Wellllllllllllll...yeah if you watched any of this here baseball game we had, you're probably not clamoring to be the first one reading this here recap because you're by all accounts, a smart, reasonable person, and turned your television off and spoke to a loved one and ate good food and realized that life is worth living on your own terms, not worrying about a dumb baseball game where a team plays below their ability that ultimately doesn't really matter in the long run of things.
I say this because the Seattle Mariners played the Minnesota Twins today, and they lost, 8-1. The truth is that they lost 8-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, but the truthier truth is that they lost by all those runs in the second inning, and then again in the fourth inning. By the time the game was officially over, half the city was asleep and the parking lots surrounding Safeco were empty because sheesh, you don't stay for these kinds of games.
Now, sure. I say all this recognizing that the M's are still seven games above .500, about to face a division rival with their three best pitchers, and will presumably be adding a few pieces to make a late summer push here in a couple of weeks. But damn, man, that doesn't make second inning blowouts any more enjoyable.
Today it was Roenis Elias suffering from a bunch of things, some of which was related to elevating pitches, some of which was related to being a rookie pitcher figuring your shit out, but most of which was related to the fact that the universe is indifferent to all constructed meaning we attempt to inscribe upon things devoid of purpose and design. Like baseball! We can all be upset that the cosmos didn't get the memo that the Mariners are this year's New Hot Thing. We can rightfully be ticked that it was just cruel to let this team's rookie sensation throw 50 pitches in the second inning with his team going down 5-0. But it turns out that the universe doesn't care about the Mariners. I know, right?
Elias lasted only 3.1 innings today, which was a bit of a scare for tomorrow's impromptu bullpen day. He gave up seven hits and was charged with six runs, walking three. In another world, being down 5-0 in the second wouldn't be curtains for a playoff baseball team. But this is, they say, the best of all possible worlds. So you know what that means: the fact that the M's are incapable of coming back from a 5-0 lead comes hand in hand with something wonderful we do have, like thin powdered sugar on Belgian Waffles or that episode of Star Trek: The Original Series where Spock has to fight Kirk on planet Vulcan because of some sex thing. Don't get too greedy, folks. This is the best there is.
Look, I could go into the hefty details here. But what you really need to know is that The Mariners came back in a way, but while the M's certainly didn't score runs, they didn't strike out in every at bat. Stringing together offense to produce something though? Well that's a different story. The M's had 12 hits today, and in fact, Logan Morrison and Mike Zunino were the only M's starters to finish the day without reaching base. It all felt, in a way, like every well hit ball from an M's bat either met a Twin's glove, or that every well hit ball after Endy Chavez was standing on first base met a Twin's glove. It just didn't happen tonight, and while we are all rightfully excited that the M's are playing meaningful baseball despite looking anemic on paper, this is just the other half of it.
If you're surprised that your team is outperforming their peripherals in the W-L column, you shouldn't be surprised when they roll out a soggy blanket of shame now and then. Now, of course, this doesn't mean the M's aren't capable of making a good run into October. Just ask the Giants if they want to give their recent World Series trophies back despite not supposedly deserving them. But if we want the fun story of meaningful baseball with all the cards stacked against us, then these games are just going to happen. Take it or leave it.
Oh yeah, Robinson Cano doubled in the seventh to score a run. Maurer and Leone were great. Stephen Pryor made his 2014 debut and had trouble finding the strike zone. That's okay, though, because he's going back to Tacoma. Tomorrow is bullpen day started by Tom Wilhelmsen, and then it's the A's at Safeco against King Felix, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Chris Y. Young. There is a lot to get excited about over the next couple of days. Don't let this pile of shit get you down. Just pour some sugar on it and it will all feel better.