I?
However, despite all the love I have for this sport, I still think it can be pretty ridiculous. Take the unwritten rules for example.
For those who don’t know, the unwritten rules are like little covenants about various aspects of the game (e.g. don’t score too high on a blowout or not be too “flashy” with club flips) that end in retaliation if broken will . Most often, this retaliation comes in the form of a smack at another batsman on the “offending” team.
Just two days ago, Astros manager Dusty Baker opened up about the “bad blood” between Houston and Seattle leading up to and following what Aaron Goldsmith today called a round of “punches” in Game 1 of this series after (another) hit by Ty France pitch.
As you can see in the graph above the scorebug in the video tweet, the Mariners are at the top of 9th place with a run on the Astros two Outs before Hector Neris throws Ty France in the back for Baker speaking of “bad blood”.
Brother, (yes bro) you’ve decided NOW is the best time to avenge your team for breaking those stupid little unwritten rules? Talk about hitting down (until we’re above .500 this is definitely a hit down).
It doesn’t matter, because afterwards Julio shot as the proverbial “I’ve got your back” to his teammate, who got beans.
Which brings us back to today’s game.
Hitting Julio with a throw wasn’t enough for the Astros once in the 6th inning they had to hit him too again in the 8th Which, as far as I could tell, was not answered with a warning.
Maybe I’ve burned enough sage in my life (or maybe it’s the Lexapro), but I truly believe revenge is best served ice-cold in the results. After Julio’s second HBP, Seattle didn’t hit a player, slip him, or do anything similar. But what they did do was take home a game win and a 3rd series win against the Astros this year.
Astros get mad, Mariners win.