Sure, the Mariners came into Kansas City with a 4-8 record, but that record didn't quite tell the story. See, these Mariners, they don't have any quit. They were swept in three games in Texas, but they rallied in each and narrowly lost. They were swept in three games by Cleveland, but they rallied in two and narrowly lost. And, of course, there was Monday's game against Toronto, in which the Mariners erased a late 7-0 deficit and found a way to win the game.
The Eric Wedge Mariners know how to fight, and even if they don't end up on the winning end, more often than not they'll at least make the game respectable. The Eric Wedge Mariners take pride in what the do. The only problem? Sometimes that pride needs a full nine to show up. Today, the Mariners only got to play eight, thanks to a suspiciously convenient Kansas City rainstorm. The Royals beat the Mariners by a 5-1 score, but the Royals beat the Mariners in seven and a half innings, and there's no telling what the Eric Wedge Mariners might've pulled out in the ninth. We can sit here now and say the game we got to watch was pointless and an absolute snoozer, but the game we got to watch was an incomplete game, and one can only imagine what the team might've had left up its sleeves.
This could've been another magical night for the Eric Wedge Fightin' Mariners. Sadly, we'll never know. We'll never know, because the umpires got a little too wet. Way to go, inclement weather. You may have won this round, but we've got volatile industrial pollutants that say your joking days are almost over.
In truth, this game was pointless and an absolute snoozer. It's the damndest thing - I enjoy watching Royals home games when they're playing someone else, but when they're playing the Mariners, it's always death. Or, not death; it's like the last few hours of a twelve-hour drive, where it's dark out and you spend the whole time trying various techniques to shock your body into keeping its eyes open. You can turn the radio up real high, and you can pinch yourself, and you can open the window and stick your head out, but these things only have limited success. The only real difference between watching an average Mariners/Royals game in Kansas City and nearing the end of a long, exhausting drive is that, with watching the game, you might kill yourself if you don't fall asleep.
But I guess even the most pointless games can only be so pointless when they're the 13th game of a 162-game season, so what this really was was a game that made us feel like we root for a terrible team long before we officially know that we root for a terrible team. The Mariners showed zero life at the plate, Doug Fister wasn't quite on top of his game, and Adam Kennedy was batting cleanup. This easily could've been a game out of 2010, or 2008, or 2004, or 1979. This was one of those games with no positives, which isn't the kind of game the 2011 Mariners want to be playing.
4-9. Remember Monday? Remember how awesome Monday felt? What have we learned about momentum in baseball?
- Christ, I don't think I even have any bullet points for this. uhhh
- Oh here we go. Obviously a point of controversy before the game was Wedge slotting Kennedy in at DH, batting fourth. It would be one thing, I guess, if the Mariners were facing a righty, but they weren't, which made the whole thing absurd. Sure, I'll grant that the Mariners don't have a classic cleanup hitter on the roster, especially if Jack Cust is getting the day off, but is Kennedy really a better option than Milton Bradley? Than Justin Smoak? Is Adam Kennedy even a better option than Brendan Ryan in this scenario?
But as is always the case, people overreact to batting order quirks, and the significance of Kennedy's position wasn't worth the criticism. As people really need to understand by now, batting order ends up meaning very, very little. The difference between this lineup with Kennedy at #4 and this lineup with Kennedy at #8 is practically negligible.
If you want something to criticize, don't criticize the batting order. Criticize the thought process that led Eric Wedge to the batting order. There's more there to grab onto.
- The Mariners nearly had a positive event in the top of the second, when Justin Smoak lifted a long fly ball into the swirling winds of center field. The ball, though, was tracked down by a sprinting Melky Cabrera for the first out of the inning. Melky Cabrera is such a Royals player. Jeff Francoeur is the obvious Royals player, and Jason Kendall is another obvious Royals player, but guys like Scott Podsednik and Melky Cabrera are underratedly very Royals players. The key to being a very Royals player is to be bad and at least moderately well-known. It's going to be weird when the Royals graduate their prospects and finally transition to the Royals. They'll be like a whole new team.
- In the early innings, Miguel Olivo appeared to injure his ankle chasing after a loose ball. After the trainer came out for a look, Olivo shook him off, said he was fine, and remained in the game. In the bottom of the seventh, after Melky Cabrera struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt, Olivo decided the proper course of action was to chase Cabrera down the basepaths, rather than simply throw to first for the out. It was raining here in Portland at the time, and I thought I heard thunder, but I think it was actually just the pounding of Rick Griffin's heart.
- The Coors Light Freeze Cam is just a package of video highlights. The Coors Light Freeze Cam should consist of still images of important events. How are they not getting this? You have "freeze" right in the name. Coors is pretty much run by the dumbest people in America, which explains why Coors is so popular in America.
- The tarp came out in the middle of the eighth when the score was 5-1 Royals and the Mariners looked dead in the...water. Obviously none of us wanted to sit through a rain delay in a game in which the M's appeared entirely lifeless, but imagine what that must've been like for the M's. They'd already played like crap, and then they faced the prospect of having to sit around for one or two hours so they could finish playing like crap. I don't know what Eric Wedge had his players do during the delay before the game was called but something tells me he probably had them do wind sprints.
- Doug Fister has made three starts, and through those three starts, he has an ERA of 3.86. I can't be the only person who assumed it was somewhere in the 8s. For the most part he was no more or less Doug Fister than usual today, but I do want to shed a little light on his curveball. Over his career, Fister's curve hasn't been much of a weapon, but tonight, of the 21 he threw, 16 were strikes, and six of the Royals' 11 swings missed. They were consistently fooled, as they were presumably sitting on his rice cake fastball. Fister was practically playing with a Major League-caliber pitch.
It's Erik Bedard and Luke Hochevar tomorrow at the same time as today. I don't know if it'll be raining water, but given Bedard's proclivity for allowing homers and fouls, it'll damn sure be raining something.