I did. I've talked about jumping around and blasting music after big plays and big wins before, and those stories were always true, but tonight...I dunno, I can't recall many other nights like tonight. With one dramatic swing of the bat we went from facing a probable lost season to getting right back in the thick of things, and that instant switch of perspective manifested itself in a thirty second full-body frenzy that left little bits of broken and handprinty evidence littered all around my house. I can't remember the last time I lost it like that, and while it's only one game - a game that tomorrow could very well be erased - it was the sort of game that'll send you to sleep with a smile and power you through a Friday workday. We've played good games before, and the Mariners have sent us all to bed happy, but nothing this season compares to tonight. Gutierrez's home run is going to be running through my head like Boney M ran through Joe Simpson's.
These are the games that justify our fanhood. I don't even want to go to sleep. I just want to watch the replay over and over again until my finger breaks from clicking.
Franklin Gutierrez: you have arrived. Rob Johnson owes you a thank-you card.
- Felix's night tonight: 112 pitches, 74 strikes (66%), 16 swinging strikes (14%), and a bunch of balls on the ground. He didn't look his sharpest out of the gate, but he struck out seven of the last 19 batters he faced, including all three in the eighth. All four of his pitches were working. The King has turned into a legitimate stopper before our very eyes. Since that miserable Angels game on May 19th, Felix has gone 8, 6.2, 7, 7, 9, 7.1, 8, 7, and 8 innings in his starts. Lock this man up. Hell, lock him up tonight while he's still riding the high. He's always had the stuff to be one of the best starters in the world. Now he's pitching like it, and it's magnificent to witness.
- As of this writing, Franklin Gutierrez stands as the second-most valuable center fielder in baseball. I loved the trade at the time, but at no point did I expect to see him blossom this impressively this fast. The Seattle Mariners would not be close to where they are today were it not for Gutierrez. Got some disposable income? Buy a jersey. He's going to be here for a while.
- Parts of Mike Maddux have grayed faster than other parts.
- In the bottom of the second, Ryan Langerhans attempted maybe the worst bunt I've ever seen. In the bottom of the third, Ichiro dropped down maybe the best.
Chris Woodward's barehand play on Andruw Jones in the seventh was spectacular, and seeing that he's capable of that sort of thing only makes me upset that he couldn't pull it off in the ninth inning yesterday afternoon. Also, Andruw Jones is slow.
All this talk about Yuniesky Betancourt and a trade with the Pirates is getting me excited. Nothing's done yet, but there's an awful lot of smoke blowing around, and getting back either Jack Wilson or Freddy Sanchez (and possibly more) would really plug a gaping hole. What seemed pointless in the top of the eighth now seems like the sort of thing that could help put this team over the top. Stay tuned.