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51-80, Game Thought

The Angels come in having gone scoreless for 26 consecutive innings.

Angels: I bet we can do this better than you.
Mariners: I bet you cannot.
Angels: I bet that we can.
Mariners: I bet you cannot.
Angels: You don't know what we can do.
Mariners: You can't do this as well as us.
Angels: You want to put something on it?
Mariners: Gentleman's bet.
Angels: Right, right, budget.
Mariners: Budget.
Angels: Then let's do it, starting now.
Mariners: Very well.
Angels: GO!
Angels: mrr
Angels: mrrrrrrr
Angels: urrrrrr
Angels: urrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Mariners: :taps fingers on leg:
Angels: You're gonna give, man, you're gonna give
Angels: We got this, just give up right now
Mariners: :rolls eyes:
Angels: AHHH
Angels: :dinger:
Angels: :dinger:
Angels: :dinger:
Angels: wait
Angels: noooooooooooo
Mariners: bitch please we're the king of not scoring


The bottom of the ninth was interesting. Not because the M's came back, or almost came back. Not because it mattered. The bottom of the ninth was interesting because Jerry Meals blew a call at second base.

With one on and none out, Franklin Gutierrez lined a low drive into center, and though fast and awesome and annoying Peter Bourjos was able to cover enough ground, he wasn't able to make an awkward catch in front of him and the ball got by for extra bases. Casey Kotchman rounded second and held up at third, and Franklin Gutierrez turned back to second after rounding once he realized that Kotchman had come to a halt. Gutierrez got back to the base safely ahead of Juan Rivera's(ed. note: what?) tag, but Meals ruled him out, to much protestation. Rather than having the tying run at the plate with nobody out, the M's had one out and the tying run on deck.

The blown call was immediately egregious, and it gave all of us something to be mad about. More, it gave us something new to be mad about, instead of the familiar bad pitch or miserable baserunning or hopeless flailing at the plate. As soon as that blown call happened, it didn't matter that the Mariners still probably weren't going to tie. It didn't matter that the odds were against them, and it didn't matter that a win would serve little purpose. The greater context became irrelevant. We tuned in, we saw the M's get screwed, and we thought it a grave injustice.

It sounds silly now, since we all know the wins make no difference, but when Meals made his call, I was shocked into an angry reaction, and judging by the game thread, many of you were in the same boat. Somehow, that call found a nerve that hadn't been dulled.

That's interesting to me. I didn't know such a nerve could still exist. For injuries? Sure. For regular gameplay? That caught me off guard. I wonder what the response would be were the same thing to happen again tomorrow.

Tonight, for the first time in months, we get to sleep the sleep of a fanbase done wrong. In a sick, weird way, this is a rare treat for a fan of a team in the basement. I know a lot of it's worn off by now in the hours since, but the anger still lingers to some small degree. And that anger - that's emotion. That's real, sports emotion.

It's nice to discover you're not just a robot.