Let's just go ahead and get this out of the way. Yes, David Aardsma had Hideki Matsui struck out to start the ninth. The 2-1 pitch was probably a strike, and the 3-2 pitch was definitely a strike. Rather than a walk, that should've been an out, and an out there changes the entire course of the inning. If Sam Holbrook makes the right call there, the Mariners might win the game.
But anyone who blames this on Sam Holbrook getting that call wrong only watched one half-inning. Shawn Kelley got a complete gift strikeout of Maicer Izturis in the eighth. Erick Aybar was called out at second stretching a single in the eighth when replays showed he might've been safe. Jesus Colome got a bases-loaded called strikeout of Mike Napoli on a pitch on the edge that's usually a ball. And Josh Wilson picked up an infield single when a routine grounder struck second base umpire Brian Knight in the leg, leading to the Mariners' first run of the game.
The umpires had a lot to do with this afternoon's outcome. Too much. Far too much. But one could argue that the M's got more help from them than the Angels did. The umpires didn't lose the M's this game. David Aardsma lost the M's this game. Ian Snell lost the M's this game. Jesus Colome and Kanekoa Texeira lost the M's this game. Mike Brumley and bad baserunning lost the M's this game. The Mariners put 20 men on base, but the Angels had 19 with three dingers, and in the end, I think you just have to say that the team that deserved to win wound up winning. Sure, they fell behind, but they came back and the M's did little to inhibit their progress.
This series could've easily been a sweep. The Mariners could've come out 21-28 and within 5 or 5.5 of the lead. Instead, they blew it. And they blew it because they aren't that good.