After all the extra-inning thrills in Oakland and Los Angeles, things certainly seemed like they were bound to normalize. You thought that meant a victory? Nah. Last night's battle in Safeco was a pessimistically vintage performance by the Mariners, as Texas handed the Mariners their fourth straight loss by a score of 3-1. The Mariners fall to 3-7 despite an excellent outing for J.A. Happ, and now look to King Felix to snap the skid tomorrow evening.
Since we're running a little late on the recap, let's summarize things in bullet form.
- The Mariners squandered countless opportunities last night, including double plays in each of innings two, three, and four. Six men were left on base, but it certainly felt like a lot more. They had their chances against Yovani Gallardo, but couldn't do anything with them.
- Speaking of Gallardo, he ate Seth Smith's lunch. Even though the lineup was the same personnel as opening day, Smith looked like the opposite kind of guy -- beat by fastballs, hacking at balls down and out of the zone, and generally befuddled by Gallardo. Smith managed an RBI sacrifice fly in the 8th, but it wasn't enough as the Mariners semi-wasted a rally opportunity started by a Brad Miller double..
- Miller scored in the 8th on that sac fly, but not much else happened after that. I joked around on Twitter that Austin Jackson hadn't hit a ball further than 250 feet since 2013, and PEOPLE BOUGHT IT. 250 feet. I'm not sure if that speaks to the defeatist attitude this fanbase is going through, or how unbelievably weak Jackson has looked at the plate for his entire Mariner career. He isn't driving the ball with any remote amount of authority, and while you hate to make conclusions too early, this ain't good. There's nothing behind those swings.
- J.A. Happ looked perfectly acceptable, scattering five hits and two walks over seven innings. There is nothing remarkable to comment about Happ, which I imagine is exactly what the Mariners hope continues to happen as the season goes on. He's been exactly what the M's have wanted (and needed) through his first two starts.
- Nelson Cruz didn't continue his home run streak, but he did loop three singles to bring his average up to .342. In these dark days of April, he continues to be a joy to watch in the middle of the lineup, mostly because of the black hole he's replacing.
- Mike Zunino + a critical situation + two strike count = barf emoji. His K% is at 42.9%. He has a -6 wRC. WHAT.
- I'm not exactly an expert scout or anything, but Logan Morrison doesn't look anything like he did back in September. His lower half seems to be looser, he's not squaring up balls quite right, and even though he did pop a coulda-woulda-shoulda-maybe home run that was caught at the yellow line last night (not his first of those this year), the rest isn't looking great. I can't really tell if he's a combined five feet from being somebody we're not worrying about or if this is a legit concern.
- Safeco was packed last night, thanks to good weather on a Friday night and a beard hat promotion, which Mariner fans continue to eat up. I'll never quite understand this city's rampant obsession with promotional giveaways. Last year, on a bobblehead day I can't even remember, I was offered $100 cash for my bobblehead while grabbing a beer. I sold it on the spot, and then my friend was offered the same, and we both walked out of Safeco up for the night. Who is paying so much for these things immediately after they give 20,000 or more away? Is this a long con? Will this $100 buyer wait 20 years, and then sell for profit? I MUST KNOW THE BUSINESS MODEL. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, beard hats. They're blue. They looked weird.
- A morning after recap means it's already Felix day. You're done weeping. Rejoice.