First, I gotta apologize for the hackneyed title.
I've been an on-again, off-again fan for a coupla years now. I was a kid during the awesome 2001 season and remember the decline that followed shortly thereafter. I tuned out around 2009. But being home for the summer and reading about the new crop of infielders got me excited to watch the M's again. And they have certainly been exciting. Nick Franklin smashing homeruns, Seager being Seager, Ackley going from sucks to maybe doesn't suck, Miller being a shortstop that gets on base. I've been bitten again by the baseball bug, and anticipate following the M's more closely than I have in years. So that's good.
But, DAMN, this last series has been brutal. These two losses have hurt. They have been a reality check. Sweeping the Angels (fuck the Angels) and the Astros was awesome, but both of those teams are on the crappier end of the good continuum. Taking two out of three from a good Indians team (fuck Cleveland) was almost sweeter. Splitting the Twins' series was a let down. And then we get dickslapped in the face by Boston (Fuck the Red Sox). However, I am still optimistic that we have a good ball club that is getting better.
A 15-inning game is a heartbreaker to lose, but it wasn't like we were shut down in extra innings. We got guys on base and were hitting the ball with runners in scoring position. Despite losing the BABIP battle, this game was much more promising to watch because A) they actually scored 4 runs to take the game to extra innings and B) they kept putting balls in play. My (admittedly shaky) memories of the late 00's teams are of teams whose offensive philosophy seemed to be "pray the other team doesn't score any runs". I don't get that feeling with this team
And then, the most recent, still bleeding, wound, this bullpen meltdown. It hurts, but bullpen meltdowns happen. Our team put up 7 runs against a good Boston team. Felix had a pretty good day, with 8 K's and only 2 BB's. Charlie Furbush gave up a home run, but then got out of the inning. And then our bullpen shat the bed. It hasn't happened often, and if we hadn't exhausted our bullpen in the game before, I would guess that we win this one. But we didn't.
The Mariner's lost to a good ball club. The Sox capitalized on our relievers' shaky control. But for the most part, at least in the games that I have watched, our bullpen doesn't have these meltdowns on a regular basis. Stuff like this happens and against a crappier ball club than the Sox, I think we coulda had this one. Most importantly, our building block players continued to play well. We haven't escaped the woods of crappy baseball yet, but this series has shown me that it seems we are headed in the right direction.
Sorry for profanity, Go Mariners and Fuck the Red Sox