Something will be made of the fact that neither team scored an earned run in this game, but while that is true and certainly an unusual occurrence, it does not do justice to the game or to the Mariners. Disregarding the errors made by teams, the Mariners put 13 men on base via hit or walk to the Angels' six. The Angels had a two-out nobody-on double and a stolen base. The Mariners had a two-out nobody-on triple and three stolen bases. The Mariners were better than the Angels tonight. And on top of that, the Angels assisted with four errors. The Mariners had their chances, but a 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position prevented this from becoming more a relaxing game from their standpoint. It's your own damn fault your blood pressure is high, Mariners! You're going to give yourself cardiovascular problems later in life and it will be because you are bad at hitting.
Felix Hernandez cruised through the Angels lineup for sure, but was he actually better than Ervin Santana? Santana generated 14 swings and misses to Felix's paltry (for him) six and while Felix didn't allow much solid contact, neither did Santana. That's not the entire story though as despite throwing a few fewer pitches overall, Santana saw more swing attempts (50) than Felix (43) did and Ervin missed the strike zone a little more often. Both pitchers were ground ball crazy tonight. Felix had 15 of 22 balls in play on the ground (68%) while Santana countered with 14 of 24 (58%). From a pure pitch result perspective, the two look about even, but context and sequencing matters and despite a similar number of batters faced, Felix ended up with three more strikeouts. He also ended up with the win, which is neat for him.
Other good things we got to see was a multi-hit game from Justin Smoak and --yawn-- Dustin Ackley with another triple. Ackley has the team's best OPS by 49 points (assuming you aren't counting Doug Fister's .333/.333/.500 line). We even saw a return of Ichiro! in the field robbing Vernon Wells of a ball that Ichiro wasn't even looking at. Seriously. Not even looking. What a badass.
The Mariners won, the Angels lost and the Rangers won. So with 20 games remaining, the Angels sit 3.5 games back facing very long odds indeed. It's no consolation to me that the Rangers are going to win the division., but I don't need consolation from the Angels not winning it. I don't root for other teams in the AL West and the Rangers especially annoy me, but like preferring syphilis to herpes, I'm still happier if it's not the Angels and that the Mariners get to play some part in making that happen. Come on, Furbush!