(shhhh-wonder if there's a consensus on how to get Mike Zunino out?)
Well, I don't really know what to say. How many moments must pass before you see the one you love as mortal? How many until you see your love for them as mortal, too? Is it that moment when you no longer feel the gravity of it? Weightlessness goes both ways. One towards elation, the other towards desolation. We hope it never comes, but there are an innumerable number of thuds as we tumble through this together. Some of us last through the bounce after the ultimate landing, but we still end on the ground. The truth is, until one doesn't end, they all do. There it stands, Love, hollow and empty-handed where it once meant so much to two. It is now nothing to those same. The honeymooning is over. The Seattle Mariners lost 5-4, dropped to nine games under .500, and it didn't even seem like a rare occasion. Why do you build me up Buttercup, baby?
The worst part is that there really isn't anything to do about it now, either. It feels like one of those times where sitting pat and letting things play out is likely the best course of action. It's a hard realization, however. We are powerless against this. We are doomed to love without influence. There are signs of life in there, though. Mike Zunino was the best player tonight by WPA and it's not like that was because the rest of the team mailed it in. Austin Jackson and Robinson Cano both had two hits, as did The Italian. But it's shit like this-What if I told you in March that 93 games in to this season Jackson and Cano would have identical batting averages while both being essentially healthy the entire season so far?- you would think we'd be twenty games over. We aren't though, and both are batting somewhere in the mid .250's. Just to let me down and mess me around.
This team flips from being an offense that cannot support the pitching to the complete opposite on a daily basis and there's almost no predicting which version is going to trot out there. Cano hit a line drive home run to the opposite field, Mike Zunino busted a two-run double and drove in another with a single in the sixth. The starting pitching didn't even fall apart. There isn't a gaping, busted hole in the ship. There are thirty leaks that, once patched, another springs. At one point, Brad Miller had seen five pitches in four at-bats. Mark Trumbo saw the ghostly reflection of himself in a mirror walking back to the dugout after another strikeout and looked as if he saw there not only death, but a long, slow one. The M's touched up a horrible starting pitcher for four runs, but it should have been more like six. On a whole, the team simply needs to focus. It's time to remember the sorta stuff they were taught when they were coming up through the ranks. You're not seeing the ball well one game? PICK A HALF OF THE PLATE. You don't have a good feel for going inside? WORK THE OUTSIDE CORNER. "Players have to play better." And then worst of all, you never call, baby.
(yeah, like that, Mike)
J.A. Happ pitched well compared to more recent struggles, and settled in to the game nicely after looking rocky at the outset. It wasn't a great match up for him: Comerica Park, Detroit Tigers, Lefty Mashers. He still managed to go seven complete innings allowing just three runs, striking out two and walking two as well. He only threw 87 pitches and maybe didn't get a chance to throw the eighth due to it having been more than two-weeks since he had a major league start. Ian Kinsler dusted him for a solo home run in the first inning. That home run traveled 349 feet. I played on some fields in high school where that ball doesn't leave the yard. He left the game in place for a win. When you say you will, but I love you still.
Mark Lowe pitched the eighth with the M's leading 4-3, lining up perfectly for a Lowe-Smith 8th/9th to polish off a one-run win. Mark Lowe had two outs, with Jose Iglesias on second base and Ian Kinsler batting. Mark should have dusted the low-outside corner with a fastball, sitting with a 1-2 count in his favor. He did not. Ian decided one home run was not enough and fired another blast from his cannon-like piece of hickory.
Lowe didn't even miss his spot by much. Again, can't begin to fathom these calls—why make the margin that small? pic.twitter.com/5K85dJRGDq— Colin O'Keefe (@colinokeefe) July 21, 2015
Ballgame. I need you more than anything, darlin'.
So that's where we were left at the top of the ninth. Down 5-4, all our margins apparent. The thin distance between happiness and emptiness had been exposed, even though we trusted Mark Lowe with that same space so many times before. Fly out-ground out-strike out. One. Two. Three. We didn't even need to watch it to know how it ends. It was a metaphor for where we find ourselves after 90-plus games this season. The plan seemed smart, we stuck in there, but something unpredictable goes awry. We sent the text message about making international travel plans together. It's bold but things have been going great. You can tell the message sent. It's starting to feel like a lot of time between this being sent and no response. Is their phone broken? Is mine? Right, because phone's just break sporadically nowadays. Distract yourself. Go grab a glass of water, or maybe something stronger. Give it a couple minutes, it's a big, grand idea. A gesture they've come to expect from you on an even larger scale now. Oop, there's the read receipt. But, no message being typed in response? This is an amazing idea, we are in love and I wan't to see the world with you. Why aren't you replying? This plan couldn't feel more right. What did I do wrong here? You know that I have from the start.
Nothing. It is simply because this one, this 2015 season, is the one who leaves you, but not yet. Not yet.
So build me up Buttercup, don't break my heart.