Luckily I was spared watching the game last night. I was driving back home after finishing my junior year at UT. Finally, I pulled my lumbering van into my driveway at midnight, and after an immensely busy weekend, I was looking forward to a lazy Wednesday and some baseball.
However, the lazy part should not be. While I was gone, my mom bought a 22-foot wide above-ground pool, filled it up, and then went on a two-week trip to see a wedding. When she returned she discovered that the chlorine was not killing bacteria and the whole thing had to be drained.
So I drove to a hardware store, rented an industrial pump and pumped out most of the water. But quite a bit of water, about up to my ankles, was left behind by the pump and as the hole to drain the pool was too high we had to resort to old fashioned techniques to get the rest of the water out by scooping up with buckets.
Also, I feel like the Mariners came into this series after being the first team to give the Mets a loss in the series in hopes of some nice and easy games. Flexen, Gilbert and Gonzales is a nice pitching setup to play against a team that hasn’t played out the way they hoped.
But of course the last two games weren’t easy. With Haniger still gone, Jarred Kelenic sent downstairs and Steven Souza Jr. and Mike Ford calling, the M’s have been putting out less than optimal lineups lately. In Toronto, that has resulted in a 4-run loss and a 3-run loss. No fun. Even bad.
Tonight the top of the first especially was that mark of Mariners Frustrating™ as the Mariners loaded bases twice, first with no outs, then with an out, only to walk away on a single run. Three singles in a row to start the game is fun. I like it. Please keep getting hits. But I would also like runs. It would make me a lot less nervous.
I was watching tonight’s game with a friend who doesn’t watch baseball all that much, and near the end of the third inning he leaned over to me and said, “The Mariners are winning this game, but it doesn’t feel like it.” I guess , which sums up the experience of how this team saw the loaded bases stranded.
Marco was on the bump today and we all wondered which Marco we were going to get. He’s known to be a two-half pitcher. When he’s good he’s great (like against the Astros at home) but when he’s bad his command isn’t there, he gets into trouble and tends to give up the big innings.
At first it felt like we were getting Bad Marco as he walked the first batter he faced, Springer, with a full count. But he hit down to beat Bo Bichette and tricked Vladimir Guerrero Jr. into breaking into a doubles game. A serious feat against some truly fearsome bats.
He ran into some trouble at the end of the third and Hyde Marco lifted his head. He gave Bichette a full-count walk to load bases and then led Guerrero Jr. on a perfectly placed pitch, but the ref said ball four and a run scored.
The next three innings were good for Marco. He gave up a hit in each, but only Teoscar Hernandez made it all the way to second place and was then immediately picked up. One run, six innings, and a solid performance. However, eight baserunners. So we have to work on that.
He’s behind a Class A defence, of course, although my favorite highlight came in the 8th after he left the game.
offense! We had some! Cal Raleigh hit his third home run of the year on a first pitch in front of Kevin Gausman, the first home run the Blue Jays pitcher has hit all season and for Cal of all people.
A few innings later, Ty put it down with a two-run shot that gave Seattle a 3-run lead, and that was the first moment I felt confident I was going to win. It’s a shame but the Chaos Ball, Mariners in one run winning the 2021 game is doomed to history (previous series notwithstanding). This 2022 squad needs a big lead to win games, and three runs in the late innings feels like a big lead.
However, one player decided to take a bigger lead. Abraham Toro, our beloved, again confirmed my Eyes theory, firing his fourth (!) ninth inning home run of the season at a 103 mph line into deep right field. If I had a nickel for every ninth inning home run Toro hit at Rogers Center, I’d have two nickels. Which isn’t much, but it’s odd that it happened twice considering he was never in the Blue Jays’ division.
To skim about 470 gallons of water, we put some sea shanties (I know I’m a nerd, you don’t have to let me know) on a Bluetooth speaker and just got to work. We sang, laughed and smiled. But more importantly, we got what seemed like hours and hours of bone-crushing work done in about 45 minutes. We found a way to turn a miserable afternoon into fun, to make the best out of a bad situation.
A baseball season is long. I know it’s a cliché, but it’s true. From spring training through the postseason, it takes eight months to throw, hit and catch balls. There will be shitty games that will test our patience and make us wonder if this sport we love is really any good.
It’s important to move on after those days and accept that these things are happening. In such situations it is important that the team has such games. Games where they set up runs, pitch well, and play good basic defense. In short, to make the best of a bad situation.
Tonight, the Mariners did just that and can now head to Boston with a little more momentum.