Have you ever met someone in a group setting, say a friend of a friend, who just totally jumps out at you? You're at a small gathering, maybe even just found your own corner of a party, and someone you know introduces this person and they just blow you away. Three hours later and the party ends, but you have to be cordial, there is an entire game of solitaire that has to be played. Eventually you make your way home, this person always on your mind and you maybe even get ahead of yourself enough to start planning out your first vacation together. You don't even know if they prefer sushi over pasta yet and this person, this predicted and forecasted wonderful thing, fully consumes you.
Tonight the Seattle Mariners lost 3-2 to the Houston Astros in a game that on paper looks a lot closer than it ever really was. In truth, the past decade of M's baseball has felt like a 3-2 loss. It feels on one hand wildly misfitting and extremely appropriate that we've found ourselves here. What is even more fitting, is that the season has finally, mathematically fallen apart on the back of three consecutive 3-2 losses. This has never happened before in franchise history. I somehow find that hard to believe.
Today will be remembered for something much larger than this one game in the waning days of the 2015 season. Hell, if all goes according to plan, today will be remembered for something much bigger than any of us could dream of. Jerry Dipoto was announced as the 9th General Manager of the Mariners today and that should spell the beginning of hope and belief for all of us again. We couldn't be too convivial though. No reason to be over-eager. We had to give him the 3-2 loss to show him what needs fixing.
For what he's worth, Roenis Elias probably starts next year somewhere on the big league roster, or maybe not. In the first inning he gave up two solo home runs to George Springer and Evan Gattis. It really already felt like the game was over then and only twenty minutes and two runs had gone by. Elias would last a full six innings and kept the M's in the game for his part. The Mariners would respond in the bottom half of the 1st with a one-run single by Mark Trumbo to score Kyle Seager. If the Trumbombadier can hit with RISP in 2016, he's still my favorite for the first base job.
Another one of Dipoto's future decisions tied the game up in the form of current (and future?) starting short stop Ketel Marte hitting his second career home run, this time from the left side of the plate, in the sixth. This was all made insignificant by Chris Carter remembering he was playing the Mariners and forced in to having one of his 15 decent games of the season and hitting the third, final, fatal solo home run for the Astros off of once-the-favorite-for-closer Danny Farquhar. The Mariners would end the game with four hits, but that's not like it really matters at this point. Or maybe it does:
The Mariners need both a first-round pick and a good free agent so, while a bit of a bummer, this is a *really* well-timed skid.— Colin O'Keefe (@colinokeefe) September 29, 2015
See, there's a silver lining to this all when you really think about it.
But you finally ask them on a date. It took a couple weeks because of schedules conflicting and whatever other excuses we allow life to make, but it happens. The back and forth of trying to match plans up has made the anticipation of seeing this fantastic human, this future sure-thing, so much greater. Yet, you meet up at the place you both wanted to try for dinner, or the park that's just nice to walk around, hell maybe it's coffee at 10 AM on a Sunday but no matter the place, you've found that there's just nothing to talk about. It isn't happening and likely it never was. Those echoes and ripples of the night you met have found the edge of the pond, the soundproofing has muffled the chords of your fantasy. They can't all be winners. Sometimes it just barely misses, but it's still not working. Sometimes you lose by one run. At least the coffee was good.