Dear King Felix,
We know that, for your last three starts in a row, we've really let you down. In Tampa Bay, and then against Texas, and then again in Petco Park you took to the mound and pitched your heart out. In twenty-two and one-third innings, you struck out thirty-one men while walking three. You gave up two runs, total. You didn't allow a dinger. And we... we couldn't get you a single win. Our bats couldn't bring the thunder; our bullpen couldn't hold your runners - in short, as a team, we failed you. For that, we apologize, from the bottom of our hearts.
We know, of course, that "sorry" doesn't cut it. That no amount of groveling will absolve our sins. We know that it'll take a lot of long, hard work to make those three games up to you.
But tonight - if you'd let us - we'd love to start.
Take the night off. We've got this one. You don't need to strike out more than a man per inning, or keep every ball in play on the ground, or even stop the Red Sox from leaving the yard. If you don't have your best command, no worries! We'll more than make up for it.
Because tonight, we're going to kick the living shit out of the Boston Red Sox.
It's going to be glorious. There'll be a bases-clearing triple. There'll be a two-homer night. There'll be a thirteen-pitch at bat with the bases loaded - and it won't even end in a double play! We'll get that asshole John Lackey out of the game in four innings flat, and we'll do it while firing on all offensive cylinders. We'll put double digits up on the scoreboard... all for you, our King. This we promise.
We know it's not enough. We know that we still have more work to do.
But we hope that it's a start.
The Seattle Mariners Baseball Club
- Earlier in the evening, before this game turned into a comical drubbing, my recap was going to be written rather differently. The original plan was to center it around John Lackey's fourth inning meltdown - and the key miscue that made it all possible. Check out the replay of Dustin Ackley's RBI groundout. After an admittedly pretty impressive twelve-pitch battle, Ackley did what Ackley does and grounded out to the right side. The ball was hit hard to Mike Napoli's right, pulling him away from the bag, but the Red Sox's bearded first baseman made a great stop and throw to get the out at second. It would've been a double play - it should've been a double play - except that Lackey didn't cover first.
Whether because of slight injury (he came off the mound limping) or because he was discombobulated by the thirteen-pitch struggle, Lackey never made it to the bag, and Ackley was safe. The inning continued, and the Mariners scored four more times. If the game had been closer, it might've been an important turning point. The Mariners ended up scoring five more runs, so it didn't matter, but the Red Sox shunned Lackey as he made his way off the field, so maybe it did.
- Either way:
- Logan Morrison's 2014 wRC+ before today's game: 45. Logan Morrison's 2014 wRC+ after today's game: 98. In a single night, he went from "half as good as a league average hitter" to "as good as a league average hitter". That'll happen when you go four-for-four with two home runs and a walk.
- In his continuing effort to not get Wally Pipp'd despite Logan Morrison's recent hot run, Justin Smoak hit a home run today in Tacoma at the exact same time that Morrison hit his first one in Seattle. On the one hand, I don't think Logan Morrison is the next coming of Lou Gehrig, but on the other hand I do think he's a fair bit more useful than Justin Smoak. Here's hoping he doesn't get benched when the Smoakamotive pulls back into Safeco Station.
- In the fourth inning, Rick Rizzs had a pretty amusing bit of name trouble.
Lackey's success against - excuse me, Ackley's success against Lackley - Lackey...This is your annual reminder that "Dustin Ackley" is an anagram for "Nudist Lackey".
- Red Sox infielder-turned-outfielder Brock Holt had a rough go of it in right today. His most notable mistake was playing Endy Chavez extremely shallow, which allowed Endy's bases-clearing-triple to get over his head. As a fan of a team with a struggling conversion project of its own (hello, Dustin), I sympathize a little. Not a lot, though.
- Per occasional LL contributor and Mariners farm system aficionado Rick Randall:
Confirmed through a team source that tonight was D.J. Peterson's last game in HD. Indeed, he's on his way to Double-A! #Mariners— Rick Randall (@randallball) June 24, 2014
- Alex Jackson, the Mariners' first-round pick, officially signed today and took batting practice before the game. Unlike Gareth Morgan, he didn't hit any home runs, but sprayed line drives all over the field. The optimist in me says "he's unusually mature". The pessimist in me says "his power was overrated". The realist in me says "oh my God you guys it was batting practice come the fuck on".