Yesterday the Mariners played an incredibly awful game--their fourth loss in a row--and I started my recap by simulating heavy sighing noises from holding my index finger on my keyboard's 'h' button, making an unreadable string of text that was designed to echo the unwatchable ninth inning that had just occurred on the field of Marlins' Park.
That was probably a mistake. I should have waited to do that tonight. Because it
One must be careful in this territory. I'm not folding in the towel, hanging up my Felix jersey, or trying to take my lead from the Times' comment section. But holy crap this is getting old.
- The Mariners took a no-hitter into the sixth inning today. And by "took a no-hitter into the sixth" I mean that they didn't touch the ball for six innings because on one hand Henderson Alvarez is actually pretty good, but the Mariners are also being stupid right now. This is the worst part about all this: in years past, the Mariners would have an absurdly high strikeout rate and would get shut out five days a week. This team isn't a team that is supposed to do that, and yet, here we are. Brad Miller is trotting out a K% of 27.6%. Robinson Cano is slugging .328. Kyle Seager is hitting .161. None of these statistics mean anything in the third week of April, but you also have been watching three weeks of this happen, and boy has it been stupid. Right now, the Mariners look lost at the plate. They won't be all year, but they are. And it's getting old.
- Abraham Almonte squared up the first pitch of the game with a drag bunt, and was thrown out by about seventy miles. That sentence actually carries all the information about the next nine innings, despite not naming a single Marlins player or Mariners pitcher. Just read it again, and stop reading this recap because all you need to know is at the beginning of this paragraph.
- The rotation is a mess. Elias' line--5.2 IP/8H/6R/5BB/5K is a little gross for sure, but he actually settled down pretty well after a shaky first and showed off a changeup that could be something really special in a few years. His pitches move well and clearly deceive, which is nice because when hitters are one step ahead of you, especially on your bendy things, everything stops working. It's absolutely okay that Elias came out and put up this line today. Thing is, he's the second best pitcher on the team right now. And in that sense, this was a nightmare. Behind Felix, whoo boy. You can't predict injuries, and you can't put all of this on the FO for sure. But boy, would it be nice if Iwakuma could come back soon. And Taijuan.
- Still here? Okay, well, let's try and be cheery! The M's were hitless through six, but the game remained in reach at 2-0 despite a Casey McGehee RBI single in the third and a passed ball by Zunino in the fourth that sent Hechavarria through the plate. The wheels fell off in the sixth and Elias combusted like wax paper at the candle museum. With two outs, Elias gave up an RBI single to Henderson Alvarez, walked Christian Yelich, and floated a ball right where you should never throw a ball (even to Marcell Ozuna) for a three-run home run. 6-0 Marlins. Danny Farquhar came in after this to strike out Stanton to end the inning. Cheery.
- Weirdly enough, LLoyd put Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the eighth with the Marlins up 6-0, where he promptly put Donovan Solano on base. Despite two strikeouts, Marcell Ozuna (seriously what the hell) singled him in to stretch the lead to 7-0, and like the seventh, struck out Stanton to end the inning. I'm curious why LLoyd put in Rodney in a non-save situation, and I don't mean this negatively. LLoyd has been the target of criticism over his bullpen use (and honestly, what manager hasnt?), and it seems interesting that someone everyone has been imagining as too rigidly stuck in assigned roles and platooning would ignore the "c" word and throw Rodney in for a blowout game. Then again, the bullpen has been used quite a bit over the past couple of days, and will ostensibly need to be used a lot with Maurer and Young coming up in the next couple of days. I'm guessing LLoyd just realized he needed an inning out of someone and threw out Rodney thanks to an inning count. I don't know. This is what happens when baseball is so meaninglessly stupid: over-analysis, attempts to read meaning into that which may carry none, hopes for Reason, Design, Sense. You think we would know by now.
So, here we are. 7-10. I didn't really recap this game in the traditional narrative sense, so I apologize. If you want that, here it is: The Mariners were on the wrong end of a perfect game through six innings, and then Dustin Ackley got a hit. Soon after, the Marlins added on to their 3-0 lead thanks to Roenis Elias being left in after he should have been pulled, and then the flowers wilted and everything was flushed down the toilet. The field was still neon green, some asshole was whistling incessantly in an attempt to throw off the Mariners during each at bat or caught ball, and Florida is still awful.
They can't win the series, but a win tomorrow would be nice momentum to go into Houston and beat up on some Astros with a Monday night Felix game. Of course, the Mariners were supposed to do well this weekend because Marlins, so who knows what's going to happen. Here's to July, when the air is warm and the BABIP isn't rude and this feels fun again. Because ugh.