This game felt like a loss, except it didn't really, and it wasn't actually. It was just a long, slow baseball slog, punctuated by joy and eventual victory. The highlight of the first inning of this game was Kyle; after singling into the shift (yay, no longer sad mid August Kyle!) he stole second on a well timed jump through a terribly slushy infield. Kyle would also have a nice, whirling throw to Mark Trumbo to nab Carlos Correa and end the inning.
But where Kyle was the appetizer (don't make it weird), Franklin Gutierrez would be the main course (again, you're trying to make it weird; stop doing that). On the fourth pitch of the second inning's first at bat, Guti got under one and launched it to left field, putting the Mariners up 1-0. After the GUTI GUTI GUTI, Seth Smith tripled. Mark Trumbo popped out, and Brad Miller struck out, and it looked like Feldman might escape but then... It was in this inning that it began to be obvious that Feldman did not have it. With two outs, old Scotty boy issued back to back walks. John Hicks stole his first Major League base and then Ketel Marte walked. This brought up Kyle up with the bases loaded. Feldman was at 50 pitches as Kyle took ball one. Smith looked longingly down the third baseline "Country road, take me home... to the place, I belongggggg." Then Kyle got walked and home Seth went. Nelson hitting a grand slam as his 40th home run would have been awfully fun. That was not what happened, but it still would have been fun. And despite the opportunity for more (Mariners), it was an awfully fun inning. As Feldmen left the mound he clearly yelled "GUM DROPS!" (No, he did a swear)
The second would also be rough for Roenis Elias, who issued a lead off walk to Evan Gattis, which brought up Carlos Gomez, who I swear to goodness, I forget plays for the Astros every time he isn't at the plate. Gomez struck out, Jed Lowrie walked, and Colby Rasmus flew out to right. Max Stassi (wait, who?) scored The Mountain, but the damage was limited.
In the third, Guti worked a nine pitch walk (patterns!), and Guti followed right after him (more patterns). Feldman did not look sharp, and would eventually leave with a hopefully mild tweak to his surgically repaired knee. He had eight full counts versus the first fifteen batters he faced. But with two on, and two out, Brad Miller was up and you know what...Good for you, Brad. I 100% thought that was going to 1) poorly 2) really poorly 3) woof. Instead, it was 110 mph off the bat and it was fun and I was very happy to be wrong. We scored. It was fun.
Altuve walked to lead off the home third (Yes, this game went on forever. I am very tired). I mean, he was walked in the sense that a fourth ball was what the ump called. Why do you hate the low strike? You should stop worrying and learn to love the low strike. It didn't end up mattering though; Marwin Gonzalez grounded into a force out and Altuve was out at second. Or as my roommate said, "A little short of the bag, Altuve. You were at least one Altuve short of the bag." Indeed. But then Minute Maid Park got us a little bit. The Astros scored again on a Gomez sacrific fly. He thought he hit a grand slam. He bat flipped the shit out of it. Guess what, dude? That wasn't out. That was just an out.
In the bottom of the 4th, Elias gave up a home run to Marisnick. Mike Blowers said, "This looks like a mistake from Elias" as it happened. You're right, Mike. That was a mistake. A home run type mistake.
This is the point in the game when the Mariners normally lose, but instead a TRUMBONE TRUMBOMB puts the M's ahead. Mark hit a towering home run 464 feer according to statcast. Look, I have said some not nice things about Trumbo's abilities as a baseball player, but since the beginning of August, the guy has been a better than solid hitter. We will ignore the Mark Trumbo outfield experience and instead remark that he is rocking a 150 wRC+ and seven home runs. That's a nice thing.
In the six, it all started to fall apart. Elias got pulled. John Hicks sailed one into center field. A run would score and the game would tie. I am clearly a Zunino enthusiast, so I'll take this moment to say that Mike would most likely not have sailed that. Lloyd was right to call a pitch out. John were wrong to sail the ball. Also, John Hicks looks like what would happen if you took Mike Zunino's face and Michael Saunders' face and made them one face. Jichael Zunsaundicks. I am so sorry.
John is presumably also sorry a run scored. And then with two outs Carlos Gomez bunted on because other teams can have nice things. Other teams have nice things is the 2015 Mariners slogan.
But all was not lost. Late in the seventh, Brad Miller and Nelson Cruz both hustled to the ball just in time to almost kill one another. Let's just say this new outfield is learning how to communicate. Let's also say that Nelson Cruz was maybe prepared to murder Brad Miller. Let's leave it at that.
And then finally, redemption. LOMO. LOMO. LoMo came off the bench and hit a two run home run very, very hard. It would be the last scoring of the contest. Rasmus tripled in the eighth because the outfield in Houston is dumb BUT IT DID NOT MATTER. Carson proceeded to strike out the side. (update: Rasmus doubled and Brad "errored," which... does not seem like what happened unless the official scorer's expectation was that he throw the ball through Seth Smith).
But it didn't matter. Logan Kensing picked up his first win since the events of the film "The Land Before Time," Tom "The Bartender" Wilhelmsen made good, quick work of the Astros, and the Mariners picked up a win.