clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mariners sputter their way to the All Star break with a 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels

The same thing happens over and over.

hit ball go very far make runs
hit ball go very far make runs
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

And so here we are, the first half of the season in the books with the Mariners sitting seven games below .500, once again sending out a pathetically anemic offense to try and nibble some hits on the path to competency. It wasn't supposed to be this way, but then again, just about nobody expected midseason hopes to be piqued with the arrival of Jesus Montero 2.0, or to see the reliable Roenis Elias as more of a rock than a person to think about during the offseason who also has a neat curve or something.

Nobody imagined a slumping Mark Trumbo wearing northwest green, and nobody conceived of a parasite inside Robinson Cano's innards. Nobody thought of 41-48 and by god nobody thought of this:


Today the Mariners had a real legitimate chance to enter the All-Star break with a series win against the Angels, but because they instead thought it would be a nice idea to follow this consistently obnoxious model of .500 ball they have been employing all July, the apparently acceptable answer was to take a hairy loss on the chin like a well-earned punch on the jaw after saying something offensive at the bar, which, let me tell you, is not the nicest or wisest thing one can do.

Today the Mariners lost their baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and for a hot minute, they lost the game 10-0. 10-0 is just about as bad as one can possibly lose a baseball game, so the good news--I guess--is that the Mariners decided to tack on three totally pointless runs during the eighth and ninth innings of this here shitstorm before they all flew home to take a break from embarrassing themselves on regional television for once in their lives.

But yes, before those three runs, there were ten. Ten from Angels bats, ten off the hands of Taijuan Walker, David Rollins, and whodathunkit, Fernando Rodney. There were none in the first, but there were two in the second--two, following back-to-back hits from Erick Aybar and David Freese which included a ground-rule double that at once seemed like the luckiest break you could possibly imagine, holding the runner at third, except you were watching a Mariners game so that meant that Robinson Cano would let the ball roll through his glove a minute later to let the run score in jest.

The Angels got another run in the second off a wild pitch, and then suddenly there were runners on base in the third. After Trout reached from a single, Taijuan struck out Pujols on a beauty of an 89-88-94-89 sequence which lead to Erick Aybar coming to the plate, obnoxiously knocking a dribbler down across the left field foul line which resulted in this:

<a class='sbn-auto-link' href=

wait, wait no it was this

Raul 6

no no, I've got this here give me a second this is what happened



Ah yes. It may not be as handy as a GIF, but we've learned we can't exactly be picky these days.

So what you may notice here in this video aptly titled "Cano's timely backup saves a run," is the wonderful sequence which illustrates one Raul Ibanez Mark Trumbo airmailing a throw to home plate, which misses the awaiting Mike Zunino by about seven miles, bouncing off the backstop as Mike Trout slides into home, barely beating the return throw from Taijuan Walker which sailed again past Mike Zunino and into the awaiting hands of Robinson Cano, who then threw out a gimme-an-in-the-parker-Erick Aybar from second like they meant for the whole thing to happen (breathes).

Except the only thing is that the famous GIF is named "Damn it, Astros," and not "Hey, neat, Astros, you made them think you meant to do all this and then you got em." And what you have here instead is the entire first fucking half of this godforsaken season encapsulated in a nutshell. Poor defense. A joke. An honest mistake. A laughing stock. Then, somehow, someway, something good. Kind of like a win after a loss after a win after a loss after a oh man, this is getting bad.

Still, 3-0 Angels into the sixth inning was far from the end of the world, and Taijuan was, while not his best, working pretty damn hard to try and mitigate the damage done before the Mariners got set to take a half week off. He ended up throwing 64 of his 87 pitches for strikes, which is good, and found himself with seven strikeouts in a mere five innings of work. Still, the Mariners were, as usual on the day after a win, not giving him jack shit to work with. For a hot minute, it was only Kyle Seager and Brad Miller giving Taijuan any baserunners, and I'm going to let you guess what happened when they each got into scoring position. So by the time Taijuan's pitch count was crawling up there, it all started to go downhill, and fast:

  1. Starting off the sixth, Walker bonked Mike Trout in the bicep with a pitch, which was strangely well received by two twenty-somethings, especially considering I almost got beat up by this guy named Zack while buying ice cream out on an evening walk today, and I'm not even kidding. Zack was clearly in his early twenties, perhaps younger, and gave me the shiftiest side eye while I walked into Providence's East Side Creamery with a few friends amidst 90-something degree weather and insufferable humidity. I guess that will do it to you? I don't know, but in any case, I must have made eye contact with him for just a second too long because suddenly he was shouting over at me--between licks on his Cookies and Cream ice cream bowl--what you lookin at buddy? What is this, 1947? So I had to stop for a minute, in part because we were 1. At a fucking Ice Cream shop, and 2. He was wearing skate shoes with a New England Patriots shirt above them like an eclipse missing only a "Free Brady" sticker on the back. I, being the near-thirty-something brave man I was, ran as fast into the air-conditioned sugar factory as fast as I could and before I knew it Zack (I'm making his name up but roll with me here) was gone. And then I realized that a few hours earlier, one of these Youths threw a baseball at another Youth, and it could have easily been mistaken for ill intent, but they just went about their business like nothing had happened whatsoever despite the fact that it probably hurt like hell. The kids are alright, they say. The kids are alright.
  2. Now, you may remember I'm supposed to be talking about a baseball game here. I could do that, noting that after this aforementioned HBP, Taijuan went on to give up a single to Albert Pujols, a sac bunt to Erick Aybar, and an RBI double off the bat of David Freese before getting pulled for David Rollins, but man, do you really want to read about all that?
  3. Do you really want to read about how they pulled Taijuan out after 87 pitches for his last start of the first half, realizing he gave up an immensely important must-win game to the division leader, handing over a bunch of inherited runners to a flamethrower lefty who promptly gave up a dinger and a forceout dribbler to make the score 9-0 Angels? Do you really want that?
  4. Do you really want to know that the Angels got another run in the 8th after Fernando Rodney gave up a leadoff double to Johnny Giavotella, who then scored handily on a Mike Trout groundout a few moments later? Do you really want to keep reading about how the Mariners fell 10-3 and saw the first half of their season end in bitter dissapointment as Lloyd McClendon espoused to the media that it was the "Worst loss of the season?" (I don't know what you were watching last time we were in Houston, bud, but let me tell you...)

I mean, yeah I could do that. I could note that the Mariners, while down 10-0 and showing they had no clue as to how to beat Angels rookie Andrew Heaney suddenly put a bunch of shit together once he was pulled from the game, seeing Austin Jackson and Robinson Cano hit into back-to-back eighth inning singles, finally scoring two runs on Ack and Seager dribblers. I could note that Seth Smith hit a solo shot in the ninth before the Mariners kindly set themselves down on the tracks and said here, use my body, I don't need it anyway before the Angels handily took the division lead?

Now we get a week off to unpack all this garbage. A week to look at a seven-plus-game division deficit, a week to look at a joke of an offense under-performing, and maybe, for some of us, a week off of hating ourselves while we go to bed at night. It's silly, really. But then again, we know that, and we've known that for a long time. And as this first half of a remarkably disappointing season now draws to a close, I'd like you instead to look forward to What Could Be, to forget about what just happened and not hope for what is next, but to know that it is something radically different--even if the resulting win loss record this October is exactly the same as it is today.

I'd like you to remember that we do this because we like it (I know, I have to convince myself of this all the got dang time), and because it means something bigger than ourselves, despite the fact that cultural memory and tradition is truthfully little more than a normalizing force which sculpts us into the clay needed to further propagate history out and away from our truly lived experience.

I'd like to leave you with this wonderful scene from E.L. Doctorow's masterpiece of historical pastiche, Ragtime, in which a late scene sees a father taking his son to a New York Giants game in 1911, valorizing not only an important moment in American history, not only an important opportunity to make up some dumb myth about where "We" came from (whoever "we" are), and a damn wonderful take on why you're going to watch more baseball this weekend, despite the fact that these bastards have burnt you once and despite the fact they will burn you again.

Out in center field, behind the unroofed or bleacher seats, a great display board indicated the number of outs and the inning and the hits and runs made. A man went along a scaffold and hung the appropriate marked shingles that summarized the action. Father sank into his chair. As the afternoon wore on he entertained the illusion that what he saw was not baseball but an elaborate representation of his own problems accounted, for his secret understanding, in the coded clarity of numbers that could be seen from a distance.

He turned to his son. What is it you like about this game, he said. The boy did not remove his gaze from the diamond. The same thing happens over and over, he said.

The same thing happens over and over.

The same thing happens over and over.

The same thing happens over and over.

Tomorrow the Mariners will win.

The same thing happens over and over.

Tomorrow the Mariners will lose.

The same thing happens over and over.

The same thing happens over and over.

The same thing happens over and over.

The same thing happens over, and over.